"Ping Zhoa, a senior analyst with CreditSights Inc. in New York, said about 87 percent of the U.S. population already has cell-phone service, particularly those ages 15 to 65. Those without service are most receptive to prepaid because it does not involve a contract and can be started or stopped at will, she said.
Prepaid service has accelerated dramatically during the recession, Zhoa said.
Wal-Mart's prices, she said, are 'clearly lower than what we're seeing in the marketplace for brand names.'
Customers are attracted to prepaid plans, he said, 'because it's so convenient, you use it when you need it, and you get relatively cheap rates.' Michael Nelson, analyst with Soleil Securities Group Inc. in New York, said the plan is likely to catch on with many customers.
'It's a low-priced alternative to traditional higher-priced contract plans offered by the national carriers,' he said."
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