Like your prepaid wireless plan, but wish it had shared data? Virgin is entering the shared data wilderness with new prepaid plans at Walmart. That’s the kicker, you have to go to Walmart to take advantage.

Pricing is competitive, and actually cheaper than my AT&T plan. Starting Saturday, January 17, you can hit your local Walmart for a choice of four smartphones with the data sharing app preloaded.

The HTC Desire ($99.88), LG Tribute ($79.88), LG Volt ($149.88) and the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime ($129.88) will all feature the Virgin Mobile data-sharing application. If you don’t like those phones, stay patient until the end of February when more will be added.

Data plans start at $65 per month for 4GB of data plus unlimited talk and text. Three lines will set you back $90 per month for 8GB and four lines at $115 for 12GB of data. An additional GB can be added via the app for $10.

4G data will not cover all video-streaming sites, with some dipping to 3G speeds. If 4G coverage isn’t available, the phones will switch to data over 3G. Customers hitting the cap will be throttled to 2G until more data is added via the app.

For $5 extra per month, you can add popular social media and music-streaming apps for unlimited surfing. Just note the fine print on this one – it applies to only one device.

Virgin Mobile is promising no additional monthly fees, parental control features and flexible international options for those digital nomads among us.

If you only need one line, Virgin is unveiling a new $45 plan that offers unlimited talk and text plus 2.5GB of data. Walmart is loving the new offering from Virgin Mobile.

“At Walmart, we know our no-contract wireless customers are looking for some of the same experiences as contract wireless users—including high performing smartphones available on great plans at great prices,” said Mehrdad Akbar, vice president of wireless, connected home, wearables, and tablets at Walmart. “We are always seeking ways to innovate for our customers, which is why we’ve worked closely with Virgin Mobile to offer exclusive new plans such as data sharing.”

My question? With T-Mobile offering unlimited data on some of their plans, how much longer until we see the return of no caps? I miss those days, and for whatever reason, I like watching Netflix on my phone.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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