Walmart Gets Aggressive in 3G/4G

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Walmart is breaking new ground in discount cellular service for phones, netbook and notebook PCs and will begin stocking the cutting edge Sprint HTC EVO–the first U.S. 4G phone.
In an impressive list of announcements, the retail giant said it will start selling an exclusive pay-as-you-go netbook or notebook with AT&T service this weekend. And it will begin selling May 15, exclusive seven-cents-a-minute pay-as you-go cellular and text plans from Sprint. It is also upping its smartphone assortment by 60 percent compared to last year. Netbook/notebooks will be offered on pay-as-you go plans from Verizon and Cricket.
In other connected products, Walmart will increase its assortment of streaming Blu-ray players (that offer Vudu, Netflix, Pandora, etc.) by 50 percent, stocking units from LG, Vizio, Samsung and Sony. It will also create a “New Technology” HDTV center in 1,200 stores for showcasing new LED TVs and Internet-ready TVs. Walmart will also add more wireless networking products such as those from Netgear, Valet and Belkin, it said.
Sprint announced yesterday the HTC EVO 4G phone will be available starting June 4. 4G service provides data speeds up to ten times faster than current 3G service. The EVO, probably one of the most highly featured phones to date (including a front facing 8mp camera with HD camcorder and forward facing 1.3 mp camera) will be in all Sprint retailers including RadioShack and Best Buy as well as Walmart at $199.99 with a two year contract after $100 mail in rebate. The data plan for the phone starts at $70 per month. An optional mobile hotspot is available for $30.
Source: Walmart and Sprint

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