Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile announced today that they will be introducing new "Beyond Talk" plans and are soon to be carrying the BlackBerry Curve 8530. The device will be priced at $299.99 and available directly from the carriers website. The new Beyond Talk plans all include unlimited messaging, email, data and web.

  • The revolutionary $25 plan is the industry's lowest price point for unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 300 minutes of voice per month, ideal for high-end device users seeking an unbeatable price to enable the text and data services they need.
  • The $40 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 1,200 minutes of voice per month -- the perfect value for those seeking an affordable plan with everything they need.
  • The $60 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with unlimited voice to offer great value for high-end smartphone users expecting an unlimited plan to cost much more.

Bundled with the new device, Virgin Mobile customers can add BlackBerry service for just $10 more - meaning you can run a Curve 8530 with Virigin Mobile for about $35/month on the lowest plan (after the initial investment). Not a bad deal at all considering most data/voice plans start around $65 on other carriers. Hit the jump for the full release, and be sure to check out virginmobileusa.com for more.

Sprint's Prepaid Multi-Brand Strategy Focuses on Distinct Customer Segments

Differentiated Brands Old & New Aim to Serve Increasingly Diverse Audiences, Tackle Specific Competitors

WARREN, N.J. - May 6, 2010 - Sprint [NYSE:S] today officially unveiled its comprehensive multi-segment approach to the prepaid wireless marketplace. Since Sprint's acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., the company has rolled out a series of new prepaid products, enhancements and industry-advancing products, each designed to appeal to specific customers in the wireless space.
"We brought together the resources and experience of the Boost and Virgin Mobile teams in late 2009," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. "Since that time, we have been developing the critical pieces of our multi-brand prepaid strategy. Our approach to the prepaid market can truly set us apart from the competition with tailored offers that will address specific needs in this growing market."

Virgin Mobile USA

Reinventing prepaid wireless once again, Virgin Mobile will introduce an innovative new value proposition that focuses on serving customers who use text and data services to power constant connection with their social networks.

With unlimited messaging, email, data and web included on all plans starting at just $25 a month and a new high-end handset lineup, Virgin Mobile will offer a clear alternative for customers who want a data-driven service without expensive annual contracts and thousands of unnecessary voice minutes. With the addition of the lowest-priced BlackBerry® service plan in the market, Virgin Mobile will provide real value for individuals looking to stay connected without compromising on handset or service quality.

The way youth and young adults communicate has changed dramatically over the past few years. Data from Nielsen shows that usage patterns for postpaid mobile subscribers aged 18-34 shifted from 2007 to 2009. Minutes of talk dropped over 10% while messages sent and received grew by more than 150%. The amount of data usage within this group grew by over 1800% during the same time period.

Beyond Talk

On May 12, Virgin Mobile will unveil three new "Beyond Talk" plans that all include unlimited messaging, email, data and web [with no incremental fees or taxes ]:

* The revolutionary $25 plan is the industry's lowest price point for unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 300 minutes of voice per month, ideal for high-end device users seeking an unbeatable price to enable the text and data services they need.

* The $40 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with 1,200 minutes of voice per month -- the perfect value for those seeking an affordable plan with everything they need.

* The $60 plan includes unlimited messaging, email, data and web with unlimited voice to offer great value for high-end smartphone users expecting an unlimited plan to cost much more.

For the first time, Virgin Mobile customers can add Blackberry® data service to any of these plans for just $10 more, enabling an unprecedented $35 plan consisting of both voice calling and Blackberry data service.

"Our new offers target a continuing evolution in wireless consumer behavior - increased use of text and data services as a form of wireless communication over talk," explained Schulman. "These Beyond Talk plans offer the most accessible solution for customers seeking that data-driven lifestyle -- unlimited text and data on their terms without a contract, at prices they will love, without requiring them to buy extra minutes they don't need."

New Handsets

Virgin Mobile's new handset lineup proves that a two-year contract isn't necessary to get a hot data-driven device:

* The Blackberry CurveTM 8530 smartphone is a particularly desirable device without a contract. Key features include an approachable form factor, full-QWERTY keyboard, optical track pad, Wi-Fi connectivity, dedicated media keys, and 2 MP camera. The Blackberry Curve 8530 smartphone will be available for $299.99 at retail and at www.virginmobileusa.om at the end of May.

* The LG Rumor TouchTM at $149.99 is the first full touch interface handset from Virgin Mobile and is only available without a contract on these plans. Customers can use all the data they want and message all of their friends easily and simply with a Beyond Talk plan. This handset is ideal for the super-connected with an external memory drive that can store up to 16GB of data.

* The very popular LG Rumor 2TM QWERTY launched last year, also only available without a contract from Virgin Mobile. For $89.99, it allows customers to message quickly and easily with preloaded apps like the Ultimate Inbox, threaded messaging and Connect social networking. The popular Opera Mini web browser is included as well.

* The Kyocera Loft QWERTY for $69.99 suits message-savvy customers perfectly with an embedded instant messaging and email application, and message threading for SMS and MMS in a single inbox. The camera phone includes the networking features mentioned above as well as a Google Maps and other navigational applications.

Virgin Mobile USA continues to serve its current base of prepaid customers with a wide range of handsets, monthly unlimited plans, Minute Packs, Texters Delight and Broadband2Go.

Broadband

Broadband2Go, launched last year under the Virgin Mobile label, also targets the needs of the high data-using crowd that wants easy wireless Internet access wherever they are but doesn't want to sign a long-term contract.

"Since we expanded distribution, lowered the price, and added more data capacity without changing prices, sales have tripled," said Schulman. "We'll continue to enhance this product line as well, possibly under multiple brands to include new services and the very latest in high speed networks, including 4G where available."

Broadband2Go operates on Sprint's Nationwide Network, unlike other prepaid broadband offers.

A New Pay By the Minute Brand

During Sprint's first quarter earnings call, reference was made to another new brand to launch this month targeting budget-conscious customers who spend less than $30 per month and are focused on the value they pay per minute. Roughly 63% of the no-contract market chooses to pay by the minute or by the day.

"There are millions of people who don't want or can't afford smartphones and expensive data plans," said Schulman. "This is the traditional no-frills prepaid customer base. For these 'basic communicators,' we are creating a fresh brand with industry-leading value and consumer-friendly offers." Designed to resonate directly with cost-conscious consumers, this new brand is expected to initially debut at retail in approximately 16 markets.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first and only 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company's customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.