US mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) TracFone, which is 98.2% owned by Mexican telecoms giant America Movil, has reported net additions of 839,000 in the three months ended 31 March, taking its overall subscriber base to 23.23 million. The quarterly growth eclipses TracFone’s net additions of 753,000 in 4Q12, traditionally the strongest quarter for US carriers. In financial terms, TracFone saw its 1Q13 revenue increase 39.8% year-on-year to USD1.51 billion.
Although the Mexican parent company has not mentioned the fact in its reporting, Fierce Wireless notes that TracFone’s pre-paid ‘Straight Talk’ brand launched support for Apple’s iPhone in January this year, which likely helped boost its first quarter numbers. Straight Talk started selling Apple’s iPhone, including the Long Term Evolution (LTE)-capable iPhone 5, with a USD45 monthly package including unlimited voice, SMS and data – significantly undercutting its domestic rivals.