BENTONVILLE, Ark. (
) -- As if it isn't enough that
is a near monopoly for almost all things retail, it is now expanding its reach to include wireless cell-phone plans.
The behemoth discounter announced on Wednesday that it will begin offering two no-contract wireless service plans.
Straight Talk, which is a partnership with TracFone, a unit of
, will offer two plans for either $30 or $45 a month and will be available at more than 3,200 Wal-Mart locations starting on Oct. 18.
According to Wal-Mart, the average adult spends $78 on their cell phone bill a month.
Cheaper prices could, of course, take market-share away from carriers like
Leap Wireless International
, which offer plans for about $50 a month.
also offer no-contract cell phones in stores.
Wal-Mart began testing the program in 234 stores starting last summer.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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