Monday, April 14, 2014

Walmart Starts Offering Prepaid Mobile Service




Walmart, one of the biggest retail stores in existence, has traditionally only offered products made by other companies. They haven’t normally put Walmart branding on most of the in-store products.

Lately, though, this has changed in a big way ever since they launched a new prepaid cell phone service (in partnership with T-Mobile). Obviously they aren’t building the wireless infrastructure themselves, and are instead using T-Mobile’s vast network. Still, through their new prepaid service they’re offering plans that are fairly competitive with other prepaid carriers today. They have given their new prepaid service the name Walmart Family Mobile.

Walmart Family Mobile

Like most other prepaid carriers, all of the phones that they offer are free of any contracts. The only real downside to this service is that they don’t offer too many phones that work specifically on Walmart Family Mobile. This is mainly due to the fact that Family Mobile is designed for families (exactly as the name implies) rather than techies who require the latest and greatest smartphones.

Even with this restriction, you still get all of the advantages of the T-Mobile network, including its already established coverage areas, 3G data, and their proven reliability. All of this comes at fairly low prices.

Plans

A price of $29.98 a month gets you unlimited talk and text with limited data. $39.88 a month gets you unlimited everything, with data having 3G speeds for up to 2.5 GB of transfer per month.

Considering all that you get, this is a pretty big bargain compared to some of the other prepaid carriers out there. For example, Virgin Mobile’s lowest price is $35 a month, and even T-Mobile’s lowest prepaid price is $30 a month. Walmart Family Mobile gets you the lowest price of them all, even if it’s only by a few cents.

Phones

As mentioned, the phone selection might seem slightly limited. This, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a great, top-of-the-line phone. At the bottom they have ordinary flip phones that start at about $20. And at the top they offer a Samsung Galaxy S4 for $629. Basically, there’s a phone for everyone, even if it’s not the absolute widest selection you can find. But no matter which one you choose, there will be no contract.



If you are so inclined, you can also bring your own phone to the service, just as long as it’s compatible with T-Mobile’s SIM cards. You don’t have to feel limited by what Walmart is trying to sell you.

Other Thoughts

All in all, Walmart Family Mobile is a fantastic deal for everything that you get. Not only can you use almost any number of phones that are compatible with T-Mobile, but you also get to pay very low prices even if you want unlimited everything. This is a lot more than you can say for non-prepaid mobile carriers that want to charge as high as $70 a month for everything unlimited. Much of that price comes from the contracts that you have to enter, and the monthly payments that you have to make on the phones that you buy.

Working in Telecommunication



The telecommunication industry has evolved quite bit from the early days, when simple Morse code messages were sent across wires that were several miles long. Today, telecommunications is quite a bit more sophisticated, offering many ways for people to communicate, whether it’s audio, video, or text.

Given the broad use of telecommunications today, there are plenty of opportunities for people willing to work in the industry. The major telecom companies—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and so on—all have a very long history behind them, and have evolved their technology and infrastructure over many decades. And all of them typically have plenty of potential jobs for you to look at.

Brief History

Even if this kind of information isn’t directly relevant to telecommunications today, it’s still good to know how we got to where we are today. Modern forms of communication are quite sophisticated and robust, with all sorts of standards and protocols in place to dictate how everything works. But it wasn’t always so complex; back when the telegraph was in its prime, we had nothing but Morse code to communicate.

Later, of course, things like the telephone were invented, which became incredibly widespread and transformed the way we communicate over long distances. After that, the Internet and mobile devices did the same, but on a completely different scale.

There are a lot of details that we won’t go over in this short article, but hopefully this should give a basic gist and act as a stepping stone to do your own research, if you so desire.

Current State

Right now, the mobile and VoIP industries are absolutely booming right now. Smartphones are now pretty much the de facto standard when it comes to mobile service. Thus, the companies behind it (mentioned above) are always looking for people to run these vital wireless networks.
Besides the mobile industry, the Internet has also taken off as a communication medium. Beyond the obvious social networking aspect, there’s also Voice-over-IP service such as Vonage and Skype. These two companies offer many job opportunities as well, whether it’s dealing with the nitty-gritty backend or doing customer service.



What’s in Store

It’s never easy to predict where we’ll be even 5 years from now. In the short-term it’s likely that the mobile and Internet-based communication will continue to grow as landlines fall by the wayside. More specifically, with things like multi-hundred megabit or even gigabit Internet connections on the horizon, we can begin to see novel advancements in telecommunications that we can’t even imagine today. When it comes to fruition, though, that’s even more potential jobs created.

Other Thoughts

In short, the telecommunications industry is showing no signs of slowing down. It is only changing with the times. Thus, the most valued people as far as jobs go are ones who can adapt to a rapidly changing industry. Basically, everything that’s happening in the telecom industry tends to go hand in hand with advancements in technology. And to anyone who’s paying attention, technology evolves at an incredible pace; it would have been impossible to imagine back in the 1900’s that we’d be able to communicate with a large portion of the globe from a device that we hold in our hand and take with us.