Walmart has been beta testing their exclusive Straight Talk no-contract wireless service for months, but now the retailer will offer two low-cost wireless plans nationwide starting October 18th, including an unlimited plan for just $45.
The first offers 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30MB of data for $30. That seems alright, but for $45, you get unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data.
The catch? You probably won't be using much data on their disappointing line of phones that all sell for $100 without a contract—though a "Samsung 451" (a model number that brings up a Samsung set top box) promises full QWERTY and certainly implies a bit more functionality. The LG Slider 290, which doesn't handle much beyond email, is your other higherish-end option.
So would you buy a wireless plan from Walmart? I certainly would, were I able to cheat the system with a more attractive phone of my own.
Walmart To Launch Straight Talk Exclusively, Nationwide
No-Contract Wireless Plans Starting at $30 a Month
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (Oct. 14, 2009) – Dedicated to providing families affordable wireless solutions, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announces today it will launch Straight Talk, a new solution in no-contract cellular, exclusively at more than 3,200 Walmart stores nationwide starting October 18, 2009. Straight Talk will bring to the market a new low price for no-contract wireless service with two prepaid plans now available to customers nationwide at $30 and $45 a month. Straight Talk will only be available in Walmart stores and online at www.Walmart.com and www.StraightTalk.com.
The average U.S. adult spends $78 on his or her cell phone bill to receive 1000 minutes a month.* By switching to the $30 Straight Talk plan, for example, the average 1,000 minutes-per-month consumer could save more than $500 per year and still be on a reliable nationwide network.
To help drive down no-contract wireless pricing for customers, Walmart will launch Straight Talk providing customers the following two options:
* Straight Talk "All You Need" 30-day Plan that includes the following for only $30 a month:
o 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30MB of mobile web access
o Nationwide coverage
o 411 Information calls at no extra charge
* Straight Talk's Unlimited 30-day Plan that includes the following for $45 a month:
o Unlimited minutes, unlimited text and unlimited mobile web access
o Nationwide coverage
o Unlimited 411 Information calls at no extra charge
"It has been very encouraging to see the excitement and response to the Straight Talk pilot in 234 stores that began last summer at Walmart," said Greg Hall, vice president of Media Services, Walmart U.S. "In light of the savings customers continue to need, we have worked very quickly to extend this offering to all of our Walmart customers nationwide, and just before the holidays."
Consumers may refill their monthly balances by buying refill cards at Walmart, or by registering online at www.Walmart.com or www.StraightTalk.com. Also available at Walmart are a range of Straight Talk phone products to suit different needs, from the entry-level LG 220 flip phone at $39.98, to the LG Slider 290 at $79.98 to the Samsung 451 QWERTY keyboard phone at $99.88.
More information about Straight Talk no-contract wireless services is available at www.Walmart.com or www.StraightTalk.com.
Straight Talk is an exclusive Walmart service developed with TracFone Wireless, Inc. TracFone Wireless currently sells TracFone and NET10 prepaid wireless phones and airtime at Walmart stores and online at www.walmart.com.
* Source: Nielsen Mobile Bill Panel Data
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $378 million to local communities in the United States. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com.
About TracFone Wireless
TracFone Wireless, Inc. is a subsidiary of America Movil (NYSE: AMX, Nasdaq: AMOV) and has more no-contract cell phone customers than any other carrier in the U.S.