The Rise of the $30 Prepaid Monthly Cell Phone Bill

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After a trial run, Wal-Mart is planning on selling Straight Talk Tracfone phones around the country. The prepaid phones do NOT have long-term contracts—no worries about about ETFs (early termination fees)—and come with monthly plans that start at $30.

For the $30 plan, you get 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text messages, and 30 megabytes of mobile Web access per month, according to the WSJ. An unlimited plan is available for $45 a month, and the handsets themselves cost about $40.

There is already speculation that other cell-phone providers will lower their monthly plans to keep up with the competition. Right now, Americans pay five times as much as comparable cell phone users in some other countries, and the average iPhone user pays $95 a month to AT&T.