Walmart is all about giving customers the best prices on everything from underwear to mobile phones. Come October 18th, Walmart will start offering discount wireless service too! Walmart has announced that they are breaking into the wireless business with an exclusive wireless service of their very own. Dubbed “Straight Talk,” Walmart’s own-branded wireless service offers customers discount wireless plans starting at just $30 per month with unlimited talk, text and web coming in at just $45 a month. What about contracts? Nope, you won’t find any contracts with Straight Talk.
Walmart teamed up with TracFone Wireless, one of the biggest names in prepaid wireless, to bring the exclusive Straight Talk service to its customers. The move reminds us of the good ole’ days when everyone and their sister had an MVNO to call their own. But while the MVNO fad proved mostly disastrous, Walmart’s super cheap Straight Talk service could have what it takes to turn the discount retailer into a legit prepaid wireless carrier.
The Straight Talk service will go live on October 18th, and offers nationwide coverage and unlimited 411 information services. The $30 “All You Need” plan includes 1,000 voice minutes, 1,000 text messages and 30MB of data. The $45 Unlimited plan includes, well, unlimited minutes, messages and data.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t be using too much data on Straight Talk’s lineup of mostly underwhelming sub-$100 handsets. Still, there’s at least one QWERTY phone in the bunch, so text message fiends have something to look forward to.
Full press release after the break.
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.