Virgin Mobile Slashes Rate Plan

Sure, there’s a recession-depression on. But that doesn’t mean cell phone bills need to cause angina, if Tier 2 operators have anything to do with it. Virgin Mobile USA is the latest “value brand” to slash its flat-rate calling plan to a nice round $50 number.

The $50 all-you-can-eat calling plan was previously $80 per month, but Virgin Mobile is responding to increasing price pressure in the market – a pressure some say will spark a veritable price war.

Budget-conscious regional operators MetroPCS and Leap Wireless both offer unlimited prepaid calling for $50 per month and lower. T-Mobile USA Inc. is exploring the $50 flat-fee world with trials. And Boost Mobile, which like Virgin Mobile is an MVNO on the Sprint-Nextel Corp. network, has been offering a $50 flat-rate plan for a while now.

Virgin Mobile seems to be carving out a niche as recession-ready: It also has debuted a three-month waiver of phone bills for laid-off subscribers.

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