One of the key differentiators between Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile, has been Boost’s availability of a per-day unlimited plan. Today, the Sprint Prepaid Group took another step towards consolidation with Virgin Mobile’s new Daily Unlimited plan.
Just one catch, it’s only for mobile broadband devices on Virgin. In contrast, Boost Mobile’s daily unlimited plan is for handsets.
The new daily Broadband2Go plan is $5 per day, and offers 200 MB of 3G/4G data. Considering Virgin Mobile has gone as low as $20/month for a special Walmart-only 1 GB MiFi data plan, the plan is extremely tight in terms of its niche. It’s only effective for those that need to use their Virgin Mobile device in an emergency.
TruConnect-backed, Walmart-branded Internet On The Go service is vastly cheaper, and offers plans that cater more to the emergency usage scenario, with prepaid data that never expires. TruConnect also offers its own hotspots that leverage a $5/month fee with low pay-per-MB charges.
While TruConnect does not currently operate on 4G service, their Novatel-built MiFi 2200 units operate on the exact same Sprint 3G network that Virgin Mobile uses.
The break-even point on Virgin’s new plan is pretty clear, if you use the device less than once a month, it may be a good deal. Anything more, and you’re better off with one of TruConnect’s two hotspot offerings.
In the end, Virgin’s logic behind this plan is pretty clear. It’s for people who bought a MiFi or laptop USB stick… and stopped using it. This plan ensures that in an emergency, you can leave that old data card/hotspot in your backpack, glovebox, etc and still have some utility without paying out $35 for 2 GB of data.
The plan is not currently listed on Virgin Mobile’s front-facing web site, but sources report that it can be provisioned using the MiFi/aircard provisioning page presented to inactive devices.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to TruConnect as being owned by TruPhone. We regret the error.