Walmart Mexico launches MVNO

The new mobile service was created to help connect those living in rural areas, according to Walmart Mexico

Walmart revealed this week that its Mexican unit — known as Walmex — has launched a mobile phone service available throughout the country. The service, called “Bodega Aurrera Internet y Telefonia,” or BAIT, offers prepaid calls and internet usage.

According to Walmex, the new service was created to help connect those living in rural areas, and that shoppers at its stores would receive additional “megas” of data usage. The service is in line with the country’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s push to expand rural coverage options during his administration.

Mexican telecommunications firm Rocketel will host Walmex’s service, according to Rocketel’s website.

Mexico has seen a decent amount of cell service shake up recently. This month, Mexican broadcaster Televisa launched its own mobile phone service in a bid to challenge billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil, which has long dominated the country’s telecommunications market.

In the U.S., it was reported by The Wall Street Journal in March that Walmart has been in talks with Verizon about supplying a number of its stores with 5G antennas and other network infrastructure to power new Walmart digital health services for shoppers and employees.

Some of the features of the digital health initiative that 5G would support would be video chats with doctors and real-time medical data, as well the ability to share patient medical data with the clinic to allow for auto-registration upon arrival.

If implemented, the in-store 5G deployment would reportedly begin with two stores.

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