It looks like budget-focused Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA is taking a page out of T-Mobile's book. Starting on Friday, the carrier will allow users to access certain streaming music services without taking the requisite hit to their data caps. The selection is a bit paltry at the moment (and notably lacking in both Google Play Music and Apple's Music service), but fans of Pandora Radio, Slacker, and iHeart Radio should be glad to hear that they can listen to practically unlimited amounts of music while they're out and about without incurring an extra charge.

Virgin Mobile is also reshuffling its phone plans. Customers now have the choice between the base plan with 500 minutes, unlimited text, and no data for $25, or increasing buckets of 1GB for $35, 3GB for $45, or 8GB for $55. All "unlimited" data plans (which cut you down to 2G speeds once you hit the oxymoronic limit) have no cap on talk or text. All plans except the base include unlimited music streaming on those three services.

Those plans are up from 250MB, 1GB, and 3GB at their respective levels, so it's quite a bump for the same price. Of course, you'll still have to choose from Virgin's rather limited selection of smartphones (most of which are at least a year old) and deal with piggybacking on Sprint's network, which isn't exactly the most robust in the country.

Press Release

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Music lovers, rejoice! Beginning Friday, Oct. 9, Virgin Mobile USA1 is unveiling limitless music streaming2 as iHeartRadio, Pandora and Slacker Radio now stream data-free on Virgin Mobile plans.

Virgin Mobile Plans

$35/month

1GB high-speed 3G/4G data
unlimited data3, talk and text

Streaming music unlimited
without data charges

$45/month

3GB high-speed 3G/4G data
unlimited data3, talk and text

Streaming music unlimited
without data charges

$55/month

8GB high-speed 3G/4G data
unlimited data3, talk and text

Streaming music unlimited
without data charges

Talk & Text – $25/month
Wi-Fi access4 only, 500 talk minutes and unlimited text

Hot Tunes

Music partners include:

  • iHeartRadio is the only all-in-one streaming music and digital radio service that features thousands of live radio stations from across the country, interruption-free custom stations based on an artist or song, and on-demand podcasts available 24/7, everywhere listeners are – all for free.
  • Pandora streams more music than any other service in the world based on a simple, enduring focus: to effortlessly connect each listener to the music they love. Create personalized stations that play only your favorite music based on your favorite artist, songs or genres and then let Pandora do the rest.
  • Slacker Radio is next-generation personalized radio, allowing music lovers to choose from the broadest selection of human-curated music, news, and sports stations that are personalized to their taste. Listeners can also create their own stations from a catalog of songs ten times as large as the leading service. Slacker can be accessed for free from virtually any mobile device and most new car models.

Visit www.virginmobileusa.com/datafreemusic/ for updates as more music partners are added.

“The launch of our new plans with limitless music demonstrates Virgin Mobile’s continued commitment to consumers of offering innovative offers that provide value and a unique experience,” said Angela Rittgers, vice president-Virgin Mobile USA.

Virgin Mobile USA Smartphone Lineup Expands

Virgin Mobile is also adding three new smartphones capable of taking advantage of free streaming music, including:

  • HTC Desire 626s, priced at $129.99 (plus tax) and available now at www.virginmobileusa.com, comes loaded with a 5-inch, 720p HD touchscreen display, latest version of Android™ 5.1, Lollipop, and an 8-megapixel, rear-facing camera.
  • Huawei Union, priced at $79.99 (plus tax) and available now at Best Buy and on Oct. 13 at www.virginmobileusa.com, comes equipped with the latest version of Android™ 5.1, Lollipop, a large 4.5-inch touchscreen display and a 5-megapixel, rear-facing camera.
  • The new Moto G (third generation) by Motorola, priced at $149.99 (plus tax) and available now at www.virginmobileusa.com, is durable and water-resistant with a 13-megapixel, rear-facing camera, 5-inch HD TFT touchscreen display with Corning® Gorilla®Glass 3, and the latest version of Android™ 5.1, Lollipop.

Check out these and the entire phone lineup at www.virginmobileusa.com/shop/cell-phones.

About Virgin Mobile USA

Virgin Mobile USA5, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, offers control, flexibility and connectivity to value-seeking customers through a variety of no-contract wireless plans on the Nationwide Sprint® Network with LTE and Enhanced LTE service (where available)6. Virgin Mobile offers a diverse selection of iconic smartphones. Experience Virgin Mobile on the Web at virginmobileusa.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

1Virgin Mobile has no annual contracts; service subject to certain terms.
2Limitless Music: Some streaming partners may require paid subscription or assess other fees. Cloud streaming, song downloads, video content, non-audio content and other data sent by streaming partners (e.g., pic advertisements, album art) excluded. Hotspot data not included. Available from select content providers. Visit http://www.virginmobileusa.com/datafreemusic/ and check list as more services may be added.
3Data: Once plan’s applicable high-speed data threshold reached, speeds reduced to 2G speeds for remainder of plan cycle. Data packs available for select plans/devices only & expire when depleted or 30 days from purchase date.
4Mobile data not included nor available with this plan.
5Virgin and the Virgin signature logo are registered trademarks of Virgin Enterprises Limited and are used under license.
6Nationwide Sprint LTE network reaches over 270 million people. The Enhanced LTE network reaches 125 million people on devices with enabled tri-band LTE capability. Visit www.sprint.com/coverage for info.