TracFone acquires Simple Mobile, one of the largest T-Mobile MVNO
Mexico’s America Movil announced that its U.S. subsidiary TracFone acquires Simple Mobile, one of the largest T-Mobile’s MVNO for around $100 million. Simple Mobile counts 1 million subscribers, which now will be added to TracFone’s 20.1 million subscribers. No details about agreement were disclosed at this point but will be sometime in the end of next month when deal is expected to close.
Simple Mobile is a “SIM-only” operator. They do not offer handsets, just SIM cards with their monthly service to those who bring their own unlocked GSM phones. One of the reasons of America Movil acquiring Simple Mobile is that they would compete easier with prepaid providers that do not use SIMs as Boost and Virgin, according to BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk. TracFone’s subsidiaries Straight talk and NET10 also recently introduced BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option to its customers.
Another possible reason for America Movil’s interest in Simple Mobile, according to Walter Piecyk, might be Simple Mobile’s plans, for later this year, to make certain changes to T-Mobile’s network in order to provide support for iPhone.
Anyway, a Barclays report said that after this acquisition, Tracfone would have almost 30 percent market share on prepaid customers in the U.S.
America Movil did not comment on this agreement so for more details and clarifications we will have to wait after the deal close, in the second quarter of this year.