While competition in the postpaid wireless world has dwindled down to only a handful of players, the prepaid market appears to be getting more competitive. Target becomes the latest entrant into the prepaid horse race with the launch of its “Brightspot” service starting this weekend.
Much like Walmart partnered with TracFone to create its Straight Talk service, Target has allied with T-Mobile for Brightspot.
According to an announcement on the Target blog, plans will start at $35/month for just talk-and-text service (no data). Smartphone plans with data start at $50/month, giving the user up to 1GB of data each month over T-Mobile’s network. Target Red Card holders will receive a 5% discount.
These prices are higher than what Straight Talk customers pay. The Walmart plans bottom out at $30/month and include a tiny 30 MB of data. For $45, Straight Talk users get “unlimited” data (the speed is throttled after the 2.5 GB threshold).
Target is apparently banking on the brand awareness of T-Mobile — compared to the relatively anonymous TracFone — to bring in customers. It is also sweetening the pot by rewarding repeat Brightspot customers with $25 Target gift cards for each six months of service they pay for. Unfortunately, if you’re using these prepaids as burners for your illegal craps game, you probably won’t be getting those rewards.
The retailer says customers will have a vague, “robust selection” of phones to choose from, but that they can also bring their existing phones to Brightspot (with the help of an additional SIM kit).