Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Verizon is buying Tracfone in a deal worth more than $6 billion, the company announced Monday. The deal means the largest mobile network virtual operator (MNVO) in the US will become part of the largest wireless provider in the country.
Tracfone is the largest reseller of wireless services in the US, with 21 million subscribers, around 850 employees, and a network of more than 90,000 retail locations. It’s owned by Mexico-based América Móvil, and along with the Tracfone brand, operates the Net10 and Straight Talk brands in the US. More than 13 million Tracfone customers already rely on Verizon’s wireless network; Tracfone doesn’t run its own physical network in the US and instead rides on other cellphone carriers’ systems for a fee.