Starting today, October 9, 2015, Virgin Mobile customers will not be charged for data used when listening to popular streaming music services including Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker Radio. That means Virgin Mobile users will have access to unlimited music streaming regardless of their data plan. Even if you have a data-free music plan with low 3G/4G data limits, the streaming music services listed above will not be counted against your usage. That’s great news for customers. It will be interesting to see if other mobile carriers adopt the same rules. Perhaps Virgin followed the path of the T-Mobile Music Freedom plan launched late last year which includes other popular streaming service like Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Music. Fans can now enjoy more music without having to worry about exceeding their data limit.
Virgin Mobile plans to offer the Data-Free Music plans in three tiers. You will be able to sign up for any of the following plans and receive unlimited streaming access to Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker Radio without it counting against your 3G/4G data limit.
- 1 GB 3G/4G + unlimited data, talk and text – $35
- 3 GB 3G/4G + unlimited data, talk and text – $45
- 8 GB 3G/4G + unlimited data, talk and text – $55
Those who need more high speed (3G/4G) usage can add a data pack to their monthly plan. You can add 1 GB for $5 or 2 GB for $10. Regardless of which plan you choose, Virgin Mobile won’t count your music streaming against you. They are starting with Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker Radio. You can tweet @virginmobileusa and let them know your favorite streaming music service. Perhaps they will add more options in the months to come. I’d love yo see them add Spotify and Apple Music.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, T-Mobile rolled out their Music Freedom plan late last year. T-Mobile supports a wide range of steaming music services including Apple Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, Beatport, Spotify, Slacker, Radical.FM, 8tracks, Samsung Milk Music, Black Planet, Songza, Rdio, Radio Paradise, AccuRadio, SoundCloud, Saavn, Digitally Imported, JAZZRADIO.com, ROCKRADIO.com, RadioTunes, radioPup, radio.com, Mad Genius Radio, Groove Music, Live365, Fresca Radio, Google Music, Fit Radio, SiriusXM, Tidal Music, MixRadio, and BandCamp. However, the T-Mobile plans come at a higher price. Let’s take a look:
- 1 GB 4G + unlimited talk, text, and data – $50
- 3 GB 4G + unlimited talk, text, and data – $60
- 5 GB 4G + unlimited talk, text, and data – $70
- Unlimited 4G (slower after 23 GB) + unlimited talk, text, and data – $80
As you can see the T-Mobile Music Freedom plans are priced quite a bit higher than the new Virgin Mobile Data-Free Music plans. Music fans will need to consider which streaming services they plan to use. If Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker Radio has you covered then Virgin Mobile is a great choice. Otherwise it might be worth the additional cost to go with T-Mobile. I suspect in the future Virgin Mobile will expand their offerings. You might want to keep an eye on their site for a full list of supported services in the future.
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