Home - , , - Walmart Family Mobile Adds More Data, new $29.88 Plan 

Walmart Family Mobile Adds More Data, new $29.88 Plan 

Walmart Family Mobile icon (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
Sales and e911 taxes only

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

14 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Does anyone know whether the WFM phones include the $25 activation card?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On Walmart.com's WFM phones page most of the phones do not come with the SIM activation kit. A few do but the ones that do seem to be priced at least $25 higher than Walmart's comparable phones for T-Mobile.

      Delete
  2. Dennis, will any CDMA phones work with WFM? Or is this plan(s) only for GSM phones? Either way, this shows how competitive pre-paid plans are becoming. I love my Page Plus TNT 1200 plan especially since they increased the data to 500 MB but "unlimited" data is tempting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The max 35% tax kills it for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In their printed brochure with a summary of fine print; they claim taxes of approximately 6% to 26% but YMMV.

      Delete
  4. T-Mobile's 3G coverage isn't anything to write home about. Given that I am an avid cyclist, above and beyond data speeds in importance is coverage. I feel better knowing that, with a Verizon MVNO, I have a better chance at getting a signal in rural areas. Verizon's CDMA/EV-DO network might not be the fastest but it definitely has superior coverage and reliability.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anyone who picks a network based on the experience of one person will get what they deserve; a crap shoot. Dennis gives the best advice: study the coverage maps, zoom in to see the areas where you most often live, work and enjoy life, and pick your network. Then test it.
    I have phones on three networks and have used the fourth as well. Dennis's advice works, but everyone will still find areas that don't work well. E.G., my PagePlus phone roams at 29C/minute extra across virtually the whole state just West of me. And the Western edge of my state, as well. Sprint's native network has excellent coverage there. That Verizon phone stays home when I go West. Verizon also gives virtually no signal in a window office within 3 miles of a major metro area, and usually no signal at all at a major subway stop 5 miles away. All my Verizon phones have these coverage issues. My Tmobile prepaid phone can't get a consistent signal in one apartment on the side of an apartment building that is opposite the closest Tmobile tower. Not enough signal reflection (other buildings, etc). The phone drops the Tmobile tower and picks up AT&T, so I can still make an emergency call if I don't want to walk outside (this works in all areas where Tmobile has towers; otherwise I get free voice and text roaming on AT&T). My AT&T AirVoice service has some dead spots in the country, and used to drop some calls before they offloaded a lot of data traffic to their LTE network. Your results may vary. Do your homework, and test before you commit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. most regular normal people only use one cell phone carrier -- and therefore live with the benefits (price they can live with) and consequences (coverage issues) etc. of whichever single carrier they are using.

      the folks reading this site are a different bunch, and you know you are if many or all of your friends look at you in a funny or inquisitive way when you tell them about the several different mvnos that you use or have gone through in quick succession of trying out....

      Delete
  6. In my 13 years of experience with all these MNVO's, really since Worldcom MCI with there CDMA and TDMA MNVO experience l have come to see all of these carriers have there short comings. There is no such thing a perfect carrier but there is such thing as a carrier that fits your needs. I have all four major carriers for service and l have had them for years...I like TMobile the best out of them all...There coverage is not the greatest but they get service in all the places l travel. Just do the research and you will see who fits you best....for those of you who pick carriers because of how fast there data is, l dont understand that still...." My phones does 70 Mbps on a download but it only does it when l stand on my roof " haha.....I hear it everyday....One of the carriers will be stronger in one market than the other...take a look!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used Sprint Spectrum in 1996 (GSM) before they changed to Sprint PCS and CDMA. Sprint send me a new phone, free. I paid $10/month and 25c/minute. The original phone was about 1.5 inches thick (almost square at base) and heavy, but it worked well. Tmobile prepaid was a big improvement in phones and coverage, and I still like it the best. I have tried many MVNOs and phones on all four networks. I like Tmobile's plan flexibility and free roaming on AT&T for excellent voice and SMS coverage, plus the convenience of SIM cards. I have PagePlus but I do not like Verizon phones, which seem cheaply made compared to GSM ones, and I am phasing PagePlus out. Many Vzw phones have broken, even new ones, something that has never happened with my many GSM phones. ESN swaps are usually fine, but can be a hassle. Reprogramming CDMA phones for MVNOs can be tricky. And the CDMA EVDO networks just don't satisfy me after using HSPA+.

      Delete
  7. Where I live and travel the most there are only two network options worth considering: Verizon or AT&T. I like many of the Sprint and T-Mobile MVNOs and their plans, but the coverage just is not there--I'm talking about the big white areas on their maps over places I go regularly. If you travel a lot, like I do, especially away from major cities, you will find the same. I don't go to the same places all the time, so I need the widest coverage. Data speeds don't really matter to me, because when I need speed I am at home using a PC on cable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I got this new plan Yesterday, with two lines, the $39.88 and the 24.88 (for the second). The activation was immediate and the number porting from AT&T was done within a couple of hours. Everything was same as reported in this article, except for the unlimited data package that includes 5GB of 3G. This change is not even reflecting in their website and the sales associates at Walmart had no clues about the data or even about the plan. There is also a sticky thread in the T Mobile post paid section of Howard forums that discuss about this increase in the amount of high speed data.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you had read the fine print in the printed brochure, it claimed two things:

      (A) up to 2.5 GB of 3G speeds -- the up to part is not clearly defined, and

      (B) data speeds OVER 2 GB can be throttled -- note the inconsistency of 2.5 vs 2.0 GB.

      Notwithstading these aforementioned comments, this plan is a huge improvement for the data-centric users and matches the increase in Verizon prepaid, respectively.

      Delete
Comment Page :