Wal-mart announced Wal-Mart Family Mobile, a mobile phone network that will be marketed under the mega-store’s brand name. Wal-Mart’s mobile phone service will run over T-Mobile’s network, with customers using phones nearly identical to those offered by T-Mobile.
Wal-mart Family Mobile accounts will be a hybrid of pre-paid and post-paid. There will be no credit checks for Wal-mart Family Mobile customers, but plans will be post-paid. Customers will have to pay up front for phones and smartphones ($35 for a Nokia phone to $249 for the Motorola Cliq XT), but the benefit is lower rates. Wal-mart Family Mobile plans with unlimited voice and texting will cost $45 per month. Additional lines for family members will cost $25 per month. Customers are not required to sign up for long-term contracts.
As with all mobile phone plans, there is a catch. Wal-mart Family Mobile phones will be locked to the Wal-Mart network, which means you can’t move over to T-Mobile at your leisure.