Since Sprint’s acquisition of Virgin Mobile, the company has rolled out a series of new prepaid products, and today Sprint officially unveiled its new comprehensive multi-segment approach to the prepaid wireless marketplace.
On May 12, Virgin Mobile will unveil three new "Beyond Talk" plans that all include unlimited messaging, email, data and web:
• The $25 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 300 minutes of voice per month;
• The $40 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 1,200 minutes of voice per month;
• The $60 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with unlimited voice.
Virgin Mobile customers can add Blackberry data service to any of these plans for $10 more, enabling $35 plan consisting of both voice calling and Blackberry data service.
Virgin will also introduce new handset lineup that will include: Blackberry Curve 8530 (available for $299.99 at the end of May), LG Rumor Touch ($149.99; only available without a contract on "Beyond Talk" plans), LG Rumor 2 QWERTY ($89.99; also only available without a contract) and Kyocera Loft QWERTY ($69.99).
Sprint’s prepaid portfolio will initially be driven by four brands (Virgin Mobile, Broadband2Go, Boost Mobile and Assurance Gíreles) with each focused on a specific audience. "The launch of this portfolio goes far beyond changing prices," explained Dan Schulman, president of Sprint’s prepaid group.
"We are introducing innovative and attractive offers for specific groups of customers based on usage and habits – from those who are on limited budgets and use their phones infrequently to those who want high-end devices to use for all their communications, entertainment and social networking."
According to him, this is the year that prepaid moves to the forefront of the wireless industry.
"In the first quarter of 2010, more than half of the mobile gross additions in the U.S. selected prepaid, and we predict that approximately 70% of the net adds in 2010 will choose plans without a contract," he said.
"With almost 60 million people now on prepaid service," Schulman continued, "the no-contract market has clearly moved beyond the credit-challenged and lower income segments. The prepaid market has changed dramatically, with customers across multiple demographics and lifestyles demanding a wide variety of handsets, features, and plans tailored to their specific needs and wants."