In the world of mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), Tracfone’s 18 million customer base makes it a major player. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what an MVNO is, it’s pretty much when a smaller wireless provider leases coverage from a major wireless carrier. In the case of Tracfone, it leases network coverage from AT&T and T-Mobile. Looking to expand its reach, Tracfone’s parent company América Móvil has announced its plans to purchase fellow MVNO Simple Mobile.
Unlike most MVNOs that offer their own devices, Simple Mobile takes a bring-your-own-handset approach, and only provides SIM-cards that connect you to its services. It remains unknown if América Móvil plans to roll Simple Mobile and its one million plus subscribers into Tracfone, or run it as a standalone carrier. However, the deal between the two companies is said to close in the second quarter of 2012.
“América Móvil to acquire Simple Mobile”
Mexico City, Mexico, May 10, 2012 — América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. (“AMX”) (BMV:AMX; NYSE: AMX; NASDAQ: AMOV; LATIBEX: XAMXL), announced today that its subsidiary Tracfone Wireless, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the operations of Simple Mobile, Inc. (“Simple Mobile”), one of T-Mobile’s largest mobile virtual network operators (MVNO’s) in the United States, that services over 1 million customers and offers, among others, voice, messaging, data and wireless broadband plans.
The completion of the transaction is subject to certain approvals and conditions customary in this type of transactions and is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2012.
AMX is the leading provider of wireless services in Latin America. As of March 31, 2012, it had 246 million wireless subscribers and 59.7 million fixed revenue generating units in the Americas.