Walmart The CellPhone Co.


When I first heard this bit of news, I thought, “Please, not another Straight Talk …” Thankfully it is not.  Walmart Family Mobile, Powered by T-Mobile has just thrown its hat into the race with a pretty competitive price point for service. Will it be a deal budget-junkies can’t resist? Or will the handsets being offered slow the number of adapters?

When we first heard of reports of Walmart jumping into the phone biz, the prices rumored for monthly service with data seemed to be a bit… ridiculous. Initial reports claimed that $45.00 per month for the first line and $25.00 for each additional line would get you unlimited talk and text. However, it was also said that data would cost $40.00 for 1G, shared. The internet community scoffed at that notion.  But Walmart has come to the rescue with a official press release clearing up the rumors.

“Walmart Family Mobile was designed with families in mind, and offers the easiest, most affordable way to enjoy high-quality post-paid service. Every line has Unlimited Talk & Text, so customers can be assured of no surprise overages when they receive their bill each month. The first line of service is just $45 per month, and each additional line is only $25 per month. In addition, Walmart Family Mobile has phones for the whole family from Samsung, Motorola and Nokia, including phones with the Android Operating System, QWERTY keyboard, touch screens and other features. Since there is no annual contract, customers can upgrade anytime by purchasing a new handset with no extra fees or contract commitment…”

Data plans are also easy and affordable with Walmart Family Mobile. Activated accounts come with a free preloaded 100MB WebPakTM – which provides access to the internet – for every line of service. The WebPakTM is shared among all lines on an account and unused data never expires. Additional WebPakTM refill cards are purchased upfront in stores or online at, ensuring there are no overage fees or monthly data fees. The WebPakTM can also be used to make international calls to several countries for as low as 5¢ per minute**, as well as download ringtones, games and other apps.”

Walmart will be going ala carte with its data Packs, which can be a great option for those who won’t be streaming Pandora in the background while downloading a video of something funny your friend sent you in a email. That is, if the phone you bought could even do that. What are the phones you can choose from anyway? So far, there are only 5 handsets to choose from, the two most notable phones are the Motorola CliqXT, and the Samsung Highlight.

Walmart’s Family Mobile will be available starting September 20th.

Posted in: Miscellaneous, News, Wireless
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Brian September 18, 2010, 12:38 am

    To be honest, this sounds pretty good.

    • Jeff Hollaway September 18, 2010, 11:16 am

      I agree it does. Lets just see what happens in the handset department within the next 6 months.

  • Tyler Puckett September 19, 2010, 10:55 am

    The main problem with Prepaid, and what’s kept me from going with it for a long time, is the phones absolutely stink. They use old displays that look like a Palm IIIc, cheap buttons, and no web access at all. I use my phone 75% of the time for web/apps, and only 25% for talking/texting. So until prepaid carriers start coming out with better phones, I’ll still be a slave to contracts.

  • Maura Isles September 19, 2010, 10:43 pm

    I’m with another prepaid company that while it is sold at Walmart, is not actually a Walmart brand, and I’ve had great luck with Straight Talk. Yes, I can admit that the phones aren’t IPhone level and with their limited functions, you can’t have apps or anything of that nature – you can web browse though. Straight Talk’s plan costs the same as Walmart, but at least ST offers 411 calling and web browsing in their $45 plan so it truly is unlimited. Verizon’s calling network, which Straight Talk is one, is much stronger than the TMobile and I can say that from experience with both. I think this Walmart line needs to be tested for a while before it becomes compeition for Straight Talk.

    • Jeff Hollaway September 20, 2010, 8:44 am

      I think for the money, straightalk should not block third party apps from being downloaded to the phones. They give unlimited internet access, but is it really unlimited when they limit what you can actually do with it? If I’m stuck using a crappy browser because you won’t allow me to download Opera mini, yet you say I’m getting a deal on unlimited internet access. I would have to disagree.

  • SimonC September 23, 2010, 7:40 am

    Hmm, like Maura I’m also currently a user of Straight Talk. The Walmart plans sound really nice but unfortunately the T-mo coverage makes this a no-no for me. I can’t those to work in my home. One of the reasons I love Straight Talk is because of the really strong coverage in my home area.
    Yeah, it is a real pity about the limitations on the internet usage but fortunately not a biggie in my life.
    Do let us know whether the internet is unrestricted on the Walmart plans if you find out? Just out of curiosity, really…

  • Lee October 16, 2010, 8:31 am

    I just signed up for the plan. Aside from the price I was happy with T-mobile coverage for both myself and my daughter who uses it at college. She’s away this semester and will be adding her in Dec. I am going to try and use her T-Mobile phone…if not I’ll buy an unlocked GSM phone on ebay.I woould have done that for myself but ended up with the Samsung T-369 and very happy with the phone and so far service…
    I am not going to be a heavy data user. So the data minutes that don’t expire was another reason I liked this plan. Also being able to add my daughter for another 25 bucks a month was huge. I also NEVER want another contract again…

  • Julia Rose November 25, 2010, 7:44 am

    Straight Talk now has some pretty decent phones available like the Nokia E71 Smartphone which can do pretty much everything you could possibly want in a phone. I’ve had a really good experience with Straight Talk so far on their $45 plan and hope to upgrade my phone really soon so i can take even better advantage of the unlimited data!

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