U.S.Cellular and Alltel Wireless have joined up with Wal-Mart to take on the cell phone frontier of big-box retail distribution.
U.S. Cellular, a regional carrier out of Chicago, and Alltel, based in Little Rock, Ark., will begin selling select phones under the U Prepaid brand in 18 states some time in May.
U Prepaid, a pre-existing Alltel brand, will kick off at Wal-Mart with four phones: the Android-powered Samsung Repp, LG Attune/LG Exchange and LG Saber feature phones with QWERTY keyboard, and the simpler Samsung Chrono.
Customers will ride either U.S. Cellular or Alltel's network, depending on where they live. Following the no-contract model, the U Prepaid nationwide plans will offer unlimited talk and text time, and won't incur roaming charges.