List: Free Cell Phone Providers for the Poor
The following companies offer free cell phones and a monthly allotment of minutes, compliments of the government’s Lifeline program. Here are the big three:
Safelink Wireless – Safelink Wireless is a brand of Tracfone. This is the largest, oldest and best known of the companies that offer free government cell phones. They have millions of customers in 31 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Assurance Wireless – Assurance Wireless is a brand of Sprint Nextel. It began participating in the Lifeline program later than Safelink, but our numbers show it to have grown rapidly and is in more customers than Safelink now. A division of Virgin Mobile, it serves 36 states and the Disctrict of Columbia.
ReachOut Wireless – ReachOut Wireless ¬≠is a regional company that isn’t as large as some of the others, but still an outstanding option. They currently offer the LifeLine service in 12 southern and Midwestern states.
Assist Wireless – This Lifeline cell phone provider offers cell phone plans in Arkansas, Maryland, and Oklahoma. They have a number of different plans.
Budget Mobile – This Lifeline cell phone provider offers cell phone plans in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia , Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.
Cintex Wireless – This regional Lifeline provider offers cell phone plans in Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island or West Virginia.
Care Wireless – This brand of prepaid phone company PlatinumTel Wireless offers phones in Illinois.
Conexion Wireless – This primarily prepaid wireless phone company offers phones for Arkansas, Maryland and West Virginia.
i-Wireless – This division of Cincinnati Bell serves Ohio only. Residents of Ohio should look into this service before settling on one of the big providers.
Life Wireless – Life Wireless is free cell phone provider in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
StandUp Wireless – StandUp Wireless is a free cell phone provider in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Terracom Wireless – A regional provider that serves the states of Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia or Wisconsin, .
Yourtel Wireless – A regional provider that serves the states of Kansas, Illinois. Missouri, Maine, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Rhode Island and Washington. Sister company to Terracom Wireless.
True Wireless – A five state provider that serves Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Texas.
Tag Mobile – Serves Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Wireless for Hope – A regional player in Arkansas and Lousiana.
Alaska Communications – They only do one state: Alaska. But they do it well: unlimited talk and text!