New prepaid offering is a Walmart exclusive

All across the country there are many users who are moving from landlines to cell phones exclusively. This trend will only continue and ultimately the landline will be uncommon in most homes. As the masses migrate to mobile devices many are choosing to go with prepaid plans rather than agreeing to long and constricting contracts with post paid carriers.

The major wireless carriers all recognize the potential in the prepaid market and have offerings in place for customers looking to use this sort of service. The catch for wireless providers is that the prepaid offerings are less of a moneymaker and both Verizon and AT&T are seeing subscriber numbers decline. Of the large carriers, Sprint is having the hardest time with massive losses and subscribers fleeing the network in droves. Sprint lost 250,000 customers in Q2 alone and posted a $384 million loss for the quarter.

Sprint and Walmart have announced a new prepaid offering that will be exclusively sold in Walmart stores called Common Cents. The plan is aimed directly at the value conscious shopper looking for basic mobile service and devices at a low price. When you normally place a call that lasts any increment over a round minute, the time is rounded up costing you more. That means a 1 minute 46 second call on a normal phone would cost you the same amount as a two-minute call.

On the Common Cents program, calls are rounded down. That means the same one minute 46 second call on Common Cents would be rounded to only one minute. Minutes cost 7-cents per minute and each text sent will set you back the same amount. Unlimited texting can be added to any device on the service for an extra $20 monthly.

Being a budget carrier, the mobile devices offered are far from high-end, but they are cheap. Examples include the LG 101 for $19.77 and the Samsung M340 at $39.77. Minutes can be purchased in most Walmart stores or online. A refill card will cost $20 for 30 days of service and 565 talk minutes with a $30 card adding 60 days of service and 848 minutes of talk time. Data access is a stiff $1 per megabyte per day. The service and handsets launch on May 15.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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