Although it isn't the first name you think of when it comes to prepaid GSM phone service, Target has just launched its own MVNO network called "Brightspot." Running on the T-Mobile network — including LTE access — Brightspot offers a variety of inexpensive feature and smart phones for purchase as well as a BYOD SIM kit program. Here's how the plans break down — you can pay $35 per month for unlimited talk and text with no data (for a feature phone) or $50 per month for unlimited talk and text, 1GB of 4G data (throttled thereafter).

Target is also planning to reward loyal customers by giving you a $25 gift card for every 6 months that you refill your service with Brightspot. The gift card can be applied to any purchase at Target, not just future phone service. Folks with a Target REDcard will receive 5 percent off purchases of Brightspot refills as well, just like any other purchase at the store. The service will be available starting October 6th.

It may not make sense to many why Target would want to get in on the cell phone MVNO game, but taking into consideration what Walmart has done in terms of its Walmart Family Mobile and Straight Talk brands you can see why Target would want to get in on the competition.

Not to mention the fact that its loyalty program will keep more people coming back into Target stores every month — presumably buying other things along with their monthly phone refill. Whether it turns out to gain much traction and market share or not, it's great to see another prepaid carrier player in the US.

Source: Target