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Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile USA will let heavy users buy more data

The two prepaid wireless carriers are offering a 1-gigabyte option for $5, and 2GB for $10.

Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA customers who go over their monthly data limits have their connection dramatically slowed to dial-up-like levels. Boost Mobile

For heavy data users who tend to hit their limits, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA have a new option to get you back up to speed.

Customers of the prepaid wireless services who exceed their monthly allotment of data have their connection dramatically slowed to 2G dial-up-like levels from their normal 3G or 4G speeds, which are more akin to traditional broadband. To remedy this, Boost and Virgin Mobile -- which are both units of Sprint and provide no-contract plans -- are offering the option to buy additional data.

An extra $5 will get you 1 gigabyte of data, while $10 will get you 2GB.

The amount of data smartphone users consume has gained more attention as people stream more movies and upload photos to each other. T-Mobile recently changed its family plan option to give each member 10GB of data, but took away an unlimited-data plan option. Sprint's unlimited-data plan may see a price increase, and AT&T is facing a $100 million fine by the FCC because of slowing down its customers' grandfathered unlimited-data plans.

"Customers are hungry for more high-speed data, and with studies showing U.S. consumers' monthly data consumption growing two-, three- and fourfold over the last three years, we're giving customers the option to get more," Doug Smith, product marketing director at Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, said in a statement.

This offering comes at a time where other prepaid wireless carriers like Metro PCS, a unit of T-Mobile, and Cricket Wireless, a unit of AT&T, are bulking up their options.