Virgin Mobile USA offers lifeline mobile phone services which are subsidized by the United States government. This program offers a free wireless smartphone, 350 free local and domestic long-distance voice minutes, unlimited text messages, and 1 GB of data per month to people who meet eligibility requirements and live in a participating state. In addition to the standard services users receive, users may add additional voice minutes, text messages and international long-distance via pre-payment using a credit card, debit card, Virgin Mobile top-up card or PayPal.
Assurance Wireless users do not receive a bill, are not required to sign a contract and do not pay activation fees or recurring fees. Virgin Mobile is owned by parent company Sprint.
As of January 2013, Assurance Wireless service is available to qualifying residents of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
The FCC announced in August 2019 that it planned to increase the number of free data gigabytes from 2 to 8.75 but stated that the program would offer providers, such as Sprint, no increase in fees. Sprint and other providers balked at this increase and asked for an extension of the existing program until at least 2021.
Headquarters for Assurance Wireless are located in Kansas City, Missouri.