Walmart Family Mobile (WMF) is a no-contract postpaid T-Mobile MVNO that's available exclusively in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com. It's similar to T-Mobile's Smart Plans in that although it's postpaid, there's no contract and no credit check is required. However, typical postpaid taxes and fees of 10% to 35% are charged.
I don't normally cover post paid plans at PrepaidPhoneNews but WFM is worth a look because of a couple of plan changes they made this week. These changes make WMF very competitive with T-Mobile prepaid. Here's what's new:
- The $39.88 Unlimited, Talk Text and Web Plan now includes 2.5GB of "3G" data instead of 1GB.
- There's a new $29.88 Unlimited Talk and Text Plan that doesn't include any data.
As you would expect from its name Walmart Family Mobile has a family discount. There's a $5/month price reduction for each additional line (up to five lines total) added to an account.
Walmart Family Mobile charges a $25 activation fee. If you are bringing your own phone (T-Mobile locked and unlocked GSM phones will work), the $25 fee includes a SIM.
Payments can be made online or by phone using a credit or debit card or checking account or with cash in a Walmart store.
International voice rates (list) are fairly low, 5¢/minute to mobiles and landlines in Canada, China, India or Mexico, but sending an international text will cost you 20¢. International calling and texting is prepaid, you must add a $10 Extras Pack. Funds added with the Extras Pack never expire.
Walmart Family Mobile pricing compares favorably with T-Mobile's own offerings; T-Mobile Prepaid, no-contract postpaid and the GoSmart "brand within a brand". Like T-Mobile Prepaid, off network voice and SMS roaming is included. But as with GoSmart data speeds are limited to "3G" levels, reportedly about 900 Kbps. That's faster and Sprint or Verizon's EVDO 3g but much slower that with T-Mobile Prepaid and Postpaid were users get full HSPA+ and LTE speeds of up to 20 Mbps, over 20 times as fast. But 900 Kbps is more than fast enough for most uses including web browsing and video and audio streaming.
Here's a table comparing Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plans from T-Mobile Prepaid, Postpaid and GoSmart with Walmart Family Mobile.
|Service||Before Tax Price||Included Hi-Speed Data||Taxes||Roaming||Data Speeds|
|Walmart Family Mobile||$39.88||2.5 GB||10%-35%||Voice, SMS, no Data||3G|
|GoSmart||$45||5 GB||0-10% 1||None||3G|
|T-Mobile Prepaid||$50||500 MB||0-10% 1||Voice, SMS, no Data||4G|
|T-Mobile Postpaid||$50||500 MB||10%-35%||Voice, SMS and Data||4G|
Walmart Family Mobile seems like a good alternative for users who need unlimited talk and text and off network roaming along with a sizable bucket of relatively high-speed data. Watch out for the taxes though. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way on the WMF website to find out how much the total price with taxes and fees will be.
Related posts from PrepaidPhoneNews:
T-Mobile Announces No-Contract Family Plans - But Are They A Better Deal Than Prepaid?
T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared