TracFone keeps it Simple with MVNO deal

11 May 2012

TracFone, the United States’ largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in terms of subscribers, has reportedly agreed a deal to purchase fellow reseller Simple Mobile for an undisclosed sum. The ownership of Simple Mobile, which piggybacks on T-Mobile USA’s network, is unknown, although T-Mobile itself is rumoured to hold a roughly 30% stake in the MVNO. According to Fierce Wireless, Simple Mobile is a ‘SIM-only’ business, with subscribers either bringing their own unlocked handsets to the carrier, or purchasing phones through one of its affiliate distributors.

In a brief press statement, TracFone parent company America Movil has indicated that Simple Mobile currently counts around one million subscribers, although speaking at the CTIA Wireless trade show, prior to the deal, the MVNO’s senior vice president of marketing Tim Garrett said that the company had recorded 2.5 million device activations since November 2009. Garrett also added that Simple Mobile was in the process of expanding its marketing efforts from large markets like Miami and Los Angeles to smaller ones such as Detroit and Washington DC. Fierce Wireless notes that it is unclear how TracFone intends to integrate the company, and has been unwilling to respond to questions from the media.

United States, T-Mobile US, TracFone Wireless