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DALLAS and SINGAPORE -- Building on the success of similar programs in United States and Canada, 7-Eleven Inc. is expanding its proprietary, prepaid wireless program to more than 400 7-Eleven stores in Singapore with the prepaid wireless program called 7-Connect.

Bob Jenkins, vice president of 7-Eleven International, said this marks the first company-owned, private-brand wireless program in Asia and, more importantly, the first retailer to offer a competitive pre-paid plan with free nights and weekends.

"Our mission has always been to consistently serve the changing needs of our customers for their convenience," Jenkins said in a released statement. "There is no question that services in general and wireless specifically is a key product offering for us. Especially after the success of our 7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless offering in North America, we believe the category holds significant promise for future growth both domestically and internationally."

Victor Chia, CEO of 7-Eleven Singapore, said the c-store chain is the largest in the country. "People shop at 7-Eleven stores for the convenience, so it was important to us from the first day to offer a program with useful features and with the great rates, definitely welcomed by all," he said. "Considering that some prepaid plans in Singapore are as much as 16 cents per minute, we believe our customers will really appreciate the great value of the 7-Connect program -- especially the ability to talk for free on nights and weekends."

Developed by the Dallas-based Ztar Mobile, the 7-Connect program uses the 3G network services of M1, one of Singapore's best-known mobile service providers.

"M1 has been widely recognized for challenging the status quo in Singapore by continuously offering new and innovative services, plans and one of the most advanced networks on the island," Neil Montefiore, CEO of M1, said in a statement, adding the company serves 1.6 million customers.

The 7-Connect prepaid "Free Nights and Weekends" plan is now available for $30 per month and features include: free local voice calls on nights and weekends -- a first for the island of Singapore; rates as low as 8 cents per minute; 5-cent local two-way text messaging; 15-cent global two-way text messaging; and free caller ID, voice mail, call-waiting and conference calling.