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RadioShack Adds Private-Label Prepaid Brand

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — No-contract carrier Cricket has expanded into another national retailer with this month’s launch of a private-label RadioShack brand of phones and service.

RadioShack’s No-Contract Wireless service is not a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) arrangement in which RadioShack buys Cricket airtime on a wholesale basis and then bills consumers for service. Rather, “The phones and service will be RadioShack- branded at the point of sale and are in line with Cricket’s service plans for national retail distribution,” a Cricket spokesperson told TWICE. “The customers will be Cricket customers.”

Two Huawei phones will be available initially through the partnership: the Mercury Ice smartphone and the Pillar feature phone. Two more phones will be available by the end of September.

Feature phone plans start at $25 a month for 300 minutes plus unlimited messaging and web access. Smartphone plans start at $50 a month and include unlimited data (1GB at full speed), unlimited minutes and domestic text messaging plus unlimited music downloads and ringtones through Cricket’s Muve Music.

Cricket prepaid phones and plans are presently sold through Walmart, Best Buy, and Dollar General.

In other prepaid news, T-Mobile is upgrading its selection of phones sold by Walmart with the launch of a prepaid Samsung Galaxy S II Android smartphone available exclusively through the national chain. The Galaxy S II costs $299 when paired with one of TMobile’s Monthly 4G no-contract plans of $30 per month or higher.

The Galaxy S II is also available through Walmart’s Family Mobile private-label service, and through Sprint’s Boost Mobile no-contract brand for $369 at participating retailers.