May 24, 2010
More than two hundred thousand Maryland residents eligible to receive Assurance Wireless

WARREN, N.J., May 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Today, Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that provides a free wireless phone and 200 free minutes of national local and long-distance monthly service to eligible customers, launches in Maryland.

More than 200,000 Maryland residents are currently without a job and almost 8.1 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives users the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment as well as provide a simple way to stay connected to family in case of emergencies. Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling 1-800-395-2171, or visiting

Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA or Section 8), Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) or the National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program OR customers may also qualify based on low household income.

"With unemployment in Maryland hitting 7.7 percent last month, 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. "Recent studies have shown that nearly a third of those working say their phone has helped them make money, get new work or new customers. We are very proud to offer this valuable service, particularly during these tough times, so that customers can put scarce resources that would have gone toward a landline or cell phone instead toward rent or groceries."

Assurance Wireless is currently also available in Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and provides nearly triple the amount of minutes offered by Safelink Wireless(R) in Maryland.

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

"I am very happy to have a phone from Assurance Wireless," stated Lydia A., 54, an Assurance Wireless customer from New York. "I mostly use it in case of emergencies and to stay in contact with my family. This is a good program in today’s economy."

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 Information is available in English and Spanish.

Note:sources for all information and statistics are available upon request

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