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Alltel, US Cellular and Walmart to Offer U Prepaid in 18 States

Walmart, US Cellular and Alltel today announced a joint venture to sell Alltel's U Prepaid brand in nearly 500 Walmart stores in 18 states starting in May. The companies did not specify which states, but I suspect they be areas of the Midwest, South East, New England and Pacific Northwest where US Cellular and Alltel have their own networks.

The service will launch with four phones, the Samsung Repp which is an entry level Android phone, and three feature phones, the Samsung Chrono flip phone, LG Saber QWERTY candy bar and LG Attune touchscreen QWERTY slider.

The announcement did not include plan details or phone or plan pricing. The companies did say that all plans will include no extra cost nationwide roaming and that multiple data options and an unlimited voice and messaging plan will be available.

Alltel's U Prepaid has been around since 2006 and was once a popular and well known brand, but it has been almost invisible since Verizon acquired most of Alltel in 2008. Before the acquisition Alltel was the 5th largest US mobile operator in the US with 13 million subscribers. Today Alltel has around 800,000 subscribers in six states. US Cellular is a giant by comparison with 6 million customers in 26 states.

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