Virgin Mobile responds to T-Mobile's $30 prepaid plan with one of their own

I always love seeing a good ol’ race to the bottom amongst carriers. One carrier drops prices, then another responds, then another, until all of their prices have dropped in one way or another. Everyone (“everyone” being the consumer) wins!

Just a few days ago, T-Mobile introduced a new prepaid plan: for just $30 bucks a month, you get 1500 things, where these “things” can be assigned to any mixture of minutes or texts. Want 800 minutes, 700 texts? Sure. 914 minutes, 586 texts? Why not. The deal didn’t make massive headlines anywhere, but it was just enough to prod Virgin Mobile, who is responding today with a $30 plan of their own. Go-go-gadget price war!

Virgin’s new “payLo” plan is better in some ways, and not in others. Lets compare:

  • With T-Mobile, you get a bucket of 1500 minutes or texts, or any mixture of the two. With Virgin Mobile, you get 1500 minutes and 500 texts. At a grand total of 2000 “things”, that’s technically more bang for your buck. Winner: Slight advantage to Virgin Mobile.
  • T-Mobile’s plan: 30 megabytes of data. Virgin Mobile’s: 10 megabytes. Winner: T-mobile
  • Virgin Mobile’s plan is capped at 500 texts, which would be a bit limiting for even moderately heavy texters. T-Mobile lets you assign up to 1500 of your “things” to texts, or all 1500 to minutes. Options = good. Winner: T-Mobile
  • Overall, it seems like T-Mobile’s offering is still a wee bit better than the one Virgin Mobile has set up in response, if only because of the flexibility. With that said, it all comes down to how you use it; if Virgin Mobile’s 1500 minutes/500 texts plan fits you like a glove, that’s obviously the better deal. (Plus, Virgin Mobile has Android phones. T-Mobile Prepaid does not.)