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    7-Eleven Enhances Private-Label Wireless Program

    SpeakOut Wireless will come with two options -- unlimited nationwide calling and free nights and weekends.

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven is giving its prepaid wireless customers more with two new versions of SpeakOut, its private-label prepaid wireless program supported by Ztar mobile Inc. One plan offers unlimited night and weekend calls, while the other includes a competitive per-minute charge of 15 cents for nationwide calling, the company stated.

    "7-Eleven was the first major retailer to introduce a private-label wireless brand," Brad Haga, 7-Eleven senior product director for business development and services, said in a statement. "Given its success, we are enhancing the 7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless program, while ensuring that it remains easy to use and affordable for consumers. We've found that customers prefer flexibility and don't want a long-term contractual commitment. These two plans are among the most competitive prepaid wireless offerings available in the market today."

    Prepaid and postpaid consumers identify convenience and price as the top reasons for the location where their wireless phone is purchased, according to a study by consumer and retail analyst firm, the NPD Group, located in Port Washington, N.Y.

    "With 7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless, what you see is what you get," Haga added. "Unlike some prepaid offerings with per-day fees, charges for added services, limited calling areas or other restrictions, the 7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless nationwide plans are simple, straightforward and now provide even greater value."

    7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless Unlimited Nationwide Nights and Weekends plan is available at $40 per month. Features of this plan include unlimited nationwide calling on nights and weekends; 200 peak-time minutes; 10-cent rate for peak-time voice calls; 5-cent, two-way text messaging; free voice mail, caller ID and call-waiting; and carry-over minutes to the next month.

    Due to demand, fill-up cards are available in 7-Eleven stores beginning at $5. The cards feature a per-minute charge of 10 cents, the lowest price offered by 7-Eleven, the company stated.

    The other plan, 7-Eleven's SpeakOut Wireless By-the-Minute Plan saw the per-minute charge lowered to 15 cents a minute for nationwide calling, compared to 20 cents a minute previously. This plan offers pay-as-you-go anytime minutes; free voice mail, caller ID, call-waiting and three-way calling; Carry-over minutes for a year; and 5-cent, two-way text messaging.

    In addition, 7-Eleven is promoting a holiday offer where customers who purchase a Sanyo 2400 or LG 5225 phone will get a free $40 SpeakOut Wireless airtime card, giving the customers the first month of service free, throughout the end of the year. 7-Eleven is also offering a free $10 SpeakOut card to customers of the by-the-minute plan with a phone purchase.

    "SpeakOut Wireless has proven to be adept at meeting consumers' needs whether they purchase our service for themselves, their kids or their parents," Haga said. "As we approach any proprietary product in its lifecycle, it was time to improve the program to meet consumers' changing needs."

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