September 09, 2010
Assurance Wireless Raises Awareness of Cell Phone Options for Eligible Low- Income Customers During National Lifeline Awareness Week
Recent survey indicates that mobile phones serve as a necessity in today’s society for staying in contact and emergency situations
WARREN, N.J. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 09, 2010 - Assurance Wireless is leading the charge in raising awareness of and participation in statewide Lifeline assistance programs by supporting the Federal Communications Commission’s National Lifeline Awareness Week, Sept. 13-19.
Assurance Wireless is a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that provides a free wireless phone and 200 free minutes of wireless voice service monthly to eligible customers. Lifeline Assistance Programs like Assurance Wireless are crucial to helping people back on their feet by keeping them connected to potential employers, medical providers and child care while cutting down monthly expenses.
Assurance Wireless recently commissioned a survey to learn how and when Americans use their cell phones. Eight out of ten Americans reported feeling dependent on their cell phones and using their mobile phones to stay in contact with family and seek help in case of emergencies. The survey also revealed that adults, regardless of household incomes (ranging from below $25,000 to more than $75,000), are equally as likely to use their mobile phones for employment searches.
“Not surprisingly, the survey found that people across various income levels find cell phones to be an important tool for job hunting, but what many people don’t know is that there are mobile options for them during tough times,” said Grace Boehm, director for Assurance Wireless. “National Lifeline Awareness Week is a great way to build awareness of subsidized cell phone services, like Assurance, that are available to assist in the job hunt.”
In the survey, seven out of ten senior citizens age 65 and older state that a mobile phone is necessary in their everyday lives. In this age group, 76 percent note that they use their mobile phone to stay in contact with family, and a majority (53 percent) stay connected with friends.
“Staying connected to family and having access to better opportunities is what National Lifeline Awareness Week is all about,” said Louis Barajas, My Street money expert. “On ‘My Street’ all across America many families are struggling financially, but with the help of Assurance Wireless there is hope for families to at least stay connected and have hope for a better future.”
In addition to Lifeline Assistance Programs like Assurance Wireless, Barajas offers the following My Street Money Tips to help people get back on their feet during tough financial times:
Assurance Wireless is currently available in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In addition to a free voice mail account and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of an emergency. Beyond the free voice 200 minutes, customers can pay for additional 10-cent-per-minute domestic calling, 10-cent text, e-mail or instant messages, international calling at competitive rates, and more.
Although eligibility varies by state, customers eligible for Assurance Wireless generally include those who participate in Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA/TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs (BIA), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or the National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income.
About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Assurance Wireless uses the Nationwide Sprint Network which reaches more than 275 million people.
To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility requirements, please call 800-395-2171 or visit www.assurancewireless.com. Information is available in English and Spanish.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.1 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Note: sources for all information and statistics are available upon request
*PKS Research Partners was commissioned by Sprint/Nextel (Assurance Wireless) to conduct a research project among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 25 years or older in order to determine their attitudes toward and usage of mobile phones.