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2 Reasons Why Now is a Good Time to Go Prepaid - T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile

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For just $40 a month, customers can get unlimited talk and text on T-Mobile's network without having to sign a contract. The $40-per-month Simply Prepaid plan includes 1 GB of data, while the $50 and $60 tiers include 3 GB and 5 GB respectively.

"Prepaid customers have been forced to accept a second-rate wireless experience for far too long," says T-Mobile. "That's why T-Mobile is bringing the best in wireless to prepaid. No more slow data speeds. No more spotty networks. And no more settling for second-rate phones."

Over on Sprint's Virgin Mobile network, what's being called the first prepaid variant of a shared data plan has now been launched. The Data Done Right share plan enables consumers to add lines without additional monthly "line" fees and "buy up" to a larger data tier at a cost of $10 per month for a 1 GB.

The Data Done Right plans also include an app that partners can use to monitor their pools of shared data. The plans also include a curfew feature with which parents can restrict apps usage during set periods of the day.

Right now, the Data Done Right plans are being offered exclusively at Walmart. The shared plans start out at $65 per month for two lines and can go up to $115 for four handsets.

The two-line tier includes unlimited talk and text, along with 4 GB of 4G LTE data. The three line tier steps the data up to 8 GB and the four-line plan moves it up to 12 GB of shared data.

The introduction of shared data to the prepaid world is part of Virgin Mobile's commitment to innovating in the sector, says Angela Rittgers, vice president-Sprint Prepaid.

"We were the first prepaid carrier to offer texting keyboards and texting-only plans, first to help customers pay less for talk they weren't using, the first to feature a totally customized plan, and now the first data sharing plans. The new data sharing plans bring some of the most aggressive shared-line plans ever launched to Walmart," says Rittgers.

Along with the introduction of Data Done Right, Virgin Mobile also announced changes to its individual plans. The two revised calling plans for individuals are being offered exclusively at Walmart.

The $35-per-month plan now includes 300 minutes of talk, unlimited text and unlimited data 2.5 GB -- after 2.5 GB of data has been consumed, the speeds are throttled. The $45 plan includes unlimited calling, unlimited text and unlimited data that's throttled after 2.5 GB of data has been consumed.

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