Showing posts with label free cellphones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free cellphones. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free Cell Phone Plans To Those Who Qualify

Assurance Wireless, a division of Virgin Mobile, launched a service yesterday that provides a free cellphone and 200 free monthly minutes to qualifying low-income Maryland residents, the company said.

Assurance is able to offer the free service because it obtains a per-customer subsidy through a federal program whose goal is to improve land-line and wireless phone access. Customers who exceed the 200-minute allowance have to pay for subsequent service at 10 cents per minute.

The subsidy comes from the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Fund, which supports a program called Lifeline. The program helps provide for telephone access in under-served areas across the United States.

Assurance is the second company in six months to offer low-income residents with free cellphone plans in Maryland. In November, TracFone Wireless Inc. announced they would give free cell phones and 64 free minutes a month to eligible low-income customers in Maryland through its service, Safelink Wireless.

Customers eligibile for the cell phone programs typically have to be participating in a federal program, such as Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, or they may qualify based on low income. Potential customers can call 800-395-2171 or visit on the Internet.