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T-Mobile, Univision Partner on Cell Service for Hispanic Americans

The partnership will offer plans that include, among other things, 100 minutes of calling to eight Latin American countries.

T-Mobile is announcing on Thursday a partnership with Spanish-language media network Univision on a new mobile service for Latinos.

Dubbed Univision Mobile, the service will use T-Mobile’s network and be sold initially at about 1,000 Wal-Mart stores, with more Walmart and independent dealer locations to be added in June.

T-Mobile will market a variety of phones for the service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Light as well as two Alcatel OneTouch models. However, Univision Mobile will work with any phone that is compatible with T-Mobile’s network.

Service plans include an unlimited talk and text plan for $30 per month and a $45 per month plan that includes up to 2.5GB of 3G data or a $55 per month plan that comes with 2.5GB of 4G data.

Included in the calling plans are 100 minutes to mobile or landline phones to eight Latin American countries, including Mexico.

Univision will create a mobile portal for customers and also provide a rewards program offering content such as ringtones and wallpaper along with exclusive content such as sneak peeks of upcoming Univision telenovelas.

T-Mobile marketing chief Mike Sievert said that his company had been working with Univision for more than a year to come up with the right combination of products and content. By contrast, he said, many rivals are just translating their marketing materials.

“It’s the same old stuff with Spanish language put on top of it,” Sievert said.

Sievert noted Nielsen data that 72 percent of Latinos own a smartphone, nearly 10 percentage points above the national average and that T-Mobile already has a higher percentage of Latino customers than any of the other major wireless carriers.

T-Mobile is not the first cell phone provider to address the Latino market. Last year, Verizon teamed with Jennifer Lopez and BrightStar on Viva Movil, which operates stores that cater to Latino customers.

Verizon said there are now 15 Viva Movil stores in cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami, but declined to say how many customers it has signed up.

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