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Univision Pacts with T-Mobile to Launch Wireless Phone Service Aimed at Hispanics

Hispanic television programmer Univision Communications is now a virtual wireless provider.

Univision announced a pact with T-Mobile to launch Univision Mobile, a service created specifically for the nearly 56 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S. The new service will launch May 19, through Walmart and other retailers nationwide.

Univision Mobile, powered by T-Mobile's networks, will incorporate the media company's TV content and apps. Plans for unlimited voice, data and texting start at $45 per month, with no annual contract required and international calling and texting features.

About 72% of Hispanics own smartphones, roughly 10 points higher than average U.S. consumer -- and 49% of Latinos say they plan to replace or upgrade smartphones within the next six months, according to Nielsen.

"Univision Mobile's services and features have been created to satisfy the needs of the U.S. Hispanic community," Kevin Conroy, Univision prexy of digital and enterprise development, said in announcing the service. "We're providing the best value, no annual contract wireless service plans specifically tailored to our audience's needs."

Walmart, which says more than 16 million Hispanic customers visit its U.S. stores each week, will sell Univision Mobile in approximately 1,800 stores throughout the country. The service will also be available at 6,000 independent dealer locations serving Hispanic communities throughout the country.

The Univision Mobile unlimited nationwide talk and text plans start at $30 per month, while talk, text and web plans starts at just $45 per month (which includes up to 2.5 gigabytes of data). All plans include unlimited international texting from the U.S. to select Latin American countries and more than 200 other countries and destinations, plus 100 minutes to call mobile or landline numbers from the U.S. to eight Latin American countries, including Mexico.

Univision-branded content on the service will include ringtones and wallpapers, sneak peeks of new Univision shows and premieres, and behind-the-scenes access to Univision events and TV/radio personalities.

Univision Mobile customers can use their own compatible devices by purchasing a SIM card or they can choose from five phone options: Samsung's Galaxy GS III, Galaxy Exhibit and Galaxy Lite; and Alcatel's Evolve smartphone and Island flip-phone.

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