T-Mobile may support Sprint’s Lifeline program on merger approval

T-Mobile US Inc., America’s fastest network operator, has pledged to indefinitely support the low-income Assurance Wireless brand of Sprint, a U.S.-based telecom company & internet service provider. The support in inherently dependent on the approval of the $26 billion merger between the two companies by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the DOJ (Department of Justice).

Sources revealed that Assurance, which is a part of Virgin Mobile, is significantly involved in Sprint’s Lifeline Assistance program. The program is a government service allowing those on public assistance programs including Food Stamps and Medicaid, to seek a discount worth $9.25 each month off phone service or probably a free phone & service, which will qualify low-income households, added sources.

For the record, Assurance, as well as other prepaid brands of Sprint such as Virgin Wireless & Boost Mobile and T-Mobile’s Metro, are recognized for their cheaper alternatives to the traditional plans, intended for Americans from the lower-income group.

Reportedly, Assurance provides services in about 41 states, including Washington D.C., with Lifeline, whereas, T-Mobile potentially supports the program in around 9 states including Puerto Rico. The service is confined to one account in every household, and it may require one’s proof of income or participation in at least one of the other government programs to verify eligibility.

Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s President, was recently quoted saying that the newfangled T-Mobile would help maintain the current T-Mobile & Sprint Lifeline program indefinitely all across the country, striving to prevent fundamental changes to the existing program.

The two companies have long been pressurized by Democrats over concerns whether the merger will result in higher prices. In a recent letter to the FCC & the DOJ, which is against the merger deal, it was argued that the merger is likely to hurt people with lower income and communities of color disproportionately.

However, T-Mobile has promised to maintain normal rates for three years and has also affirmed that its integration with Sprint will provide access to a strong 5G network and offer improved services in rural areas.