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Sprint's Common Cents plan to become Virgin Mobile PayLo

The prepaid Common Cents brand apparently hasn't been making Sprint quite enough cents. Existing users will merge into a Virgin Mobile plan in May.


Sprint will discontinue its Common Cents prepaid plan, CNET learned today, and will instead transition existing customers into the PayLo plan run by Virgin Mobile, a different Sprint prepaid brand.

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Sprint expands Common Cents service

Sprint and Wal-Mart launched Common Cents as an in-store brand last May to compete against retail handsets like TracFone's StraightTalk brand, but the program wasn't rolled out nationally. Existing Common Cents customers will join Virgin Mobile this May, cutting off the plan's lifespan at one year.

"Current Common Cents customers need not make any change, but will now have access to more options for plans and handsets under payLo as well, a Sprint spokeswoman told CNET in an e-mail. "Common Cents is due to move out of Wal-Mart in mid May; those pegs will be taken over by Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk plans, which have already seen solid success in Wal-Mart."

Sprint is promising an automatic shift for current customers, and will continue offering 7-cent-per-minute calls, plus access to Virgin Mobile top-up cards to refresh minutes. There is some information of the Common Cents Web site, and Sprint has promised more details in the coming weeks.

In addition to Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile and Assurance Wireless are also Sprint prepaid brands.

[Via Fierce Wireless]

Article updated at 1:11pm PT: With a quote from Sprint.