Welcome Back, Virgin Mobile.

My wife and I have a T-Mobile monthly family plan. We have this deal where my internet is $10/mo and our shared unlimited text messaging is $10 or $15/mo total. Plus we have unlimited voice minutes. For some months now she’s had a Samsung Vibrant and she likes it alright. Though it may not be the perfect phone for her, she’s told me that she isn’t going to go back to a phone without a data plan, now that she’s tasted the always-connectedness of a data plan.
Enter Virgin Mobile.
Virgin Mobile now (and probably for some time now) has an Android phone available and some really attractive month-to-month, no-contract service plans. So we switched her from T-Mobile to the Virgin Mobile $40/mo plan Tuesday night, 1 Feb 2011. For $40 (no BS fees or taxes on top of that) she gets unlimited internet, unlimited texting and 1200 voice minutes per month. Wow. The Android phone we got for her is a Samsung Intercept. It comes up short of her Samsung Vibrant in many ways (screen size, resolution, colors and camera quality. And the internet is EvDO, not the speed she’s become accustomed to with her T-Mobile plan and phone. But at the price we’ll be paying for service, who can complain. And she doesn’t use the camera.
I’ve been hard pressed to find a similar “budget” service plan with a GSM carrier — Virgin Mobile USA uses Sprint’s non-GSM network. But at Best Buy buying my wife’s VM phone, i discovered that T-Mobile has a plan that’s attractive to me, which I didn’t find when searching the web for general GSM-based prepaid plans.
The T-Mobile plan I found costs $30/mo. For that, you get 1500 units per month, where a unit can be used as a text message or one voice minute. Plus 30MB/mo of internet. That’s a little light, even for me, but it’ll do. The only thing it really means for me is that I’ll be more inclined to use my Garmin GPS unit instead of my iPhone’s horrible built-in Google Maps app. That’s not a problem for me.
I ordered a T-Mobile Comet Android phone for $120. It comes with a $50 top-up card and the phone, so the phone winds up costing me $70. That’s worth it for me to have a backup smartphone for going to the beach or the like — places I wouldn’t want to bring my iPhone 3G S, which would costs hundreds of dollars to replace.