Wal-Mart Launches Mobile Phone Plan - InformationWeek

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Wal-Mart Launches Mobile Phone Plan

T-Mobile providing service for the no-contract $45 monthly unlimited talk and text plan.

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Wal-Mart Stores has launched a mobile phone plan under its own brand, expanding its offerings in the low-cost cell-phone market.

Wal-Mart Family Mobile, introduced Monday, offers unlimited talking and texting for $45 a month, with each additional line costing $25 a month. T-Mobile USA is the network service provider.

The new plan, available only in the U.S., does not require a long-term service contract. It will be offered starting Sept. 20 at all of Wal-Mart's nearly 2,500 stores.

In launching the plan, Wal-Mart is targeting families with budgets that are too tight for many plans offered by carriers. "This plan provides families with the flexibility to connect with each other without surprise charges," Greg Hall, VP of merchandising at Wal-Mart, said in a statement.

The plan offers data in buckets, rather than for a monthly fee. The first 100 MB are at no additional charge. Subscribers who need more data can pay $10 for 200 MB, $25 for 500 MB, or $40 for 1,000 MB. International calls to several countries start at 5 cents per minute.

Wal-Mart said it would offer mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung, including phones running Google's Android operating system. The devices would range in price from the Nokia 1661 for $34.96 to the Motorola Clique XT for $249, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Clique is the only smartphone in the plan.

Wal-Mart also offers separate mobile phone plans through each of the major U.S. carriers, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile USA. In May, Sprint Nextel launched a pay-by-the-minute plan through Wal-Mart.

Called Common Cents Mobile, subscribers pay seven cents a minute for calls and the same amount per text message. Mobile phone prices range from $20 to $70.

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