TracFone Wireless' Straight Talk $45 per month prepaid plan is gaining traction in Atlanta, according to Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk. The plan, which was quietly unveiled a few weeks ago, offers unlimited voice, text messaging and 30 MB of data and runs on Verizon Wireless' network.
Piecyk said Straight Talk is gaining steam in Atlanta and the plan likely is to be expanded to other markets. He also noted in a blog post that Wal-Mart employees seemed knowledgeable about the plan, and that they were pointing out to customers that the plan runs on Verizon's network. Several Wal-Mart employees said the majority of their prepaid wireless sales had already shifted to Straight Talk. Piecyk said that TracFone commercials promoting the plan appeared to be playing in heavy rotation on local television stations.
When details of the plan first emerged, Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen said Leap Wireless and Boost Mobile, Sprint Nextel's prepaid unit, would be especially vulnerable to the increased competition. Shares of Leap and MetroPCS fell following the introduction of Straight Talk, though they have risen since.
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