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    7-Eleven Expands Its Prepaid Wireless Offer

    Phone features camera functionality and FM radio.

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. this month becomes the first retailer to offer its customers a prepaid wireless phone with camera photo-ID functionality and FM radio, expanding the 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless service across the country.

    Industry wide, wireless camera phones are gaining in popularity as consumers are purchasing these new phones as replacements. Research trends indicate that more wireless camera phones will be sold worldwide this year than digital cameras, according to a 2004 report by Visiongain, and sales are forecasted to grow at 50 percent annually for the next four years.

    Kevin Cooper, 7-Eleven stores retail services category manager, said, "7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless has enhanced the program features in an expanded rollout of the program -- 365-day airtime balance expiration, GSM network coverage, instant messaging, FM radio and Photo IDs. Expected in the near future are downloadable games and polyphonic ring tones. Furthermore, customers' airtime balance is shown on the wireless phone screen after every call for added convenience."

    The expanded 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless service will use the same single rate of 20 cents per minute -- including domestic, long distance and on-network roaming -- to make the program understandable for new customers and customers who purchased Speak Out phones (Nokia 2260 and Nokia 3560) in the 14 original 7-Eleven markets launched in April. The same customer service will be provided in Spanish as well as English and includes bilingual product information on all collateral materials and in the cell phone product-information guide.

    "With 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless, we have streamlined the entire program so all customers will receive the same low rate per minute and airtime-expiration balance, no matter the phone selection," Cooper said. "So whether a customer bought a phone in May or in October, the same program features are available, making 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless one of the most hassle-free, prepaid wireless programs in the United States."

    After the initial launch to 14 U.S. 7-Eleven markets, the Speak Out Wireless program is now being offered through 4,411 7-Eleven company-operated and franchised stores in 39 geographic areas.

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