Virgin ups quota on postpaid broadband

news Optus subsidiary, Virgin Mobile, has announced it is refreshing its suite of Postpaid Mobile Broadband plans.

According to a media release issued by the company yesterday, Virgin Mobile has increased the data allocation on all its 12-month contract plans. The $19 plan now has a data allowance of 2GB as against 1.5GB, at minimum cost $228, while the $29, $39, $59 plans come with 6, 12 and 18GB data, at minimum costs of $348, $468 and $708 respectively, in place of the earlier 4GB, 10GB, and 14GB data per month allowance.The $49 for 12GB plan has been dropped by Virgin.

Virgin claimed that according to its research, 75 percent of Australians were dissatisfied with their current mobile broadband plan and wanted better value. “Aussies have been calling out for better value Mobile Broadband plans and we’re pleased to be able to deliver outstanding value and great coverage across Australia on the [Optus] Open Network, as well as a host of other Virgin Mobile benefits,” said Virgin Mobile marketing director David Scribner.

The $19 plan comes with the USB dongle only; a Wi-Fi hotspot device costs an extra $7 per month. A free USB modem or Wi-Fi hotspot is included in all plans $29 and above. Two months’ free access is available with the Wi-Fi modem on the $29 plan; three months’ free access is available with the USB modem on the $29 plan; three months’ free access fee is also available with any modem on the $39 and $59 plans. Customers can avail themselves of the free access offer till April 30th. This offer is for new services and is only available online.

There are no excess data charges associated with any of the plans. Once a customer exceeds the monthly quota, Virgin throttles speed to 128Kbps for the next 250MB and beyond that, service is blocked until the first day of the next usage period, unless a data top-up is done. All usage is charged per kilobyte and not per megabyte, so there is no payment for unused data.

Lifehacker reported that the revamped plans would apply for both new and existing contract customers.Though members would be automatically rolled over “in the coming months”, it was possible for the change to be applied the same day by calling 1300 555 100. The new plans were not available in the Northern Territory and Tasmania (except for Hobart). Further details are available at Virgin’s website.


  1. Where is this media release? I’ve been all over Virgin’s website but cannot find it.

    • Mind you, you could still rack up a $500 excess data charge in only 33 minutes! Not so good after all…

        • There are too many examples on Whirlpool of Virgin bill shock to dismiss this issue lightly. In those cases, it’s common for customers who have not used their phones overnight to wake up next morning with a $5000 bill for excess data charges, and their phones cut off. If that sort of thing can happen in only 8 hours, then $500 in less than an hour does not seem so ridiculous.

          I (and my wife) both need new phones, but until Virgin addresses this issue more sincerely, I will not be signing with them.

          It seems to me that they have NOT eliminated the potential for bill shock, but have left this lucrative little money earner in place.

          Until they reduce their excess data charges, and/or implement hard data caps, I’ll be looking at other providers. A company the size of Virgin can do much better than this.

        • Matthew, I regret to differ. What you say applies to Virgin’s wireless Internet plans, but not their mobile phone plans.

          I’ve re-examined all of their postpaid mobile phone plans (postpaid, BYO and iPhone), but they ALL still retain the following nasty little surprise at footnote 3 or 4: “Additional (data) usage charged at 0.2c per KB”. There’s no mention of throttling or capping in any of them. The situation is even worse than what I thought immediately after reading the article – basically for mobile phone users, nothing has changed.

          Given that the picture shows a user holding a mobile phone (picture presumably supplied by Virgin), it appears that they have set out to deliberately trick people into thinking they are finally safe from mobile phone bill shock, when nothing could be further from the truth!

          Given also that broadband data and mobile phone data use essentially the same infrastructure, how on earth can Virgin justify such radically different pricing models for phone vs. Internet data? Or is the dodgy metering and outrageous overcharging for ALLEGED excess mobile phone data a scam which is too lucrative to give up?

          The more I see of all Virgin’s shenanigans on this issue, the more disgusted I am. Totally pathetic.

  2. My point was downloading $500 of excess in 33 minutes it not possible on the Optus network as it’s so slow. As for data caps/excess usage fees, I agree, the problem is there is no point going to another provider as no telco in this country offers data that is capped on post paid accounts, thats what pre paid is good for :)

    • Yeah, everyone is saying prepaid, so I guess that’s the way to go. It’s a pity that the telcos haven’t sorted this out, because it could be so simple if they put their minds to it. Cheers.

    • $500 in 33 minutes is only 1Mbps and is quite achievable. While no other provider offers data limiting on postpaid accounts, most others charge much less than $2000/GB for excess data.

Comments are closed.