TracFone has its roots back in 1996 when David Topp and F.J. Pollack began one of the first prepaid wireless companies in Miami, Florida. Originally named Topp Wireless, in February 1999, Topp received a major infusion of capital from Telefonos de Mexico, a.k.a. TelMex, Mexico’s largest telephone company. TelMex paid $57.5 million for a 55 percent controlling interest in the company. In 2000, the name was changed to TracFone.
Originally, the company was tied to using their own TracFone branded cell phones, which were locked to TracFone via their SIM card. In 2013, the company expanded and introduced its “Bring Your Own Phone” plan, which allows customers to use other, unlocked, GSM-based cell phones. Since 2015, the company has offered a variety of smartphone plans, with basic plans starting at $15 a month for 500 calling minutes, 500 text messages, and 500mb of data.
The company also operates under other names including Clearway Wireless for Business, Go Smart Mobile, Safelink, Simply Mobile, Straight Talk, Walmart’s Family Mobile, Total Wireless and Net10 Wireless
In September 2019, the Apple long-awaited iPhone 11 was released but only through pre-orders other than through TracFone service sold via Amazon.
Headquarters for TracFone remains in Miami, Florida.