T-Mobile, Walmart partner on $30 no-contract data and texting plan

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T-Mobile USA is teaming up with retail giant Walmart to offer a $30 no-contract, data-centric plan, the latest evolution of T-Mobile's retail strategy following RadioShack's decision to drop the nation's No. 4 carrier.

The companies said the Monthly 4G plan will offer up to 5 GB of data on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, unlimited texting and 100 voice minutes with a charge of 10 cents per minute beyond that. The plan will be sold exclusively at more than 2,200 Walmart stores and online starting Oct. 16.

In the aftermath of RadioShack's decision to stop selling T-Mobile products and service Sept. 14 and return to selling service from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile has undertaken a series of steps to boost its retail presence including a redesign of 400 of its own retail stores. T-Mobile also inked a deal with Family Dollar Stores for the stores to sell T-Mobile's prepaid LG GS170 phone in nearly 6,000 Family Dollar locations. The deal comes shortly after T-Mobile announced the availability of the LG device in 7-Eleven's retail stores.

Interestingly, this is not the first time T-Mobile and Walmart have linked up to sell wireless service. Walmart announced its own postpaid wireless brand last fall, called Walmart Family Mobile, which runs on T-Mobile's network and cost $45 per month for unlimited voice and texting; additional lines can be added for $25 per month. The Walmart service also has a prepaid component, allowing users who want mobile data to pay into a prepaid account that can be pooled for an entire family. T-Mobile also provides network service for TracFone's Straight Talk service, which is sold through Walmart.

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