Telephone directory

A sampling of mobile virtual network operators

Published on .

TracFone Wireless

Number of subscribers: 6.1 million;

Carrier: Multiple carriers

Comment: This subsidiary of America MĀ¢vil, Latin America's largest mobile-phone provider, counts Wal-Mart as one of its largest distributors.

Virgin Mobile USA

Number of subscribers: 4 million

Carrier: Sprint Nextel Corp.

Comment: Prepaid and other hybrid offerings proved the viability of virtual phone services. Innovations include "Sweet Mama," a program offering free minutes to customers viewing ads or completing marketers' surveys.

Boost Mobile

Number of subscribers: 3.13 million

Carrier: Sprint Nextel Corp.

Comment: This Sprint Nextel subsidiary was exported to the U.S. in 2002. Its "Where you at?" campaign targets urban youth and features celebrities Kanye West and Ludacris.

Qwest Communications International

Number of subscribers: 784,000

Carrier: Sprint Nextel Corp.

Comment: Postpaid service for Qwest customers is available in only 14 states.
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