Virgin Mobile USA announced that it is starting an unlimited calling plan that will be available July 1. Unlimited calling will cost $79.99 per month but doesn’t cover unlimited text messaging. Unlimited texting can be added for an additional $10 a month. The prices don’t include taxes and other fees that can add up to $10 a month, depending on what part of the country the customer lives.
MobileCrunch reported in February that the major carriers in the United States started their own unlimited calling plans. (See: Mobile Warfare). Virgin Mobile has been slow getting to the mobile battlefield but is hoping that it can boost sales with its new plan. Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have seen more customers upgrade to unlimited plans than downgrade from more expensive plans.
Virgin Mobile doesn’t own a network in the United States. Instead, the company buys airtime from other carriers, and is one of the largest “mobile virtual network operators” (MVNOs) in the country. Virgin Mobile has around 5.1 million customers with an average revenue per user of $19.93 per month. This revenue is less than half the average of the major carriers that own their own networks.