March 24, 2010
WARREN, N.J., Mar 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A public awareness campaign in Michigan launches this week about Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile, a new cell phone service that makes wireless calling available at no cost to more than 835,600 eligible low-income households throughout Michigan. Assurance Wireless, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, provides more free wireless minutes per month than other similar prepaid programs. Michigan residents may begin applying for Assurance Wireless today.

With more people needing assistance in this difficult economy, Assurance Wireless is providing additional relief to those who need it most. Qualifying Assurance Wireless customers1 in Michigan will be eligible to receive a free handset and 200 minutes of free wireless local and long-distance calling within the United States every month.

Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those eligible for or receiving 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. Customers may also qualify based on household income.2

"Most of us take cellphone service for granted. Mobile phones allow us to stay connected with friends, family and employers and provide critical support in case of emergency," said Neil Lindsay, Chief Marketing Officer for Sprint’s prepaid brands. "The government estimates that more than 111,000 households in Michigan became eligible for income-based assistance programs like food stamps from 2005 to 2008. It is also estimated that the number of households in the Detroit metropolitan area eligible for assistance programs increased by more than 9,000 within the same three-year span. We are proud to offer this valuable service, particularly in these tough times, which disproportionately affect lower income customers."

Assurance Wireless provides wireless consumers with free voicemail, call waiting, 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, international calling at competitive rates, 15-cent text, email or instant messages, and more.3

Community organizations that wish to partner with Assurance Wireless in helping their constituents learn more about the free service should contact Assurance Wireless and Virgin Mobile USA are two of Sprint’s prepaid brands.

About Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless 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.

To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility requirements, please call 1-888-898-4888, or visit Information is available in English and Spanish.

1 Eligibility varies by state.

2 Customers can visit or call 1-888-898-4888 to learn more about eligibility requirements.

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

SOURCE: Sprint

Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693
Corinne Nosal, 908-607-4235