Walmart To Launch Family Mobile Service Powered By T-Mobile

Today, Walmart announced its own post-paid wireless service in partnership with T-Mobile USA called Walmart Family Mobile. Walmart’s new Family Mobile service which will use T-Mobile’s network, will provide customers unlimited calling and texting for $45 per month for the first line, and $25 for each additional line. However, data and international calling will be charged from a pre-paid account attached to the family plan. For example, 1GB of data usage will cost $40 and will be pooled for the whole family, in which unused data will be carried over month-to-month. Walmart Family Mobile will provide similar features as postpaid accounts, such as the bill is paid at the end of the month. But at the same time its also similar to prepaid services as it won’t come with a contract agreement, early termination fees, or credit checks. So its kind of like the best of both worlds. Beginning Monday, Walmart will offer five handsets including the Motorola Cliq XT, which will cost $249.

Associated Press

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  • Dave

    not bad. T-Mobile is really expanding it’s horizons’ this year

    • Danny

      Agreed with our new ceo, massive plans on handset releases this year, hspa+ expansion and the (rumored) iPhone and sprint merger.. I think its time to say T-Mobile USA is not joking around anymore and wants to be Number one. IMO I hope Deutsch Telekom/T-Mobile USA/Google since google has strong ties with us Take over the Phone/Internet Thing all together in the US. Can’t say i agree with having a German based company running things in the US just because i love my country but i do believe out of the big 4 T-mobile earns the most respect with its customer and if one had to monopolize the phone industry id hope it would be us and Def not Verizon!

      • Daniel

        Yeah, but if they did “take over”, how long do you think that respect would remain intact? Competition between the big 4 is what has made T-mobile so great and especially so cheap. :)

  • mtnman

    Unlimited Text and calling for those that need to have a phone is a good price. This will appel to those that have little or no credit, but can’t get a contract phone and see Boost or other pre-paid to expensive.

    • Vibrant Guy

      Your comment is silly. ‘this will appeal to those with little or no credit’ ? That is silly….I have great credit, and I would consider these plans. Very silly comment IMO. They just want people to be unlimited at a good price.

      • Jared

        His point stands regardless of your own credit. It will also appeal to those with little or no credit plain and simple, and in today’s economy that is a good thing for T-Mo

      • KB

        You’re coming off as salty for no reason. His comment was in no way silly.

  • Madison

    Nice, so instead of T Mobile paying some one else (ATT) to cover network, T-Mobile coverage is finally at the point where Walmart is going to pay T Mobile. More money to put into T Mobile phones, service, coverage…etc…

  • grizzlebee

    I just locked some of these up

  • TmoMike

    I’m kinda liking where all this new stuff with partners is headed. Definitely looking up for Tmo right now.

  • cp


  • drew

    Yeap Yeap, sounds alright I suppose. But I wonder what other phones Tmo is gonna dump on Walmart that are already end of life?

    • john

      Lol, ehhh, you can have the cliq, enjoy.

    • MattB

      I can confirm Samsung Highlight, an old Nokia candybar style (didn’t get a good look but it was something you’d expect in a prepaid box)and Samsung Gravity.

  • Justin

    Yay tmo! BOOO walmart

  • Squeakz

    Still waiting for the iPhone lol …

  • briannn

    well well well , what do we have here , OK we know wal-mart will never go out of business and now that t-mobile hooked up with wal-mart t-mobile should not go out of business or have to merge . =] with that whole 2011 talk . good job t-mobile

    • Monkey

      as long as T-Mo doesn’t become the next gallon jar of pickles.

  • GPL

    40 bucks for a gig of data? Holy Highway Robbery, Batman! Let’s see, that 250 gigs I used last month at home on my DSL line would run me $10,000 if I tethered.

    • manus

      but its pooled so u 5 lines can share it i think its a good idea

      • Steve

        You are definitely seeing this the way I am! While $40 a gig is a lot, for that to be rolled over and shared across an entire account is a huge change! Definitely not meant for the power user but for families….this just made smartphones affordable for everyone. I hope this data plan comes down to the stores and not just walmart. Great Job Tmobile. Keep shaking things up!

      • Tito

        Yeah, that’s not bad, actually.

        Obviously not for someone who tethers, but take this for example:

        I pay $25/mo for my unlimited data on my mytouch slide. (Had the android plan since the G1 and never took it off so it’s grandfathered)

        I have a program on my phone that keeps track of all network traffic. It was only a couple days ago I went over 1gig. That’s after 3 months with the phone. Do the math, I just paid $75/gig for my data.

        And yes I use it a lot. Auto update of my wallpaper from webcam every 30 minutes, download a ton of apps (I have over 100), not to mention updates. Autosync of contacts and calendar updates. I also check a lot of things online that come up on conversation. I use an online bible at church which streams through the network connection, not to mention youtube.

        Oh yeah, add in the fact that the price for data is shared between everybody makes it even better. Mom and dad can give the 3 kids their phones, put $40 in the account, and when the data is gone, that’s it til the next month.

        I wish T-Mobile would take the opportunity and give family-data options like they have family texting options.

  • firebird

    Cliq XT didn’t sell much but the highlight was popular. Slow starter when the Behold with 5mp camera w/ flash right next to it, but now that it’s gone people ask for it.

  • mar11974

    Walmart MVNO, not T-Mobile Prepaid, “Powered by T-Mobile”

  • GenesisDH

    Hmm… The AP article talks about the phones bejng locked to Family mobile only, so they can’t be used on typical T-Mobile plans… but it didn’t say the SIMs were… are they trying to be another Tracfone with this?

    This might be good for my fiancee and I if it allows for non-FM phones, as we spend $130 on our lines (MyFavs 300 w/ texting & data for her; 500 EM+ with data for me). The data part might be a kicker, but with both of us being addicted to certain phones that can’t use 3G… we might be able to buy up a couple GBs and have that spread a few months.

    Another question hopefully is answered soon: Would this have a system like AT&T’s Family Limits? Allow only a certain number of texts, limit the numbers a child can call or text or limit the time/amount of data/texting the phone can do? That would help some parents allow kids to text their friends non-stop but avoid getting unwanted and costly premium messages…

    • Kevin

      T-Mobile has a product called Family Allowance that does this – not sure if it will be carried over to WallyWorld or not, but lets hope so.

    • cscorbin

      T-mobile has Family allowances that you can use to limit txt, minutes, purchases, as well as restrict numbers that can be called / txt..

      I don’t know if that will work with this new walmart plan tho.

  • B

    With Walmart on board, T-Mobile really is officially the family carrier. Great for them, but I hope they expand in OTHER areas too.

  • fidget

    good for consumers without strong credit and good for TMO – a somewhat guaranteed recurring revenue stream. Good for all of us if it helps TMO stay afloat. Great customer service and the only other GSM carrier outside of AT&T.

  • MJ

    The data rates could be a bit better. I hope T-Mobile is not looking towards capped data plans for standard users, like AT&T

  • This looks like a way for Magenta to grab some cash. Maybe to fuel their merger with Sprint to possibly invest in Wimax development.

    Stay Thirsty my friends

    • SeaBee

      Why would you ever, EVER, wish for T-Mobile to buy into WiMax? You’ve seriously got to be kidding me.

  • Shawn

    VERY smart move on T-Mo’s part! Wal-Mart is a forever-growing business that brings in people by the thousands to any merged companies. T-Mobile must have somebody new running the show this year.. Wonder what phones they are going to offer?

  • Roger

    The german government has investments into DT/T-Mobile, but I wouldn’t say the government would be “taking over” even if T-Mobile USA was number one here. Its like saying the canadian government is in control of the NHL because the Maple leads are owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

  • going_home

    Walmart shoppers know what boiled peanuts are but internet on a phone ?
    C’mon !


    • Everydayguy

      The world must truly be full of snobs.So if you shop at wallmart your dumb realy.

  • Shawn

    I RATHER PAY more on my monthly bill, as long as it means Sprint stays away. I never want T-Mobile to Merge with Sprint. Nor do I want the iPhone. At&t can keep the iPhone and that insanse cult leader Steve Jobs.

  • keele8

    I have a hard time believing all the talk about T-mobile going out of business or merging with another company with all the expanding they are doing. Although some don’t agree with the direction they are taking with catering to families, they are the only wireless network marketing to that market. I think if they keep going down this road of expansion, super phones, and great plans and options for families we will see T-mobile move up in the ranks of best wireless companies.

  • Jared

    Pretty smart move I think. Families are kind of a big thing you know, with all these human beings procreating and stuff. T-Mobile is hitting the right niche with this move and their kids are free program. Walmart has some pretty far reaching roots and a wide customer base.

  • Question

    doesn’t this just mean now T-Mobile has another competitor? So what if Walmart is paying T-Mobile to “power” the network, doesn’t that still mean less people activating with T-Mobile?

    • pimpstrong

      Your right it does seem like it will be a mild case of cannibalism but if you compare this to Tmobiles Even More Plus with no contract then this Walmart deal is just not worth it.

      This ONLY caters to people who want unlimited minutes with text. If you want a cheap plan with very little minutes then EMP is the way to go and the same goes for people who want DATA as well, you gotta be crazy to spend $40 on 1GB.

      In the end Walmart wont take too many people away from TMO but they will bring in some potential buyers and split the bill.

      • James

        I disagree to an extent. A family of 5 will get unlimited talk and text and 500mb of data with the Wal-Mart Family mobile plan for $145. EMP unlimited for a family of 5 costs $190 and thats not including any data. Family of 5 with unlimited data on the first two lines would be $230. So yeah, I think the Walmart plan is better in that scenario.

      • pimpstrong

        If you slap 5 of walmarts rediculous $40/GB Limited data plan on all 5 of those lines then your looking at $345 for a unlim talk, text and a whopping 5GB of total Data where as on a real plan you can get unlim talk, text and completely limitless data consumption for $320.

        Lets add 2 of the (God I wanna call it unlimited but its only 1GB) $40 data plans to Walmarts deal and your paying $225. Who would actually only use 100MB of data nowadays?

        Your scenario is definently cheaper and more worth it for people who don’t consume data which is the point that I was making anyway

    • Tito

      Especially since they are in #4 anyway, I don’t think T-Mobile cares about their number of subscribers, as long as the $$$ is going into their pocket. Plus it takes away a lot of overhead costs… activating costs, support costs of the customer, billing costs to get the money every month, etc.

      I wonder how many people who “hate T-Mobile” will wind up signing up with Walmart and effectively giving TMo their money anyway. Oh, the irony of the ignorant.

  • Sidekicker89

    Puerto Rico has 3G now! Make a post about that please! :)

    • pimpstrong

      thats awsome

  • TMORep

    Ahhhhhhhhh Yes! I will no longer have to tell those Flexpay No Contract customers that Wal-mart will not activate NO Contract. This is awesome!

  • RobH

    Can I assume that I could use my Vibrant with this service?

  • great news for T-Mobile
    and T-Mobile users, current and future ones.

  • gottaknow

    So the article reads that you can’t use a T-Mobile sim in one of the WM phones, but… Can you use a WM sim in any unlocked GSM device??? That’ll be huge IMO. Can’t wait for someone to try it out.

    • me

      yes, you can use any unlocked GSM phone with a Family Mobile sim

  • upnorth85

    T-mobile Germany has put in a lot of money on T-mobile USA and have not had much returns. It is thus likely that DT will want to make a good profit selling T-mobile USA. If they do sell, I would hope Google buys it (for sales advertising revenue) or Intel (to get in to the cell phone chip business so it can market its own cell phones). Anyone but AT&T and Sprint and Motorola. I have noticed European businesses have a higher ethical standards than US businesses due to a historical absence of regulation in the US. I don’t think T-mobile ethical standards and focus on customer service will stay too long after they are owned by some one like AT&T or Sprint.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Man oh man are there some moronic comments in here.

    Anyway, as to this Wal-Mart deal, the important aspect of it is that in the U.S. the concept of no-contract cell phone plans is growing.

    Recall it was T-Mobile that came out with the Even More Plus plans (that I have).
    Now, T-Mobile is spreading the concept to Wal-Mart.

    Give it about three years, contracted cell plans will vanish. So too will credit checks and deposits. And people will get used to the concept of paying about $300 or less for top-end superphones. (And at that price they will keep them longer).

    The carriers make a bucket load of cash with subsidized phones (locking people into two-year, over-priced cell plans). People are wising up and for sure the majority of consumers, in this “depression” economy are no longer willing to pay $2,000+ for two years of phone service.

    Those of you who think this is not what’s happening, ask yourself why carriers are selling the hottest phones for $200. If the economy was even moderately good carriers would be selling subsidized phones for $300 to $350. But they can’t so they don’t.

    Also ask yourself why carriers are aggressively moving to “no credit check” plans. You think it might be it’s because millions of people now have lousy credit? Anyone want to venture a guess how many Wal-Mart shoppers are living paycheck to paycheck and have more than a few dings on their credit reports.

    T-Mobile is on to something here. (Actually, all its doing is importing the way it does business in Europe.) No contracts, end of subsidized phones, phones can be paid for over a couple years (that’s having the binding affect of a contract without having a cell plan contract), cheap family plans, etc.

  • Joe Blow

    Shared data plan, finally. 1gb? ridiculous. Gimme at least 3gb for $50 or less and I’m on it tomorrow.

  • Anthony C

    A man once told me while I was trying to sell him a Cingular phone, 2003, that in the future there will be only three major Cellular Carriers in the United States. He said this with such conviction as if he was from the future or has phsycic powers. LOL… . I asked how he knew and he said he couldnt tell anyone without losing his head but did advise me to keep stock in Sprint, Verizon and T-mobile. I asked him if those were the three and he winked. Around a year later who merges? Cingular and AT&T then follows Sprint and Nextel. Who’s next???

  • kevin

    just go to simple mobile its better it costs a little more but its worth it.