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Wal-Mart to Offer Contract-free Cell Phone Plans

Signing up for a mobile phone contract is often a commitment that can last years. Sure, there's always pay-as-you-go plans, but you never get the same sort of service as those offered for prepaid, contractual agreements.

Enter Wal-Mart, the American fixture to providing goods to the everyman. Wal-Mart has announced that it will be offering its own wireless plans, completely contract-free, called Straight Talk.

Straight Talk will launch at 3,200 Walmart stores nationwide starting October 18, 2009 with two prepaid plans at $30 and $45 a month.

* 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

According to Nielsen Mobile Bill Panel data, the average U.S. adult spends $78 on his or her cell phone bill to receive 1000 minutes a month.

"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.”

While we're excited by a $45 plan that offers unlimited minutes, texts, and web access, the selection of phones are rather unexciting: 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.

Unfortunately, Straight Talk does not support GSM phones, so forget migrating your unlocked iPhone over to Wal-Mart. On the flip side, Straight Talk runs off of Verizon's network, meaning that if you get good coverage on that CDMA network, you'll get good service with Wal-Mart.

  • one-shot
    I hope I can use my Verizon phone with the plan.
    Reply
  • Kaiser_25
    Sounds like a pretty decient deal, if their coverage is good they might be on to something...all they need is to get badass phones and they are set.
    Reply
  • yang
    45 dollars for all that!? god I hate canadian plans
    Reply
  • rooket
    El_Capitan 10/15/2009 7:04 PM
    Hide
    Insert quote. Report --1+

    Why "Straight Talk"? Are they trying to say other plans are "Gay"? I fold my hand to them.


    I would say that other plans are.
    Reply
  • Platypus
    Uh-oh. Looks like the phone giants will have to start charging humane prices now. No more gouging the masses with this kind of competition.

    Okay, so the phones aren't great, but these prices are pretty nice compared to what Sprint was offering last year. Same plan for $100 per month and a 2 year contract. Ouch.

    "Hello. Welcome to Wal-Mart. Get your sh*t and get out!"
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Straight talk sounds straight up my alley.

    F_ck the gay ass plans from carriers WalMart brings the price down like always.
    Reply
  • akhodjaev
    WALMART, BRING AN IPHONE WITH YOU AND BILD EXTRA DOORS TO YOUR WAREHOUSE
    AND I AM SURE YOU WILL BE HAPPY:)
    Reply
  • Boost Mobile has a similar unlimited deal for $50/mth. Other pre-paid companies are coming up with unlimited plans as well. It's certainly a refreshing trend. Now they just need to let you use any compatible phone you want instead of limiting you to their mediocre selection.
    Reply
  • techguy378
    one-shotI hope I can use my Verizon phone with the plan.
    akhodjaevWALMART, BRING AN IPHONE WITH YOU AND BILD EXTRA DOORS TO YOUR WAREHOUSEAND I AM SURE YOU WILL BE HAPPY
    Even though the Walmart cell phone service uses Verizon's network it is NOT Verizon branded cell phone service. The two are completely separate. In other words this is not the same as the relationship between Boost Mobile and Sprint Nextel.

    As for the iPhone, there will never, ever be a CDMA version since Verizon will never allow the phone on their network. Simply put, if you want an iPhone you have to have AT&T service. Thankfully Apple has FINALLY prevented jailbreaking. People should not be allowed to use phones from one carrier on a different carrier's network since this can cause major headaches on the carrier's network.
    Reply
  • Montezuma
    techguy378Even though the Walmart cell phone service uses Verizon's network it is NOT Verizon branded cell phone service. The two are completely separate. In other words this is not the same as the relationship between Boost Mobile and Sprint Nextel.As for the iPhone, there will never, ever be a CDMA version since Verizon will never allow the phone on their network. Simply put, if you want an iPhone you have to have AT&T service. Thankfully Apple has FINALLY prevented jailbreaking. People should not be allowed to use phones from one carrier on a different carrier's network since this can cause major headaches on the carrier's network.
    You are not in any place to tell someone how, when, or where to use their phones. Chances are Apple will get tired of screwing with AT&T's crap network and offer a CDMA and GSM phone. Hell, they might even offer a PCS(CDMA) phone for Sprint, if they are offered a better deal.

    As far as "jailbreaking"...I will do whatever I wish with the phone I purchase. iPhone owners are paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars to own the damned phone and they have the right to do with it as they please. If I want to submerge it in water, dip it in concrete, light it on fire, or blow the phone up, I am within my legal right to do so.

    I can install anything I want on the device, and I can alter the software already on the device. If you cannot deal with that, then I suggest that you quit being a little bitch "fanboy".
    Reply