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Report: Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile to lower throttled data speeds starting in May

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Report: Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile to lower throttled data speeds starting in May
Customers of two Sprint MVNOs, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, have received a message that is not a happy one. Starting on May 6th, those Boost and Virgin customers that use more than 2.5GB of combined 3G/4G data in one month, will have their data speed reduced to 2G for the remainder of the month. Once your account gets close to the 2.5GB threshold, you will receive a text message warning you that your data speed will soon be throttled. Another text is sent out once you exceed the cap. You can check how much data you've consumed at anytime by going to My Account and checking out your Data & Web History

Currently, those Boost and Virgin subscribers that exceed the data cap have their data speed throttled to 256Kbps. The 2G speeds that throttled customers will have starting on May 6th, are slower. Sprint says that only a small percentage of Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers exceed the cap. Those that do can top up their account early to restore the faster 3G/4G data speeds.

"Effective 5/6/14, if you reach 2.5GB of combined 3G/4G data during your monthly plan cycle, your data speeds will be reduced to 2G speeds for the rest of that monthly plan. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads, and lags in streaming media. Data speeds will return to normal as soon as your next monthly plan starts. If you’d rather not wait for your new month to start, you can restart your plan immediately through My Account.
How will I know if my data speeds have been reduced?
If you are close to reaching 2.5GB of data in a month, you will receive a text message alerting you. Once you reach the 2.5GB limit, you will receive a text message letting you know your data speeds will be reduced for the rest of your plan month. You can check how much data you’ve used at any time during the month by logging into My Account and checking Data & Web history.
By putting this data speed reduction in place, we’re making sure we can deliver the same quality of service to all of our nationwide customers – we appreciate your understanding at this time."-Sprint message to Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers

source: PhoneNews, WirelessWeek via AndroidGuys

37 Comments
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posted on 19 Mar 2014, 14:26 12

1. scsa852k (Posts: 302; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)


Using Virgin or Boost Mobile's so-called 3G/4G speed is a pain in the ass in itself.
And they're gonna make it even slower after 2.5GB?
wow.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 14:31 1

3. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Yea...current Boost customer here....and this is the first time in a long time I actively look for open wifi spots. If I didnt have wifi at home I would be really frustrated.

I cannot wait to switch to MetroPCS or Cricket.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:39

23. TheMan (Posts: 423; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


MetroPCS, owned by TMO, throttles on its lower plans, but unlimited high speed is available at a cost. Same is true with Tmobile.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 08:02

30. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I dont mind throttling....if I could actually use it before the throttle. For me.....I will never get throttled on Boost because their data is almost non existent in my area.

Nice to know MetroPCS, T Mo has options for not being throttled....if I understand you correctly.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 03:30

26. reckless562 (Posts: 1011; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


why not switch now?

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 08:01

29. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


For MetroPCS, I was waiting for the T Mo deal to go thru, them to start using T Mo network...I assume it is now?

For Cricket...same thing but with At&T.

MetroPCS just came to my immediate area recently...and by the time I heard about AIO....the Cricket deal was in motion. Just waiting til things are finalized for the networks.

posted on 22 Mar 2014, 08:14

32. reckless562 (Posts: 1011; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


i see i see...

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 16:31 2

7. lsutigers (Posts: 765; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


It's not really unreasonable considering you are getting unlimited data with 2.5gb of LTE on a no contract carrier which is nice because not many prepaid carriers offer LTE right now.

If you want faster speeds or unlimited LTE switch to Sprint. You can do a no contract plan as well. If you dont care about unlimited you can also do no contract on TMO or AIO (AT&T) wireless but you will be throttled.

Unlimited/unthrottled with contract of unlimited/throttled without contract, that simple.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:36 3

22. TheMan (Posts: 423; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


To clarify, with TMO you are throttled in its basic plans, but unlimited high speed (usually LTE) is available.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:19 3

15. Doakie (Posts: 1321; Member since: 06 May 2009)


LOL As if Sprints network wasn't bad enough, now they're going to throttle you if you are in an area good enough to actually download more than 2.5 GB. Here in Seattle their network had become so bad my 3G speeds were 50-200Kbps. I cant imagine even getting to 2.5 GB at 50 Kbps. Hey guys move to T-Mobile, you'll be happy with 10 Mbps 3G speeds. It's amazing compared to Sprints junk network.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 03:32

27. reckless562 (Posts: 1011; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


or u could jus move............... :D

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 14:30 1

2. Augustine (Posts: 794; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Making room in the spectrum for LTE perhaps?

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 14:54

4. tacarat (Posts: 213; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


Nope. It's how they'll keep "unlimited" at their current pricing. LTE might come later, but it'll keep the throttling. If you're lucky, the soft cap will move up with the faster speeds.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 15:24 2

5. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


I can't wait to go to T-Mobile, this was the final death blow. As if 3G wasn't slow enough!

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 15:51 1

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You use Virgin Mobile?

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 16:59

10. fzacek (Posts: 2194; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


It doesn't have the best data speeds, but it's 35 dollar plan is a much better value than an equivalent $50+ plan from other carriers.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:20 2

16. Doakie (Posts: 1321; Member since: 06 May 2009)


How bout the 100 minute, unlimited text and data plan that T-Mobile has for $30? T-Mobile has awesome network speeds compared to Sprint.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:56 1

17. wsoul1 (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)


Maybe for you. I get great lte speeds on VM, better than TM. Not hating on TM, the $30 5gb plan is a great deal!

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:14

20. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


When I do get LTE with VM(Sprint), it usually is very fast, or fast enough for me. However, after you reach that very easy to hit 2.5 data cap you are throttled down to 3G(now even worst, 2G).

At least with T-Mobile, you get unlimited LTE.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 01:07

25. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


I had VM for 2 years because it was only $25 a month. Slow 3G speeds and that annoying "adaptive video" protocol was the final blow.

I never made it past 1.2 to 1.4 GB. Most of the time, I was in the 600 to 800 mb of data.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:36 2

21. ngo2dd (Posts: 793; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


A 100 minute is not enough for people who use there phone to you talk

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 10:28

31. Augustine (Posts: 794; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Just to be clear, in the $30 plan data is limited to 5GB at 4G, then, throttled to 2G. Though 5GB is virtually unlimited for most users, or at least for me it is.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:05 1

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I signed my father up for the $25 plan (the now $35) a week before they raised the prices. Needless to say, 3G literally blows and is unusable.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:08 1

19. wsoul1 (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)


$25 plan still exists for those who had it at the time of the price increase. 3g only though and like you said 3g is weak on sprint. For most anyway.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:13

13. LOV91 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Jan 2014)


I just switched from Virgin to T-Mobile last week when I got my Moto G. I'm on the 30 dollar prepaid plan because 100 minutes is enough for me, and the difference in data speeds is just stellar, in my area at least. So glad I switched, and haven't looked back since.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 16:35 1

8. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 116; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


Everyone does this hence it should be no suprise. Does anyone remember VZW Unlim data and that if you were "grandfathered in" you could keep it, but they would throttle speed after 2GB. It was so bad that I actually had to call multiple times to final receive the answer I was looking for. "We are throttling your data". I was pissed of course because after the 2 gb. You wouldn't even get 1x. They called that "Network Optimization" which is just a fancy term for throttle. The other main point is that if you exceded the 2gb cap. Your next month would be throtted as well until you started using less than 2GB. So for 4 months I was using a data service slower than 1x and paying 30.00 bucks for it. These are not the only people/ company doing this.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:00

11. tedkord (Posts: 5249; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


When was that? I use over 20gb every month on grandfathered VZW unlimited, and I've never been throttled.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 03:39

28. reckless562 (Posts: 1011; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


really??? so all the ppl claiming "oooHH, Look at Meeee!!! i still get Unlimited Data withh Veriiizon, incluuuuding LTE!!! because... immmm Grannnfathered innn!!!!" are really getting capped @ 2Gigs like the rest of their poor customers????
kuz untill ur post, i have always been jealous n regretfull of leaving big red for sprint jus kuz they had a 4G network up b4 vzw. PLEASE let me know, SOMEBODY!!!

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 16:56 1

9. fzacek (Posts: 2194; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I usually don't use any more than 1GB of data on my 4G LTE Virgin Mobile phone, so this will never be a problem for me. In my opinion, Virgin Mobile is a great value.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:06 2

12. cripton805 (Posts: 995; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


I wish I would get the throttled 256kbs on my Boost account. 90%+ of the time, I can't even connect to a data connection at all. Full bars though...

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 19:16 1

14. wsoul1 (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)


I get great lte speeds on VM in the NY metro area. Have for 18 months. Not worried about going over 2.5gb's. Most that complain about this are using this as there home internet/torrents downloader. Good riddance to them.

posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:57

24. sun0066 (Posts: 80; Member since: 12 Feb 2011)


The bad becoming worse , what is it with sprint everything it touch become worse , greedy company , doc should remove it's licence

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 12:36

33. KC2FYA (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


I just got my notification this morning on the post 2.5GB reduction, which will be at 128Kbps, half of the current 256Kbps, if one goes over 2.5GB. There are times even prior to the 2.5GB threshold that I experience less than 200Kbps. So it is not the end of the world which would in reality be only for a few days or so until my new billing cycle begins.

I generally only use up to 1.8GB monthly, for those that do go beyond 2.5GB, Wi-Fi and some conserving data will help. I found programs running in the background and even the foreground that do not need to be on. Hope this Helps.

posted on 07 May 2014, 19:44

34. jamesmurfy (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 May 2014)


Ive been using Virgin Mobiles 3g service for a couple of years now, and boy do i have alot to say. I originally bought the phone because it was advertised as 'unlimited web' and i needed a phone with internet to do internet type things. I am a heavy data user so i PURPOSELY bought this phone because they said it was unlimited.

First off, the phone they sold me didnt work out of the box (the Optimus V). I had to take it to best buy to get them to fix it so the 3g would activate (a week after fiddling with it). Apparently it had a notorious problem for not being able to find the 3g because the internet adapter was faulty. For the first year i had the phone the 3g would turn off and on, sometimes not being able to connect for days at a time. Even when i had strong bars, the 3g was iffy.

Then the throttling began. Every month id get hit with a massive throttle that shut my download speeds from 150k to 26k. Yes i said 26k. My download speeds are actually capping at 26k.

I often feel like im using 56k dialup network when im using my phones internet. I do Tether my phone as well, and its pretty unbearable how slow it is. My friends all call it 'Potatonet' because its such a joke. Ive called Virgin countless times to complain and get horrible generic responses or clueless people that just tell me everything looks fine in my area everytime. Today the speeds are so bad i couldnt even play any of my online games because im getting 10k latency pings (aka completely unplayable) when normally i only get 150 pings. I also couldnt even do something as simple as open my email. And aside from generally just being slow, its compeltely unreliable. The connection drops ALL THE TIME (even a 56k dialup can stay online!!!!!!). Im constantly fighting with the damn thing to connect to the 3g. Whats really sad is my roomate has an old Nokia brickphone and has absolutely no problems with bars or internet on hers, which means vigin mobiles service is complete garbage and actually worse than a 50 dollar plastic piece of crap phone

Im going to wait and see if this datacap thing really goes into effect. If this is the reason for my slow speeds today, then im done with this company for good. I paid them for something that they arnt providing me. Im sick of their false advertising and constantly screwing loyal customers over

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:55

35. KC2FYA (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


I barely make it to 2.0GB most months anyway. I understand that speeds after the 2.5GB threshold will be a maximum of 128Kbps which is what I get on 3G half the time anyway. It would not be the end of the World if I have to accept a few days at the end of my billing cycle at or below 128Kbps, what did man do before the Smartphone?

posted on 09 May 2014, 00:56

36. zotob (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 May 2014)


This is why the usa is picked on for DATA and internet, its just rich people staying rich, Which WILL end one day. I have a friend in the UK that gets quicker speeds on his phone than I do for home internet!

I have Virgin Mobile and it was awesome at first speeds around 20Mbps yes amazing, about 3 weeks ago its down too 0.01...... and its a new month. but I'll be going to AIO which does have a cap but at least not only 2.5GB so sad. UK is already working on 5G and GOOGLE FIBRE for internet has speeds up too 1000Mbps down and upload for $70 a month! time too catch up to 2014 American.

posted on 16 May 2014, 09:20

37. KC2FYA (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


Here is the actual wording direct from Boost Mobile's Terms & Conditions;

With select plans and product offers, Boost Mobile will reduce throughput speeds when monthly data usage exceeds the plan applicable high-speed monthly data threshold. Customers will continue to have data access but maximum speeds (including video) will be limited to 2G speeds of 56-128Kbps for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle. During this time, slower page loads, downloads and degraded streaming media will be experienced. Throughput speeds will be restored when the new monthly plan cycle begins.

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