Virgin Mobile unveils smart caps with unlimited free texts

New cap plans designed for smartphones

Virgin Mobile today unveiled its latest range of cap plans, which the company has tailored to users of Internet-enabled smartphones.

Called "smart caps," the plans include unlimited standard text messages to any mobile number in Australia, a minimum 1GB monthly data allowance and unlimited free calls to any other Virgin Mobile number.

The entry-level smart cap starts at $29 and includes $50 worth of cap credit and 1GB of data, while the top-end smart cap is $109 and includes $1000 worth of cap credit and 4GB of data.

Any unused monthly cap credit on the new smart caps can be rolled over once into the next month, and is used once the following month's cap credit is exhausted. Included data can't be rolled over and expires at the end of the monthly billing period. Voice calls are charged at 99c per minute with a 40c flagfall. A fair use policy applies for both text messaging and free calls.

Monthly cost Included data Cap credit Minimum cost
(over 24 months)
$29 1GB $50 $696
$39 1.5GB $160 $936
$49 2GB $270 $1176
$59 2.5GB $380 $1416
$69 3GB $450 $1656
$89 3.5GB $650 $2136
$109 4GB $1000 $2616

Virgin Mobile marketing director Anthony Hearne said smartphones should no longer be considered devices with high-end price points. "Smartphones are really taking off Australia now. This trend, coupled with a need for people to stay constantly connected, is driving an increasing demand for text and data allowances," he said.

Virgin also released two new smartphones: the Samsung Wave and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro. The Samsung Wave runs the Samsung's new open source Bada operating system. The Google Android–based XPERIA X10 Mini Pro is a similar handset to the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini but features a physical, slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Virgin refused to comment on pricing of the upcoming iPhone 4, which is set to launch in Australia late this month. The handset is likely to be available on one of the higher priced smart caps when it is released.

For more information, visit Virgin Mobile's Web site.

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Ross Catanzariti

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