Sprint is getting ready to launch a new prepaid brand aimed at families and customers who are looking to customize almost every aspect of their wireless plan. The new brand is called Virgin Mobile Custom and is a product of Sprint and Itson. Virgin Mobile Custom will, as the name suggests, be customized by the customer, and rely on a cloud-based billing and service plan.
There are plenty of aspects to Virgin Mobile Custom from how many lines you can have per account, to different data options. As for the lines, you can have up to five lines per account with a low $6.98 per line per month base charge. That basic charge covers 20 texts, and 20 voice minutes per month, and the rest is fully up to the customer. The add-ons consist of more minutes, texts and data options. They have unlimited plan add-ons like $10/month for unlimited texting, $18/month for unlimited calling, or $35/month for both. Data add-ons consist of $8/month for 250MB, $13.50/month for 500MB, $16/month for 750MB, $18.50/month for 1GB, and finally $28/month for 2GB of data. While this seems pretty basic, there are customizable options that go into even further detail. Users can add data add-ons for specific apps. For example, if one user likes to use Facebook a lot but doesn't want to pay for data across the board, they can pay $5/month for unlimited access to Facebook. Another option is to allow for all social networking to be unlimited for $15/month.
The plans and add-ons that are available can be shared amongst all members on the plan. The head of household will be able to allocate all aspects of the plan amongst those on their account. There will also be limits that can be set by the head of household for each user on their account. In that same spirit, families can set parental controls for each line on their account. Angela Rittgers, Sprint's vice president of prepaid marketing, noted that while parental controls are available on other carriers, they don't allow for as much control as Virgin Mobile Custom will allow. On most carriers, parental controls allow only for data that is through cellular waves. Virgin Mobile Custom will allow parents to set controls for data over cellular, and WiFi signals, down to a set time when data will be shut off on a specific device. These parental controls are accessible from any device, even if the device is not on Virgin Mobile Custom's network.
Another way Virgin Mobile Custom aims to change things up, is in that they allow users to adjust their plans on a daily basis. All adjustments can be done from the users device, and can be done as often as wanted or needed. Before any change is finalized, the user will be shown what their monthly bill will look like after the changes are made.
As for devices available on their new network, Virgin Mobile Custom will have three different Android devices available. The ZTE Emblem for $79.99, the LG Pulse for $99.99, and the LTE LG Unify for $129.99. Sprint plans to add more devices as time goes on, starting as soon as next year. Rittgers said the new service is going to focus on personalization for the consumer allowing customers to "build the plan exactly how they need it," She continued to say, "they can dial up the plan or dial it down, and if they are using less, they can get a credit." ItsOn CEO Greg Raleigh said Sprint is using their technology to "give people more choice. It's a very significant departure from anything that's in the market right now." Continuing to say, "They are going to have more competitive flexibility than any other operators in the U.S."