Walmart to offer low-cost wireless service across the U.S.


There hasn't been this much action in the mobile phone space since Gordon Gekko plotted his moves on a cell phone the size of a brick.

The latest disruptive news comes from Walmart (WMT), of all places, which has announced plans to offer low-cost mobile service. Starting this Sunday, the big-box retailer is launching a pre-paid wireless service called "Straight Talk," which offers a $30 or $45 prepaid monthly plan available at more than 3,200 Walmart stores nationwide. The plans offer cell phone service at a major discount to existing mobile calling packages. To wit: the $30 monthly plan includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, 30MB of mobile Web access, and nationwide coverage. The $45 monthly plan includes unlimited minutes, texts, mobile Web access, and nationwide coverage.

"By switching to the $30 Straight Talk plan . . . the average 1,000 minutes-per-month consumer could save more than $500 per year and still be on a reliable nationwide network," Walmart said in a statement.