U.S. Cellular and Alltel Wireless have joined with Wallmart to offer a no contract wireless service, in select Walmart Stores across 18 states beginning in May. The alliance, said to be the first of its kind in the industry, offers customers flexible payment options without signing a contract.
“Teaming with Alltel to gain distribution in Walmart gives us another opportunity to be where our customers want to shop and to offer more customers a prepaid service that helps them control their monthly budgets,” said Carter S. Elenz, executive vice president of sales and customer service for U.S. Cellular. “U Prepaid customers with U.S. Cellular will be backed by our high-speed network, which has the highest call quality and network satisfaction of any national carrier.”
The new alliance provides Walmart customers simplified, easy-to-understand service plan choices. Depending on where customers live, the U Prepaid service will run on either U.S. Cellular’s high-speed national network or Alltel’s advanced coast-to-coast network.
Four devices have been announced to go along with the launch of U Prepaid, including the Samsung Repp smartphone, Samsung Chrono, LG Attune/Exchange, and LG Saber. The plans will offer data and text package options in addition to voice and can work nationwide, but other details, like cost, have yet to be announced. U Prepaid is expected to launch in May.
According to Prepaid Reviews, in 2008 Alltel was the fifth-largest mobile operator in the United States, behind AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. During the year Verizon purchased the company, and the sale closed in January 2009. Most Alltel markets have since migrated to Verizon.
While the majority of markets have switched to Verizon, there are still a number of markets in which Alltel still operates. This includes their prepaid service.
Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless said Monday that it will offer a new $80 prepaid plan, offering unlimited talk, texting, and 1GB of data. Verizon’s new prepaid plan will be exclusively available on their Samsung Illusion which will cost $169.99. Verizon will begin the plan on May 1, at Best Buy, Target, RadioShack, and Walmart, the company said.
In addition, Verizon added a new prepaid Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot data plan. Prepaid 4G LTE Mobile Broadband plans are $15 for 250 MB of data weekly, $60 for 3 GB of data monthly or $90 for 10 GB of data monthly. Verizon recently launched an international roaming plan, as well.