Wal-Mart Goes Wireless

5:10 PM -- Discount retailer Wal-Mart is getting serious about wireless, announcing a branded postpaid wireless service today running on T-Mobile US Inc. 's 3G network.

The brand will be called Wal-Mart Family Mobile. It's not the company's first wireless foray, but it is its first rebranded service aimed at postpaid users. The retail giant also offers Common Cents Mobile over Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Verizon Wireless 's Straight Talk.

Wal-Mart vice president of merchandising Greg Hall told the AP that Wal-Mart is going postpaid because there's "there's a perception among customers that prepaid service doesn't offer access to the best phones or the best network quality."

That's a perception that prepaid providers have been working diligently to change and -- in everything but perception -- Wal-Mart appears to agree. It will let users pay into a pooled prepaid account for mobile data and international calling. There also won't be an annual contract for the service, which will cost $45 for the first line of service and $25 for each additional line.

Handsets will be priced at $35 for a Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) phone, in addition to options from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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