Virgin Mobile Broadband

Virgin Mobile Broadband

For the most recent info, see the 2011 Virgin Mobile Broadband Review

Virgin mobile broadband created quite a stir when they announced their entry into the prepaid mobile broadband arena.

With a decision to resell Sprint’s services, they have a short-term prepaid solution that allows one to buy data airtime as needed without a contract. Not long after, Sprint acquired Virgin Mobile.

 

 

Virgin Mobile Broadband In A Nutshell

Virgin Mobile sums up the highlights of their service in about a minute. Get the unadvertised details below.

 

Virgin Mobile Prepaid Plans & Prices

 

Virgin Prepaid Mobile PlansThere are 2 Virgin Mobile prepaid plans for mobile broadband. $10 for 100 MB and $40 for unlimited. Yes, you read right, unlimited. Similar to ReadyBroadband & Slingshot, Virgin Mobile prepaid plans work based on a “Pay As You Go” system.

When you run low on data airtime, you can ‘top up’ by purchasing more (just like a prepaid phone).

The only downside is that the maximum time you can use a data session for 30 days upon activation.

 

 

 

 

Virgin Mobile Broadband Speed

 

Virgin Mobile Broadband SpeedVirgin mobile broadband speed is the same as Sprint’s. Average downloads of 600-1400 Kbps and 350-500 Kbps uploads. Bursts get up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and 1.8 Mbps on the uplink.Since Virgin mobile resells 3G services, their speed is inherited from the original source.

That source is Sprint.

You can expect “average download speeds of 600-1400 Kbps, peaking at 3.1 Mbps, and 350-500 Kbps average upload speeds, peaking at 1.8 Mbps. Similar to DSL, and about ten times faster than using a dial-up modem”

Naturally, real-world speeds are different…drastically different (and not in a good way).

 

 

Virgin Mobile 3G Coverage

 

Virgin Mobile 3G CoverageVirgin mobile 3G coverage mirrors Sprint’s.

The difference is in the roaming coverage. Virgin has none.Again, since Virgin inherits the characteristics of the Sprint mobile broadband network, they also inherit their coverage…to a certain extent.

The big difference is that Virgin’s 3G coverage does not include Sprint’s roaming areas.

That means you’ll have good coverage in most places but not as many as Sprint itself.

Probable cause?

$$$

 

 

Virgin Broadband Cards & AirCards

 

To be honest, its more like Virgin Broadband Card. They’ve only got one & it’s the Novatel Ovation MC760. It’ll run you about $80. On the other hand, there’s the MiFi for $150 with unlimited mobile broadband for up to 5 devices. Pretty hard to turn down…

Virgin Mobile Broadband CardsThe Ovation MC760 is the only broadband card offered by Virgin and is identical to the Sprint U760. Also in the lineup is the Novatel MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot

 

 

Looking for a Comparison?

 

Check out the Prepaid Mobile Broadband Comparison to see how Virgin matches up against the other prepaid mobile broadband carriers out there.

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

Need more info? Check out the rest of the mobile broadband reviews.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Corey says:


    I bought the BB Card last summer and it was a pretty nice deal. However they’ve changed things and now the monthly data has been tightened a little. Once you hit a limit things really slow down. I guess you’d had to have been on the wagon for the last year to understand. My advice would be to learn how to use your phone as a tether [if you have a droid phone or other smart phone] before buying one of these things.


  2. Jill Jones says:


    It’s a good business idea.There is a huge market for something like this given the horrible customer service records of most traditional internet providers,and most people’s preference to not be locked into a contract.You would think Virgin Mobile would at least do their jobs, but they don’t.
    The problem is-proceed with caution- you just plain don’t get what you pay for.I paid for a month up front and had had it ten days before it completely stopped working for almost 12 hours.”Customer service” weren’t answering the phone at all.
    Since I work out of my home I lost money because of Virgin Mobile’s sheisty,oily, business dealings which I see is nothing new given other customers’ comments.
    If you’re going to use this service use it only as a temporary solution and have a back up system for when they don’t deliver what you paid for.


  3. John Fenley says:


    Cory, Travis & Jill are right. I bought one of these POS when they first came out and it WAS great. Fast connection, good support all the things that are necessary for a good relationship between vendor and customer.
    NOW….they say you have unlimited bandwidth for the month .. but, once you reach about 2.5 GB they throttle your speed for the REST OF THE MONTH down to about 256kbs. They are SLIMEBALLS!!!
    I wish Travis would tell us how he REALLY feels about this company :-)


  4. richard bounds says:


    I think your service sucks every time I get on the computer it takes forever to get anything done.I will be using another service soon, I know you won’t let anyone see this,but you have one very unhappy person that used your service .There is nothing you can do to change my mind.I do not want to here anything back from ,you can kiss my a** .good bye .


    • Marc says:


      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and provide feedback on Virgin Mobile’s service. I think you’re mistaking this site for Virgin Mobile or an affiliate of Virgin Mobile. Like every other provider, reviews are posted here of each carrier. Virgin Mobile isn’t “my” service. I recommend calling their customer service to share your thoughts with them.

      As for ‘not letting anyone see this’, you’ll notice your comment is still here. No one will try to change your mind. If you receive bad service, then you should leave. This is the advice I give to every reader of MBR.

      For future reference, if you do not wish to have anything ‘heard back’, do not initiate a conversation. The purpose of MBR is not to serve as an outlet for angered consumers. Rather, its purpose is to help solve problems people may have before, during or after buying mobile broadband. If there’s a problem that can be solved, I do my best to solve it. For more details on how I run this site, please see this page:

      http://www.mobile-broadband-reviews.com/about.html


  5. RedFord says:


    Their service sucks! I have lost service twice in the last month. They had to completely reinstate me as a subscriber last time and I an having the same problem now. I waited on the phone 40 minutes trying to talk to a live person and never got an answer.

    Virgin Mobil, YOUR FIRED!


  6. Caryn says:


    Wow , this is the worst service and horrible customer service I have ever had. I also bought this last year just for trips and I must say it worked fine then in Jan, I decided to turn off my home internet and only use this card, what a mistake , I lose service 10 -15 times a day when I can get on at all and have waited over an hour for customer service, which is down in Mexico. I have been told they do not use sprint towers anymore, they never used sprint towers , their towers are down….. and everyone there claims the person who said any of the previous statements lied. every time I called it was a differen story. I am getting new internet service in the AM thank God


  7. Phil says:


    When I first got started with the service, it was pretty good. (When you consider that the only internet i had prior was webtv, anything was an improvement). Just this past month, the connection has been slow to none. I tried the solutions offered on their help page. I went as far as to uninstall the program, as was suggested. Big mistake…it won’t reinstall. The Manager box doesn’t even come up. I contacted customer service twice. The first time was in the evening, and took 45 minutes to talk to a tech, who scolded me for uninstalling the program. At least I think he did, as i couldn’t understand a word he said. The second contact was early in the morning, and i got right through to a tech. She spoke a litte better English but i don’t think she understood it.

    I am hoping the problem was due to the fact i keep the device plugged into my lap top all the time. It was really really warm, even when I first start up the laptop. i am hoping that maybe something happened to the device from being plugged in all the time. I have my cell phone service through virgin mobile, and i am very pleased with that. So instead of contacting custopmer service, i plan on buying another device.

    No mobile service is perfect. It’s a crap shoot. If there is truly a perfect mobile service out there, I am sure everyone would like to know.


  8. unhappy customer says:


    I bought it on January 11. After 3 months, I am still calling the customer service to get this thing working. The excuse now is that they have been upgrading the network for 3 months and they don’t know when will be fixed.
    DON’T buy it! you will pay a monthly fee for nothing


    • Phil says:


      I had to install a new device a couple of days ago. (I damaged the other one I believe by leaving it in all the time, and by trying to uninstall the program with it still plugged in) I was unable to get it to come on the screen. I had to go into “My Computer” to install. It took a couple of tries before I finally figured it out. But for me it was worth it.


  9. Harlean says:


    I bought the $40 a month unlimited usage plan in December. I purchased wireless adapters (that Virgin recommended from Radio Shack for our 2 Pc’s and my husband had a new Wireless laptop) and purchased a MIFI device, also from Radio Shack. The service worked perfectly until February 23. Then, even though it showed that it was connected to the internet, and had an excellent connection, I could not reach any internet sites….nor my email. Between Feb 2nd and Feb 23, I called a total of 13 times. They would spend several hours having me repeat the same reconnect steps over and over, without any results. They told me 3 times they would do an investigation in my area, and call me. That never happened. When I asked about that, they told my first it took 2-12 hours, then 12 – 72 hours, then 8 days. I returned to Radio Shack with my MIFI and my laptop to see if the MIFI might be defective. The man at Radio Shack found that to be the case, so he replaced it with a new one, and told my to call them and give them the new serial number so they could activate it. I spent another hour trying to get it activated. Then they told me they were having issues with the service and once it was fixed. the reset should work. It did not. So they advised me to take the absolutely new MIFI back to Radio Shack and have it checked. I declined. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and they put me on hold for over an hour. This was on March 23 I told the supervisor that since they could not fix my problem, I wanted to discontinue their services, and because I had not had access for the better part of the past month, I felt that I deserved a refund of my $40. I was told the only thing they could do was put it back into my account. I explained that I was not using my account any longer. That it was impossible to use it because I could not connect. But that was a useless request. I lost the month and the money. And another point is that Feb 15 they ended the unlimited usage and limited to 5G. That part didn’t bother me because I was only using a little over 1G per month anyway. So now I lost the $40, and am stuck with a MIFI device that cost me $149. I can sell it, but it will take a year before I can transfer it out of my account. I was told that I could sell it now, but would have to give the buyer my account password so they could activate it. I am back with dial up now……slow, but dependable. What good is fast if you can’t hook up? Anybody want a MIFI that will hook up to 5 things to the internet? Mine is for sale :)


  10. Wut Mytb says:


    No one in their right mind should ever, ever, ever get a Virgin MiFi2200, for any price. It is the most incompetent company on earth. I spent over 6 months and over 9 hours of phone calls. By their own admission, they will not send new devices to replace defective ones, only “refurbished” ones. Sending defectives back and then receiving even more defective ones, I wound up with a total of about 6 devices that were either defective or which became inoperable whenever Virgin tried to activate them. One was still tied to someone else’s account; one was omitted completely, so that I received only an empty envelope; and the last one was not even 3G, just 2G. At that point I gave up. Note: Their “customer service” is only in the Philippines, “supervised” by a next-level office only in Mexico. That’s all there is. 


  11. Columbo says:


    Avoid. Use as a last resort. The problem here is the downtime and throttling.

    The down times are often at the MOST inconvenient moments, and may last for hours with no updates from Virgin themselves (I have a Virgin phone too, they don’t send me texts about it or anything).

    Friday nights, Saturday nights, very hit and miss service. Bad weather? Probably no service, I kid you not. Hugely irritating if you’re just trying to fire off some emails or have a short video conversation.

    Of course your money is never refunded in any part, whether the service is reliable or not.

    I cannot understand the indiscriminate throttling at regular intervals, even when you’re using very little bandwidth. Send email – CAN’T! Why? I’m paying for the service!

    The idea is good, the execution is bad. If they can fix the down times, and make the throttling more intelligent, then maybe this would be a useful service.


  12. adam says:


    Virgin Mobile Broadband to go is TERRIBLE ! ! !
    I’ve had it for about 6 months now and every time you go to top up on the computer it will not work, so i call and the dumb hindu you get on the phone is no help. It takes me about 20-30 minutes on the phone every month to finally get an american based office to top up my device. Its terrible and the service is extremly slow anyway. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT BUY THIS.


  13. Eric says:


    I am really disappointed in this product. Speed is too slow but what really upsets me is the fact of calling the 877-877-8443 help number. I was on hold for over 24 minutes until I finally hung up. Here’s another kicker, this reply will not go any further. No one from Virgin will even try and earn my business back and now they have not only lost my business, but I was going to get one for my mother, now that business is gone as well. Com’n Richard, I read your book “Losing my Virginity”, this isn’t the type of service you gave the people that you signed up on your record label in the early days, why give bad service now? Like I said, my reply is more than likely a waste of time that I should have spent looking for a broadband supplier.


  14. Jolea Harrison says:


    I wish I’d read the reviews before paying $50 for the so called unlimited service. I’ll never see that money again. This service is terrible. It worked for about 2 hours and then slowed down. The unlimited claim is a complete lie because they don’t tell you about the massive throttle they apply once you reach 2.5 gigs. Just a couple of updates on my computer is 2.5 gigs. I was looking for a fast, reliable service I could use at home and take on the road. This is not it. Don’t buy this product!


  15. Beth says:


    I have had enough. Turned them into the Better Business Bureau.


  16. QZ says:


    I bought the Virgin Mobile card last November. I had little trouble with the service up until the last month or so. The service was interrupted for hours. I had to ‘reactivate’ my device three times over a week or so. When I called customer service, I was on hold for two hours. It has been okay for a few weeks.

    The hardware itself is another matter. It gets extremely hot, almost too hot to touch. The seam on the side near the top has separated and lets light through. And, the design of the stick is awkward. I use my netbook at my job which is a cab driver. There isn’t much room in the cab, which is why I use a netbook. The stick has been knocked around a bit and now the metal USB part is loose inside the plastic casing. It still works, but sometimes I lose connection because it is loose.

    My two cents: The service itself has been reasonably dependable, with that one week glitch. It is easy to pay for service online. The hardware needs to be more durable and of a better design. I have little trouble using it on a flat surface, but in a vehicle it is hard to be gentle.


  17. Smurf says:


    Virgin Mobile is suck! Don’t buy them. Internet so slow and not able to watch video or etc. . .


  18. Debbie says:


    Virgin Mobile was working but about two weeks ago my speed slowed way down. Takes forever to get anything done. They also will go down for a whole night and you can’t get anyone on the phone.


  19. Elizabeth says:


    I currently use Virgin Mobile and it’s soooo slow it’s not funny. At first when I purchased the card for it it worked well. Then they changed up their plans and now it sucks! You cannot even get real people on the phone. I NEED SOMETHING BETTER! I’m ready to throw Virgin Mobile Broadband out the window!


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