July 14, 2010
More than 1 million Florida residents eligible to receive Assurance Wireless

WARREN, N.J., Jul 14, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Today, Assurance Wireless, 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, launches in Florida.

More than one million Florida residents are currently without a job and more than 13 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives customers the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment.

"With unemployment in Florida currently so high, people need to be connected if for no other reason than to be able to apply for and obtain a new job," said Grace Boehm, director for Assurance Wireless. "Studies have shown that nearly a third of those working say their cell phone has helped them make money, get new work or new customers."

According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Assurance Wireless*, adults with an income of less than $25,000 are as likely to use their mobile phone for employment searches as those with higher incomes.

"Programs like Assurance are so important for helping individuals and families stay on, or get back on, their feet and succeed in these difficult financial times," explains business columnist and personal finance expert Louis Barajas.

That same nationwide survey also stated that approximately 76 percent of people 65 or older use a mobile phone for staying in contact with family, and keep one on hand for use in an emergency.

"The phone I received from Assurance Wireless allows me to stay connected to my children in case of an emergency," said Angela R., age 33 of Memphis, Tenn. "It gives me a sense of security to know that I can always reach them."

In addition to free voicemail1 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the free 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.2

Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless 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 National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income.

Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling 1-800-395-2171, or visiting www.assurancewireless.com.

Assurance Wireless is currently also available in Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and, in Florida, provides 50 minutes more each month than Safelink Wireless(R).

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.

Please follow Assurance news on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell and YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/assurancewireless.

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 towards and usage of mobile phones.

1 Airtime charges apply when accessing voicemail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.

2 When purchasing additional minutes or features, standard taxes and surcharges will apply.

SOURCE: Sprint

Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693
Leilani Geller, 646-428-0605