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America Movil’s U.S. based MVNO, TracFone has announced the purchase of T-Mobile MVNO Simple Mobile for an undisclosed amount. TracFone is the nation’s largest MVNO with around 20.1 million subscribers, Simple Mobile counts 1 million subscribers. Simple Mobile uses T-Mobile’s 3G/4G network for their roughly 1 million customers and the reason for the purchase was partly due to T-Mobile’s future refarming efforts of the 1900MHz band.
“The acquisition will add important new distribution channels for América Móvil and is likely the first step in a broadening strategy,” wrote BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, who estimated that T-Mobile owned 30 percent of Simple Mobile but will not move to block the transaction.
So what does this mean for you as a T-Mobile subscriber? Absolutely nothing other than the fact that T-Mobile’s network refarm is piquing a lot of interest. Simple Mobile now operates a “SIM-only” business, and doesn’t sell any phones only offering SIM cards to those who bring their own equipment. The T-Mobile myTouch is said to be one of the most popular devices on the Simple Mobile network.
This is just more industry consolidation and as TracFone grows, the more attention Prepaid plans will receive, an area T-Mobile already shows a lot of growth. It will be interesting to see how the Prepaid and Postpaid markets look 5 years from now.