TracFone Wireless Launches SafeLink Wireless(R) to Aid Over 300K Low-Income
Households in Virginia
Participants Receive Over an Hour of Free Talk Time Monthly and Free
Wireless Cell Phone
RICHMOND, Va. -- October 21, 2008
Today, TracFone Wireless, Inc., America's leading prepaid cell phone
provider, announced its launch of SafeLink Wireless® in Virginia. SafeLink
Wireless will serve as the company's distribution of Lifeline - a U.S.
government supported program for income eligible households that ensures
telephone service is available and affordable for eligible low income
The SafeLink Wireless service will provide eligible low-income households
a free cell phone, mobile access to emergency services and free 68 minutes
of air time, monthly, for one year. The cell phone offers in-demand
features: voicemail, text, call waiting, international calling to over 60
destinations and caller ID.
"Over 300,000 in Virginia qualify for the Lifeline services - offering
these participants the opportunity to have the same access and privileges
many individuals take for granted when it comes to using cell phones,"
said Javier Rosado, Senior Vice President of Lifeline Services for
TracFone. "The SafeLink Wireless service is truly unique because we are
providing a service that no other company has made available before - a
free cell phone and free monthly minutes to qualifying low income
families," added Rosado. SafeLink Wireless offers low income families
accessibility, freedom and the security in knowing that should an
emergency occur - wherever they are, they will stay safe and stay
Economic opportunities for low-income households
A recent study ("Cell Phones Provide Significant Economic Gains for
Low-Income American Households," April 2008) analyzed the impact of mobile
phones on low-income households. "In this day and age, the cell phone
should be deemed an imperative necessity for the millions of low-income
families who are far less likely to own them," said Nicholas P. Sullivan,
the study's author and visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. "Our study showed cell phones can significantly boost the
earning potential of these communities, and this connectivity vastly
encourages their opportunities and remains central to their everyday
survival," Sullivan stressed.
The study also revealed the cell phone is a critical component for
personal safety, access to emergency services, and can potentially
increase a low-income family's economic productivity and earning power.
Other relevant survey findings included:
* Cell phones provide a "security blanket" and are "extremely important"
for "emergency use."
* A cell phone is preferred to a landline phone for mobility and
security purposes, and is preferred to a landline phone for emergency
use by 3-1 ratio.
* 48% have used their phone to call or text during an emergency
* 20% have received an emergency call or text on their cell phone.
* 32% have purchased a cell phone for a relative to use in emergency
* 40% in blue-collar jobs say their cell phone has provided the
opportunity to gain employment or make money.
Daily, millions of Americans depend on mobile telecommunications for a
wide range of basic activities including: calling emergency services,
searching for employment, staying connected with loved ones, and much
more. Yet, for people who cannot afford cell phones, being part of today's
connected world and performing these crucial day-to-day needs is near
Typically, families living below the poverty line struggle to pay their
monthly bills, experience credit issues, and cannot afford traditional
home phone and wireless services. Using public pay phones regularly pose
problems and cell phone contracts often are difficult to maintain due to
costly usage charges over long-term agreements. As a result, regular
communications is a major dilemma for these families.
SAFELINK WIRELESS® SERVICE ELIGIBILITY OVERVIEW BY CITY
The following are opportunities per city specific to each state's
CITY LOW-INCOME POPULATION
Virginia - Richmond 28,813
Virginia - Fairfax 28,724
Virginia - Norfolk 27,229
Virginia - Virginia Beach 21,487
Virginia - Henrico 19,921
Virginia - Newport News 18,622
Virginia - Hampton 14,142
Virginia - Roanoke 13,972
Virginia - Chesterfield 12,055
Virginia - Chesapeake 11,954
Lifeline program eligibility varies by state but generally families may
qualify for SafeLink Wireless service if their household income is not
above 135 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, or if they
receive any of the following government assistance programs:
* Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
* Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
* National School Lunch Program
* Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
* Food Stamps
* Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Families wanting to participate in the SafeLink Wireless service will need
to provide proof of low-income qualification such as:
* 2007 state or federal tax return
* Three consecutive months of payroll statements, or paycheck stubs for
* A Social Security statement of benefits
* A Veterans Administration statement of benefits
* A retirement/pension statement of benefits
* An Unemployment/
* A federal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
* A divorce decree, child support, or other official document that
proves your income
The SafeLink Wireless service will be provided to low-income families for
up to one year. Participants may renew service and will be required to
re-submit eligibility documentation upon their year completion. If the
participant no longer qualifies for this free service, they will be
notified and will be able to keep the cell phone to continue enjoying the
benefits as a regular TracFone customer. Unused minutes will never expire
and will automatically rollover. When recipients surpass their allocated
68 airtime minutes, they will be able to purchase prepaid SafeLink
Wireless airtime cards or TracFone airtime cards, including double minute
cards. Existing TracFone customers qualifying for the SafeLink Wireless
service may keep their current cell phone, and receive bonus minutes
(one-time bonus only) for choosing to keep their current cell phone.
To learn more about the SafeLink Wireless service, including eligibility
requirements, please call 1-800-977-3768, or visit
ABOUT TRACFONE WIRELESS, INC.
TracFone Wireless, Inc. is America's number one prepaid wireless service
in the U.S. with more than 10 million cell phone subscribers. TracFone is
a subsidiary of América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. ("AMX") (BMV: AMX; NYSE:
AMX; Nasdaq: AMOV; LATIBEX: XAMXL), the leading provider of wireless
services in Latin America with more than 153 million cell phone
subscribers. For more information, please visit: www.tracfone.
From: Reidy, Robert F. (DET)
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 12:00 PM
Subject: Free Cell Phone & Minutes
SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime each
month for income-eligible customers.
Unemployment benefits may not count as income...
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