Editor's Note: Having worked in the cellular industry, I've seen this coming. The biggest customer complain was that, to "upgrade," they'd have to extend their contract. In the future, no-contracts will be the norm, though company-exclusive phones (i.e. SIM card lockout) will remain.
(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Wednesday it will begin offering two new no-contract wireless service plans at its U.S. discount stores, including a $30 prepaid plan that includes 1,000 minutes.
Wal-Mart said the Straight Talk no-contract wireless offerings are an exclusive service developed with TracFone Wireless Inc, the U.S. unit of Mexican cell-phone giant America Movil, owned by billionaire Carlos Slim.
Wal-Mart was rolling out the plan nationwide after conducting a pilot program in 234 stores.
The new plans will likely put pressure on rivals Leap Wireless International Inc, MetroPCS and Sprint Nextel unit Boost, as these companies all offer unlimited calling plans for around $50 a month.
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