T-Mobile and Walmart announced on Tuesday that the Walmart Family Mobile plan now offers unlimited talk, text and web for $45 per month. Additional lines cost just $35 per month. Until Tuesday, Walmart’s plan did not offer unlimited web access, but there’s a big catch: the unlimited data doesn’t always provide 3G data speeds. Instead, those who sign up before March 16th will be able to consume up to 5GB of data at 3G speeds. After March 31st, however, new customers will only be able to surf at 3G speeds for the first 250MB. Customers interested in purchasing the plan can do so in any nationwide Walmart store or by visiting Walmart.com. T-Mobile and Walmart said the decision to add unlimited data was because 44% of first-time smartphone buyers so far this year have said the high cost of data has been No.1 reason they delayed buying a smartphone.
Speaking during a recent UBS conference in New York City, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that Verizon Wireless may rollout shared data plans next year. Currently, a family of five must have a different data plan for each member of the household; however, the new plans could potentially allow all five family members to share a pool of data, much like a family would share voice minutes. The same benefits could apply to a single customer who has separate data plans for a tablet, a smartphone and a USB modem. “I think in 2012 we will see it,” McAdam said. “We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.” McAdam also said that Isis, a mobile wallet initiative created by Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and AT&T, will begin a “significant” rollout of its NFC mobile payment system by the end of 2012 and that it will begin to generate revenue for Verizon by 2013. More →
Verizon’s Home Phone Connect service just went live on the carrier’s website, though the link for the service is down at the moment. The new offering will let you connect your home phone to Verizon’s wireless network, and it uses a base station that merges your landline phone and Verizon’s cellular network. For $19.99/month, you get unlimited calling or $9.99/month to add your home landline to your existing wireless family plan. Not a bad deal at all, and it’s a pretty interesting concept, especially since it doesn’t use your existing broadband connection. The service was trialed in New York and Connecticut previously, but it looks like general availability starts now.
Thanks, Henry! More →
What not to do if you are a large company and have a secret project — ship a box full of relevant collateral to a retail locale with a stern looking label that reads “Don’t Open Until 10/25″. A new connect has come through with some pricing details on T-Mo’s Project Dark, and as usual, we’ve ripped it apart and deciphered it. Pics and pricing after the bounce.