U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Cell Phones and Smartphones
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-15-2011, 08:03 PM
 
24,497 posts, read 37,510,528 times
Reputation: 12879

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
But good luck using that as your sole phone service..
I don't have Virgin Mobile. Nor is my cell my only phone service.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-16-2011, 01:25 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,581,656 times
Reputation: 14497
A couple reasons...

The first as already stated is the way you are locked in to a single network without the ability to roam. For some people this may work great if that network happens to have coverage in the areas they are generally in.

The second and more obvious reason is that they do not subsidize equipment purchases. You pay full cost for the phone you buy. When you go with a regular carrier, the upfront cost on the phone is subsidized when you sign an agreement, but they make this money up on the backend in the monthly service fee. Hence, why you have early termination penalties, it's all about recovering the subsidized equipment costs as well as "incentifying" you to stay and you can avoid signing a contract if you just buy the device outright at full price. If you buy a phone that retails for $600, but get it for $200 with a 2-year contract, a portion of that subsidy is baked into the monthly charges (obviously the carrier paid less than retail, but not as little as the contract rate), no such thing as a free (or even reduced cost) lunch.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: La Jolla, CA
7,285 posts, read 14,564,156 times
Reputation: 11619
No roaming, small number of phones, over minute charges. The carriers all underwrite phones to some extent (even Virgin, Boost, and others underwrite handsets). The big carriers do it via contracts, the prepay carriers do it because their phones are locked to the network for the most part anyway, so there is incentive for customers who paid for equipment up front, to stay with the provider.

Virgin service is great in most cities, as it uses Sprint's network. If you're out in the sticks, then you are SOL, because there is no roaming. However, there are some areas of the country where the Sprint network covers some of the sticks too. The east and Midwest has very good service because of the short distances between cities.

This year I picked up a VM LG Optimus phone as a backup to my overpriced T-Mobile ($100+) wireless/text/data plan, and as a cheap experiment to see if Sprint's call quality and signal was better than T-Mobile. Honestly, side by side in urban areas, the VM service is better. On rural interstate, I still get solid 3G from the Virgin phone, pretty much in line with what T-Mobile is providing, but in a few spots it's better. If I didn't need roaming, I'd be tempted to just buy the unlimited plan from Virgin Mobile and be done with it. They don't have the most feature rich or fastest phones, but the selection is decent and I'm a heavy business user, but not heavy on the processor intensive things that some people do with their phones. Roaming keeps me with a major provider which will soon be Sprint, based on my successful experiment with the VM phone.

With almost all carriers now, there are data use limits, either resulting in extra charges or throttling. Virgin throttles over 2.5GB. I have never hit the data cap on any provider, as I spend most of the day using wi-fi, not mobile network.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 31,284,831 times
Reputation: 5196
In my area (metro Atlanta), Virgin Mobile works fine within the city, and in most of the immediate suburbs, as well as along all of the major roads in and around the city. Once you stray off of the highways in the further burbs, then it gets very spotty and eventually dies out.

The voice portion of the service is fairly reliable in those major areas. The text and picture messaging part of the service however, has been saturated with issues off and on for a very long time. If you do some digging online, you'll find online sources with countless complaints about this. When I tried them out (twice), there were times that the people I sent texts or pics to didn't receive their message for hours after I sent them, or in some cases, never got them at all. Likewise, the same when they sent stuff to me. I knew several others who also had the same issue as well, though again, the voice part of the service seemed to work ok.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
1,282 posts, read 1,720,551 times
Reputation: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
Virgin is cheaper for a few reasons, but one of them being that they really charge a premium if you go over the alloted minutes. That is how they get you; many people sign up because they can get an Android phone plan for $35 a month. Yet, that only gets you 300 minutes. And even someone who rarely talks on the phone, 300 minutes spread out over the course of one month is not that many minutes at all. 1200 minutes a month gives you roughly 40 minutes a day.

I had Virgin, and now I have Verizon. Honestly, unless you are wayyyy out in the sticks, you won't notice any real difference in service. Verizon is a rip off. Once my contract is up with them, I am out. I've had T-Mo, Virgin, Metro PCS, and Verizon all within the last year. Call quality, number of bars, and 3G speeds where pretty much the same with all of them....except Metro PCS had dead spots within the city.

Yes, you can leave at anytime. But, if you keep you plan for more than one month, you end up keeping the phone, too (if you cancel service before the first month is up, you can get a refund on the phone).
My Metro PCS roams on Verizon. The screen clearly says that.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2011, 11:04 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
1,282 posts, read 1,720,551 times
Reputation: 580
You do know that Virgin is NOT a real cell provider. They are a virtual provider that use the Sprint PCS network.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 02:31 AM
 
387 posts, read 544,591 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post
How can Virgin Mobile be so much less than Verizon or ATT? From what I see the coverage does not appear to be as good nation wide as VZ and ATT; If you are in a major area coverage looks good, but not too sure how it would be if you travel? How about the service?

I also notice there's no contract so you can leave at any time, but will the phone be usable on another carrier like Verizon, ATT, etc?

Thank you
I think their expenses are low since they are MVNO and don't have a spectrum allotted to them but use other providers excess spectrum
If i remember correctly back in 2009 Sprint has acquired Virgin Mobile USA
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Cell Phones and Smartphones
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top