Wal-Mart Launches New Wireless Plan-Follow Up

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Here is a follow up video on the Wal-Mart Family Mobile. Thanks to Brandon Twichell from Newsy.com for the heads up. Check out Newsy.com. I just registered for updates as it looks like an excellent source for breaking news.

Wal-Mart Introduces Wireless Plan Under Own Brand

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Monday that it is introducing the first cell phone plan that uses the chain’s own branding, further demonstrating its clout in getting special deals from wireless carriers.

The Wal-Mart Family Mobile service will run on T-Mobile USA’s network. Unlimited calling and texting will cost $45 per month for the first line and $25 for each additional line for the family. The service will be offered starting next week in most of its stores across the nation.
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Wal-Mart Expands Straight Talk Prepaid Service To Include AT&T Network

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is expanding its Straight Talk prepaid wireless service to include phones that will run on AT&T Inc.’s (T) network, another indication of the growing influence of retailers in the mobile business.

AT&T confirmed that phones compatible with its network will be available to Straight Talk, which is a prepaid service exclusive to Wal-Mart. Previously, phones using the service could only run on Verizon Wireless’s network. BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk first reported the use of AT&T-compatible phones on Straight Talk.
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Sprint Nextel slices prepaid segment even thinner

Sprint Nextel Corp. managed to find another prepaid niche it had not already covered with the launch this morning of its PayLo offering through its Virgin Mobile subsidiary. The service brings a voice-focused component to what has been a data-centric menu from Virgin Mobile.
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New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones

A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks.

The legislation sponsored by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) would require buyers to present identification when purchasing a prepaid cellphone and require phone companies to keep the information on file, as they do with users of landline phones and subscription-based cellphones. The proposal would require the carriers to retain the data for 18 months after the phone’s deactivation.
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MetroPCS CEO: Sees Some Mergers In Prepaid Phone Sector

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS) Chief Executive Roger Linquist believes there could be some “roll-ups,” or mergers, soon taking place in the wireless prepaid phone service industry.

MetroPCS, long rumored to be trying to merge with fellow prepaid provider Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP), could be one of those companies. But Linquist declined to comment on his own company’s merger activity.
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T-Mobile USA updates prepaid offerings

T-Mobile USA Inc. poured further fuel on the prepaid fire today with the refining of its traditional prepaid plans to now include unlimited calling and texting options. The move looks to be essential for the nation’s No. 4 carrier, which recently said it lost 77,000 customers during the first quarter that included a loss of 118,000 postpaid customers that an unusually poor showing of only 41,000 prepaid net additions could not counter.
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Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility content to sit out current prepaid frenzy

Few would question the phenomenal growth in the prepaid market over the past several quarters with nearly every operator posting stronger growth from its prepaid operations than postpaid. However, the nation’s two largest operators, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, are content to sit on the sidelines of that increasingly competitive battle, at least for now.
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T-Mobile Cuts Unlimited Prepaid to $50

T-Mobile USA will roll out two new prepaid plans to better compete with the likes of Boost’s all-inclusive $50 plan. The plans were posted to T-Mobile’s website yesterday but won’t become available until tomorrow.

The new deals are comprised of an unlimited $50 talk and text plan and a $15 unlimited texting plan with nationwide voice calls for 10 cents per minute.
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Reality Check: Prepaid-a-Palooza – is it for real this time?

There have been a host of stories in the past week on prepaid services, and we touched on prepaid in previous discussions of first quarter earnings. Things look good for prepaid plans in 2010, thanks largely to Wal-Mart.

I love a party and hype as much as the rest of the wireless community, but is it really different this time? Is Tracfone just another MVNO that will be eaten up by completion and churn? Will Wal-Mart follow Target with decreasing interest, promotion and training on wireless sales? Is prepaid for poor folks, and after they get some more money, this phase will all blow over and we’ll be back to the good ‘ol days of two-year contracts and family plans with unlimited messaging/text additions?
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