I have written a few times about my satisfaction using, Straight Talk which I originally ordered from Walmart. Straight Talk uses the Verizon network through Tracefone, and recently Straight Talk stated it would also be offering service through AT&T. The company also offers service on the Sprint network with the Common Sense plan. But now Walmart has a new branding called Walmart Family Mobile on the T-Mobile network.
According to one article it states that:
Walmart Family Mobile will be “postpaid” like conventional contract-based plans, so the family bill is paid at the end of the month. But in other ways it works much like prepaid service, and it won’t come with a contract requirement or early termination fees. Buyers also won’t need to go through credit checks.
Greg Hall, vice president of merchandising at Walmart U.S., said there’s a perception among customers that prepaid service doesn’t offer access to the best phones or the best network quality. He said the postpaid nature of the plan is a way to avoid that.
Starting Monday, the chain plans to sell five phones, including a full-blown smart phone, the Motorola Cliq XT, which will cost $249. T-Mobile sells it for $329 without a contract, or gives it away to buyers who sign two-year contracts (with monthly fees that are higher than the no-contract option).
The cheapest phone for the service will be a simple Nokia phone for $35.
The plan undercuts T-Mobile USA’s own prices, but Jim Alling, its chief operating officer, said that Walmart putting its own stamp on the brand name was a “tremendous endorsement.”
While there’s no contract, Ailing said the phones will be “locked” to Walmart Family Mobile, so they won’t be usable on another network, or even under a T-Mobile-branded plan.
It seems that Walmart is serious about becoming your cell phone company. With so many different plans at reasonable prices being offered, Walmart should be able to grab a large segment of the market place.
What do you think? Will there be a Walmart phone in your pocket or purse?