Virgin Mobile is trimming down its range of postpaid plans, with five aimed at smartphone buyers and two for your text-shy, browser-nervous elderly relatives. What do the new plans offer?
Virgin is dumping its previous 'Easy Cap' and 'Smart Cap' brandings in favour of two main postpaid brands: 'Fair Go' and 'Big Cap'. The four 'Fair Go Plans' can be paired with most of Virgin's phone offerings, although you'll continue to pay extra handset charges for newer models. $29 gets you $190 in call credit and 250MB of data; $39 scores $300 in call credit and 500MB of data; $49 gets 2GB and $400 in credit; and $69 offers 3GB and $700 in credit.
The 'Big Plans' offer $450 in calls and text credit, plus 250MB of data; the $39 variant offers $650 in credit plus 500MB of data. That sounds like better value than the 'Fair Go' equivalents, but the range of phones you can pair with the deal is more limited (Virgin is aiming those plans at traditional call-and-text users rather than smartphone buyers).
The Topless unlimited plan hasn't changed its features (4GB of data and unlimited Australian calls), but is now $89 wherever you buy it; previously, it was $99 in store, or $89 if purchased online.
Two of Virgin's more distinctive features in the local market -- no charges for voicemail calls and the ability to roll over unused credit on all its plans -- remain across the board. The plans all use the Optus network (Optus owns Virgin but operates it as a separate brand); depending on Optus reception in your area, that could be a major consideration. As ever with Virgin, you're stuck with a 24-month commitment.
As of this writing, the new plan details haven't hit the Virgin site, but they should appear there on Wednesday this week. Overall, they don't represent a massive change to the value proposition, but the trimming down of what was an exhausting-to-process set of plan options is welcome.