Boost Mobile today listed the new ZTE Max+ for sale on its web site. The spec bump improves the memory, processor, and battery compared to original Max. The internal storage memory has been boosted from 8 GB to 16, and the RAM has also been doubled, from 1 GB to 2. The processor has been updated to the newer Snapdragon 410. The embedded battery receives a modest boost from the already-large 3,200 mAh up to 3,400 mAh. The design is also updated, featuring a rounded gold back. Other specs are similar, including the huge 5.7-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel main camera, 1-megapixel front camera, and memory card slot. The Max+ runs Android 5.1 and supports HD Voice. Like the original Max, the Max+ supports 4G LTE, but only in the primary band of the Sprint network, not the two other bands necessary for the faster Sprint Spark service. The Max+ is selling for $199, which is $100 less than the original Max at its debut.
ZTE debuted the Axon phone today, a flagship smartphone specifically for the U.S. market. It features top-of-the-line specs and a reasonable price point, considering it is sold unlocked for LTE networks. Here are our first impressions of this new handset from ZTE.
ZTE today announced Passport 1.0, a warranty program for its handsets. Under the terms of Passport 1.0, new devices will enjoy a 2-year warranty for parts and workmanship, 30-day buyer's remorse returns, compatibility with U.S. carriers, and the latest system updates from Google. Passport 1.0 will first be available with the Axon, which goes on sale later this month. ZTE hopes Passport 1.0 will give U.S. consumers more confidence in the brand and coax them into purchasing ZTE's handsets.
ZTE today announced the Axon phone, the first in what will be a line of flagship smartphones. ZTE will use the Axon brand in a way similar to how Samsung uses the Galaxy brand for its best phones. The Axon phone, says ZTE, was "Made in the U.S., for the U.S." The phone had a 5.5-inch quad-HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The Axon is powered by an octa-core 2.0 GHz Snapdragon 810 processor, with an Adreno 450 GPU and 4 GB of system memory. It has 32 GB of built-in storage. ZTE gave the phone a 3,000mAh battery with Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology for speedy recharging. The main camera captures 13-megapixel images and is joined by a 2-megapixel secondary camera to aid in focus and capture depth-of-field data. The main lens has an aperture of f/1.8, can shoot with shutter speeds as quick as 1/90,000th of a second, and captures 4K video. The selfie camera boasts 8-megapixels and an 88-degree field of view. Axon says the phone has high-fidelity sound playback and high-quality audio recording thanks to two microphones and software-based noise suppression techniques. It has two, dedicated chipsets (digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters). The phone was designed with what ZTE calls "Urban Prestige," which it claims "grabs your attention without shouting." The company perceives itself as becoming known for high style. It is made from metal and will be sold in blue, gold, or silver. It will be available via ZTEUSA.com, Amazon, eBay, and Newegg starting July 27. The ZTE Axon, sold unlocked, will cost $449.88. Customers who order soon will receive a free pair of headphones (value $50).
Walmart recently added the ZTE Lever LTE to its lineup of handsets for Straight Talk Wireless. The Lever LTE is a phablet boasting a 6-inch 720p display protected by Gorilla Glass. The phone has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The phone includes Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, and WiFi for connectivity, but it doesn't support mobile hotspots. The Lever LTE has an 8-megapixel main camera with autofocus and video capture, and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera. It supports microSD memory cards up to 32 GB. It packs a 3,200mAh battery and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Walmart is selling the ZTE Lever LTE for $199.
Beginning today, most smartphones sold in the U.S. will include anti-theft security tools. July 1 marks the day by which phone makers and network operators agreed to implement free theft deterrents on smartphones. According to the CTIA, most of the industry has responded by placing remote lock/wipe capabilities on consumer devices. The addition of an activation lock on the Apple iPhone, for example, has dramatically reduced iPhone thefts in major cities. The activation lock prevents a stolen device from being activated by another person, thus making it useless to thieves. Remote wipe features allow people to erase the personal data from their handset if lost/stolen to protect their identity. The major participants in today's action include Apple, AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Microsoft, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and ZTE. "Today's fulfillment of the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment is another example of the wireless industry proactively working together with policymakers and law enforcement to help protect consumers' smartphones in the event they are ever lost or stolen. We will continue to work with all interested parties to continue to deploy new technologies and tools to improve device theft-deterrence tools. We remind consumers to take a few minutes to use PINs, passwords, apps and other device features to protect their mobile devices and personal information." The industry was coerced into acting "voluntarily" when the FCC threatened to make such protective measures mandatory.
Documents spotted on the FCC site reveal more information about ZTE's forthcoming Axon phone. The company has been teasing the device on the web for several weeks and plans to reveal it in full at a July 14 event in New York City. The FCC details the Axon Phone's impressive support for wireless networks, especially AT&T and T-Mobile. For example, it supports LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, and 30 (AT&T's upcoming WCS 2.3GHz coverage). It also includes WCDMA bands 2, 4, and 5, and quad-band GSM. The FCC also reveals the Axon includes excellent support for hearing aids, and NFC. ZTE has already confirmed that the Axon Phone will have a dual-lens camera, 4K video capture, high-fidelity sound playback and audio recording, a fast processor, 4 GB of memory, and a large battery. The phone will be sold in blue, gold, or silver.
Cricket Wireless today said its goods and services will be available at 213 Meijer stores across the midwest beginning June 27. Consumers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky will be able buy prepackaged phone kits from phone makers such as HTC, Samsung, and ZTE. The stores will also sell Cricket's universal SIM card kits for those who already have a compatible device. Cricket Wireless is owned and operated by AT&T.
AT&T's prepaid unit today added the ZTE Maven to its roster of inexpensive handsets. The Maven is a rebadged Overture 2, which is sold by AT&T's Cricket Wireless business. The Maven is an entry-level Android smartphone that it is selling for $59.99. The Maven features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA user-facing camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 32 GB. This handset also has a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 2,100mAh battery. The Maven from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with AT&T's LTE 4G network.
Cricket Wireless has made the ZTE Sonata 2 available on its web site for $29.99. This inexpensive Android smartphone has a 4-inch WVGA screen protected by Dragontrail Glass and it is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. The ZTE Sonata 2 includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera with a dedicated selfie app. The phone has 1 GB of memory and 4 GB of storage, and supports memory cards up to 32 GB. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth, and WiFi. The phone has a 1,650mAh battery providing it with power and supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 1.0 for quicker charging. The Sonata 2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat.
An unnamed company is preparing to announce the "Axon Phone" July 14. A teaser web site provides some preliminary information about the handset, which runs Android. For example, the Axon Phone has a dual-lens camera that the company says assists with focus and allows owners to refocus images after they're taken. The phone can also record video at up to 4K resolution. Axon claims the phone has high-fidelity sound playback and high-quality audio recording thanks to two microphones and noise suppression techniques. Last, the Axon phone has a fast processor, 4 GB of memory, and a large battery. The phone will be sold in blue, gold, or silver. Axon said more details will be revealed next month; however, PCMag was able to dig up some details that shed new light on the Axon Phone. PCMag claims Axon is a "marketing scheme" cooked up by ZTE. ZTE branding and code is clearly seen in the Axon web site. Further, Axon's headquarters shares the same address with ZTE's U.S. headquarters. ZTE mostly sells low-cost handsets via prepaid carriers in the U.S., but has higher ambitions. The Axon Phone may be an attempt by the company to break into the U.S. market with different branding. ZTE hasn't commented on PCMag's assertions.
ZTE today announced the Nubia Z9, a flagship handset that will be sold in the U.S. The Z9's stand-out feature is the 5.2-inch full HD display, which doesn't have a bezel along the side edges. ZTE claims its arc Refractive Conduction Technology makes "dazzling visual effects" possible on the display. The side edges support ZTE's gesture controls, which it calls Frame interactive Technology, such as taking a selfie by squeezing the handset. Other features of the Nubia Z9 include a Snapdragon 810 processor, 16-megapixel camera with OIS, 2,900mAh battery, and Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Z9 will be sold in three versions. The Classic includes 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage for $564; the Elite includes 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage for $645; and the Exclusive includes a fingerprint reader for $725. ZTE said the Nubia Z9 will be available to U.S. consumers online during the third quarter.
Boost Mobile today announced the launch of BoostTV. BoostTV is a video service that offers limited content for free. The video is streamed over Boost's network. Boost is also offering a premium $10 add-on called BoostTV Live Sports. The sports package provides access to a handful of extra channels, including AyM Sports, Azteca America, BeIN Sports, BeIN Sports en Español, Fightbox, Latin American Sports, and TyC. The package also provides access to live soccer matches, such as the upcoming Copa America. BoostTV is available to the HTC Desire, LG Tribute, Motorola E, and the Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy S6. Boost Mobile said more handsets will be supported over time. The BoostTV app itself is free to download from the Google Play Store. Sprint is offering the same Live Sports TV service to its regular, postpaid customers, too. It is available to most Android and iOS smartphones sold by Sprint.
Cricket Wireless today announced the ZTE Overture 2, an entry-level Android smartphone that it is selling for $50. The Overture 2 features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA user-facing camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 32 GB. This updated handset also has a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 2,100mAh battery. The Overture 2 from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with Cricket's LTE 4G network.
Cricket Wireless recently added the ZTE Fanfare to its lineup of inexpensive handsets. The Fanfare has a 4.5-inch screen with 854 x 480 pixels. It is protected by Dragontail glass. The Fanfare is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor and comes with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of ROM. The Fanfare's main camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and can capture 720p HD video, and the user-facing camera has a VGA sensor. A 2,000mAh battery keeps the Fanfare running. The device has Google's Android 4.4 KitKat on board. Walmart is selling the ZTE Fanfare for Cricket Wireless. It is priced at $69.88.
The International Trade Commission today ruled Microsoft improperly used two InterDigital wireless patents without permission. The ruling judge said "it would not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft [phones] from import into the United States." Patent-related complaints are often taken to the ITC, which has the power to enact such bans. This initial ruling, made by a single judge within the ITC, must be upheld by the full commission before any sort of penalty is enforced. InterDigital is a patent-holding firm and has filed similar suits against other phone makers, including ZTE and Samsung. Microsoft did not immediately comment on the decision.
The U.S. ITC today cleared ZTE of violating a phone-related patent held by InterDigital. Late last year, ZTE was found guilty of infringing three different InterDigital patents. InterDigital is a patent-holding firm and has filed similar lawsuits against Nokia and Huawei.
T-Mobile has suspended sales of the ZTE Zmax handset because customers are forcibly removing the non-removable battery. The back panel of the Zmax is clipped - but not glued - on. Some owners have taken to removing the back cover and cutting into the device to replace the battery. Doing this is dangerous, and T-Mobile strongly suggests Zmax owners take their device to a T-Mobile store if the phone is misbehaving. T-Mobile complained to ZTE, which is examining how to remedy the situation. T-Mobile hasn't said if or when it will resume sales of the Zmax.
Nokia today said it has agreed to acquire Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion. The combined companies would be a giant in the telecom equipment space with more than 100,000 employees. The terms of the deal will see Nokia acquire all of Alcatel-Lucent's stock, as traded in both France and the U.S. The companies' boards of directors have approved the deal, though shareholders have yet to vote on the acquisition. The deal will also require regulatory approval. The companies expect the deal to close during the first half of 2016. Once combined, the companies will streamline redundant operations, but believe the 40,000 research and development at its disposal employees will be able to make the company a world leader in the connected IP space. Nokia-Alcatel-Lucent will specifically target the development of 5G wireless networks. The largest competitors remaining are Ericsson and Huawei, though ZTE, Samsung, and others make telecommunications equipment, too. In addition to announcing the Alcatel-Lucent deal, Nokia said it has begun a review of strategic options for its HERE Maps business. Nokia acquired Navteq's mapping business in 2007 and turned it into a competitive global company. Nokia's HERE Maps are available to the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms, as well as online, and provide robust driving, walking, and transit directions. Nokia said its review of HERE Maps may or may not result in a transaction.
Via Licensing today said that Google has added its LTE patents to its broader pool of LTE patents. Via Licensing collects wireless patents from a broad range of companies with the intent of licensing them at fair and reasonable rates. Google is the latest to add its intellectual property to the pool, which already has patents from AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, ZTE, and others. Google gained ownership of some 17,000 patents when it acquired Motorola in 2012. Via Licensing says any patent holder is welcome to contribute patents to its growing collection.
Total Wireless, an MVNO, recently launched exclusively in Walmart stores. The prepaid service provider offers a handful of low-cost, no-contract plans in addition to a limited lineup of smartphones. The entry-level plan, for example, costs $25 per month and offers unlimited calling and messaging, but no data. Adding $10 buys access to 2.5GB of data. The company also offers shared data plans for two, three, or four lines for $60, $85, and $110, respectively. These plans include 5GB, 9GB, and 12GB of shared data, respectively. The company also offers a data rollover add-on for an extra $10 per month. Total Wireless' handsets include entry-level devices from Alcatel OneTouch, Motorola, Samsung, and ZTE. Total Wireless has not named its carrier partner, but based on the coverage map it is likely Verizon Wireless.
ZTE today announced the Grand S 3, their new flagship phone for China. The most innovative feature of the phone is new technology that uses the front camera to actually scan your retina for security a step above fingerprints, according to the company. It gets a good look inside your eye by turing most of the screen white to illuminate the inside of your eye, while having you look at a green line that bounces up and down, to help the camera see a larger vertical section of your retina. It requires an 8-megapixel front camera to work well. In demos, it took around two seconds to unlock the phone this way. The same technology could be used anywhere fingerprints are currently used in mobile, such as adding security to mobile payment apps. ZTE indicated it may bring the feature to phones around the world in the future, including the U.S.
A court today said Nokia and ZTE did not violate patents held by InterDigital, a patent licensing firm. InterDigital had filed a case against the two phone makers with the International Trade Commission. The ITC said Nokia and ZTE were in the clear, and InterDigital appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the ITC's decision. Nokia and ZTE were cleared on the charges of violating four patents, while a fifth InterDigital patent was tossed. Microsoft said it was pleased with the ruling and InterDigital said it was disappointed. InterDigital beat ZTE in a similar case last year, and is still awaiting a separate trial against Microsoft in Delaware.
T-Mobile plans to make some of its handsets compatible with its 700MHz spectrum through a software update. Today, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge can use LTE on T-Mobile's 700MHz spectrum. T-Mobile said it will provide the system update to the Motorola Nexus 6 in the early part of 2015, followed by the Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy Avant in May, and the ZTE Max later this year. Two tablets and T-Mobile's Z915 LTE 4G Hotspot also support the 700MHz airwaves. T-Mobile is supplementing its AWS-based LTE network with its 700MHz holdings in select markets around the country. The company is still in the process of deploying LTE to all its 700MHz spectrum.
ZTE unveiled a new version of its hotspot projector today with several improvements on board. This device can project a 720p HD image or video up to 120 inches large (across the diagonal) onto a wall or screen. At 200 lumens, it's twice as bright as the first-generation device, and it can connect to smartphones, tablets, and laptops via Bluetooth, HDMI, or USB. The device has its own Android operating system with a 5-inch touch screen and a refined user interface that makes it easier to use. ZTE said it can be used to stream just about any content directly from the web, including Google Play Store purchases, such as movies and television shows. The device is powered by a 2.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, has 2GB of ROM, 16GB of internal storage, and supports microSDXC cards up to 2TB. The battery is good for three hours of projection time, or up to 10 hours as a mobile hotspot. ZTE said the device will be sold by the nation's two largest carriers at some point during the second quarter of the year. Pricing wasn't disclosed.
Here is a quick take on ZTE's new hero phone for Cricket Wireless as well as a peek at the new mobile hotspot projector.
ZTE and Cricket Wireless today announced the Grand X Max+, an Android smartphone that boasts a 6.0-inch display and premium design. ZTE has improved the materials and build quality and packed it into a phone measuring 7.87mm thick. The Grand X Max+ offers high-end features that are available at an affordable price point. The large display offers 720p HD resolution and the phone is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It supports memory cards up to 32GB. The Grand X Max+ includes a 3,200mAh battery with Qualcomm's QuickCharge 1.0 technology, and it supports LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. The main camera rates 13 megapixels and the user-facing camera rates 5 megapixels and features a wide viewing angle. The phone runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The ZTE Grand X Max+ reaches Cricket stores Jan. 9. It will cost $199.99 without a contract.
Boost Mobile today announced the ZTE Speed, an affordable Android smartphone with a 4.5-inch screen and a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor. The Speed runs Android 4.4 KitKat and comes with a 5-megapixel main camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel user-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. The phone supports memory cards up to 32GB. Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, LTE with HD Voice, mobile hotspot, and a 2,000mAh battery. The ZTE Speed is available from BoostMobile.com starting today for $99.99. It will reach Boost Mobile retail stores in early January. Boost does not require contracts and service plans start at $35.
T-Mobile today added the ZTE Zinger to its lineup of prepaid phones. The Zinger, which is the same as the Z667 sold by AT&T, is an affordable Android smartphone with a 3.5-inch screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and 2.0-megapixel camera. The phone supports Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi, but not LTE 4G. It comes with Android 4.4 KitKat and costs about $50 before adding service.
ZTE has decided to reduce the number of devices it will bring to market during 2015. Rather than flood the market with a range of handsets, ZTE will focus on just a few devices that offer its core experience. Zeng Xuezhong, CEO of ZTE's phone business, told the China Daily Report, "We had a large volume in the market, but it did not help increase our brand value. We have introduced a strategy to increase the value - instead of the volume - of our products by focusing on developing core technology in major devices. There will be more products equipped with high technology that will be launched next year, which will help boost our presence in the high-end mobile industry." ZTE has long sold entry-level and mid-range devices in the U.S., most often through prepaid providers. Recently, it offered higher-quality handsets in the ZMax and XMax. ZTE didn't say when it intends to next launch new smartphones for the U.S. market.
ZTE today announced a new marketing partnership with the New York Knicks basketball team. Moving forward, ZTE will be the official smartphone provider for the Knicks. The company said it hopes to increase the visibility of its brand, as well as connect with Knicks basketball fans and help those fans better connect with the Knicks. The company will have signage within Madison Square Garden and in-game promos, such as seat upgrades. The partnership doesn't pertain to a specific device and will be used to market a range of handsets over the course of the year.
Cricket Wireless today announced the ZTE X Max, the second big-screened phone to join the prepaid carrier's ranks. The X Max features a 6-inch 720p HD screen and 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. The main camera rates 8 megapixels with an LED flash and HD video capture, and the user-facing camera rates 1 megapixel. The X Max includes 8GB of internal storage and supports memory cards up to 32GB. It runs Android 4.4. KitKat. The phone comes with the Peel Smart Remote app, which allows owners to discover TV content directly on their handset. The ZTE X Max goes on sale online and in stores October 10 and will cost $200. For a limited time, Cricket is offering a $100 bill credit to customers who switch from MetroPCS or T-Mobile.
At an event in NYC tonight, ZTE announced the ZMax, an affordable, large-screen phone for T-Mobile USA. The phone comes at a time when ZTE is trying to escape its low-tier reputation in the U.S. The company will be putting its own brand on all phones instead of white-labeling many. Is this phone the one to help ZTE make a name for itself? Read on for our impressions.
ZTE today announced the ZMax, a large-screen phone exclusive to T-Mobile in the U.S. The ZMax has a 5.7-inch HD screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 8-megapixel camera with flash, 1.6-megapixel front camera, large 3400 mAh battery, and runs Android 4.4. It also sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor, 16 GB of internal memory, and a memory card slot. Unlike many previous ZTE phones, the ZMax is fully ZTE-branded. It will go on sale September 24 for $252 (full retail), or $10.50/month on a payment plan.
ZTE today announced that, going forward, all of its phones for the U.S. market will carry the ZTE brand. Many of its previous phones were carrier-branded, such as the Boost Warp 4G and T-Mobile Concord II.
Boost Mobile today announced the ZTE Warp Sync, an inexpensive Android handset for Sprint's pre-paid network. The Warp Sync features a 5-inch display with Gorilla Glass 2 and a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor from Qualcomm with 2GB of RAM. The Warp Sync includes an 8-megapixel main camera and a 1.6-megapixel user-facing camera. According to Boost Mobile, the Warp Sync is the first handset from ZTE capable of accessing Sprint Spark and offering HD Voice. Other specs include a 2,300mAh battery, mobile hotspot, Mobile ID packs, and Android 4.4 KitKat. The ZTE Warp Sync is available online beginning today for $180. It will reach Boost Mobile stores September 1. Boost Mobile does not require contracts.
ZTE today announced it is bringing the Nubia 5S mini with LTE to the U.S. The 5S mini is a compact handset that's part of ZTE's premium line of Android smartphones. It has a 4.7-inch 720p HD IGZO display from Sharp, and it is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor with an Adreno 305 GPU. The phone is equipped with a 13-megapixel main camera and a bevy of advanced controls for focus, light metering, and white balance. The five-element f/2.2 lens is protected by sapphire, and the camera has three shooting modes: Fun, Auto, and Pro. The 5S mini has a 5-megapixel user-facing camera, too, and can capture 720p HD video. Other hardware features include 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a memory card slot; Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and support for AT&T/T-Mobile LTE; and a 2,000mAh battery. ZTE is offering the Nubia 5S mini with LTE directly to consumers via Amazon, where the device costs $280 and ships unlocked. The phone is available for order today, and ships starting August 27.
The U.S. ITC recently upheld an earlier ruling that found ZTE innocent of violating patents held by Interdigital. Interdigital alleged that ZTE infringed on select patents related to mobile technology. The ITC made its initial determination clearing ZTE of wrongdoing in June. This week's decision puts the matter to rest. The ITC cleared ZTE in a separate case against Interdigital in December. ZTE said it was pleased with the ITC's decision and is committed to protecting its intellectual property. Patent-holding firms such as Interdigital often use litigation to generate revenue.
A U.S. court today handed Vringo a defeat in its patent claims against Google and other companies. Earlier, Vringo won a guilty verdict against Google over how search results are filtered. Google appealed and today's decision effectively overturns the earlier verdict. The court declared both Vringo's patents invalid and tossed the case. Vringo said it is evaluating its options. There's no word from Google yet about its exoneration. Vringo purchased the rights to a wide swath of mobile technology patents from Nokia in 2012 and has sued several companies, including Google and ZTE, in order to protect its intellectual property.
Virgin Mobile USA's Custom plans launched at Walmart stores today. The plans, which were announced last month, allow customers to add only the service they want and alter their service day-by-day if they need to in order to manage their expenses. Virgin Mobile Custom allows families to activate up to five lines on a single account starting at $6.98 per line. The Base plan includes 20 texts and 20 voice minutes per month. Customers can choose to add unlimited texting for $10 or unlimited voice for $18. The Unlimited talk and text plan costs $35 per month. Customers can also choose select add-ons, such as unlimited access to Facebook or music streaming, which can be added monthly at as needed. Virgin Mobile Custom plans are available to three devices, including the ZTE Emblem, the LG Pulse, and the LG Unify, at select Walmart stores.