Starting on Monday, Wal-Mart customers can add wireless service to their grocery list of items to grab while shopping. The mega-chain announced the launch of Wal-Mart Family Mobile service powered by T-Mobile USA.
Although Wal-Mart has stocked wireless phones in their electronics department for years, this will be the first endeavor using Wal-Mart’s own branding. Since Wal-Mart holds the reputation of price slashing, it is no surprise the company is bringing the same disposition to its wireless service.
After the phone is purchased, the service will be a post-paid like contracted service. The service does not require a contract and does not impose contract termination fees. In addition, buyers are not required to submit a credit application for the service. Unlimited calls with texting costs about $45 a month with additional lines priced at $25.
Initially, Wal-Mart will offer five phones, which includes the Motorola Cliq smart phone for $249. Other wireless companies like T-Mobile, sell the same phone for $329 or require a contract, unlike Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart merchandisers wanted to fill the consumer void in the pre-paid market. According to Greg Hall, the vice president of merchandising at Wal-Mart, “there’s a perception among customers that prepaid service doesn’t offer access to the best phones or the best network quality,” Hall also said, “postpaid nature of the plan is a way to avoid that.”
The company’s lowest priced phone with basic features is a Nokia phone beginning at $35.