Yesterday, Walmart announced that starting next week it will offer a new wireless plan under its own brand, but running on T-Mobile’s network. The rates are good compared to national carriers: $45 per month for unlimited texting and minutes, and $25 per month for each additional line. There’s also no contract, and you pay the bill at the end of each month instead of loading up a pre-pay account. It’s one of the better family-style deals available, except for one thing: the data plans are actually more expensive than AT&T or T-Mobile.
Ars technica writes, “A single gigabyte of prepaid data through Walmart costs $40, which is quite steep compared to AT&T’s 2GB for $25 per month, or T-Mobile’s $30 per month for unlimited data.” Ars also notes, however, that the data can be shared among all phones on the account, so I suppose if you want a data plan but you’re confident you can control its usage, you can share one $40/1GB plan with one or two others and come out still saving money.
Two other downsides to the new Walmart offering: the phones will be locked to Walmart’s service, and the data plans (as well as international calling plans) will have to be pre-paid even though the main account is post-paid.
“Walmart’s data plans painfully expensive, not meant for geeks” [ars technica]
“Wal-Mart introduces wireless plan under own brand” [Associated Press]