Verizon Communications Inc. enlisted Walmart Inc. to sell a pay-as-you-go home wireless internet service for $45 a month, marking the company’s second big product for the prepaid market in as many months.
The service will be sold under the Straight Talk Home Internet brand exclusively at Walmart stores in the coming weeks, according to a company announcement. The connection speeds will be capped at 100 Mbps and customers will need to purchase a $99 in-home router.
As Bloomberg first reported, Verizon’s prepaid service will rival T-Mobile US Inc.’s $50-a-month Metro broadband that launched in March. The new offer will give cord-cutters and so-called cord-nevers another cheap way to access the internet at home without landlines.
For years, Verizon largely ignored the prepaid market, but having fallen to the back of the three-carrier pack on traditional mobile-subscriber growth this year, the company has changed its approach. Verizon is now targeting customers with little or no credit history, like renters, students and people without bank accounts.
Verizon became the largest prepaid mobile phone provider in the US last year when it bought Tracfone for $6.6 billion. Last month, in its first big push since that deal, Verizon unveiled Total, a prepaid brand to compete with Metro from T-Mobile and Cricket by AT&T Inc.
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