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FCC Approves TracFone's Acquisition of Page Plus Cellular

America Movil's TracFone received permission from the FCC and DOJ yesterday to complete its acquisition of Start Wireless Group, aka PagePlus Cellular. The deal was initially announced in May of 2013 and was expected to be completed by June, 2013. It was held up by an unusuallyp long government agency review.

The sticking point in getting approval for the Page Plus purchase appears to have been over TracFone not being able to support lawfully authorized electronic surveillance of its customers by government agencies under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). In order to get permission to acquire PagePlus, TracFone has agreed to implement interception capabilities that fully comply with the CALEA and to report on its progress toward that goal every 30 days. TracFone also agreed not to disclose information about surveillance requests to any foreign government and to ensure that its US records are not subject to mandatory destruction under any foreign laws. There are PDF copies on the FCC Website of the agreement that Tracfone signed,  a statement by the DOJ that it has no objection to the merger and the FCC's approval of the acquisition.

It's too early to tell what effects Page Plus being owned by TracFone will have on customers and dealers. When TracFone acquired Simple Mobile in 2012, Simple Mobile's plans, service and Website remained unchanged for many months. When changes did come they followed the general industry trend of less expensive plans and increased data allowances. However I've heard from several Simple Mobile customers and dealers that Simple Mobile customer and dealer support has deteriorated under TracFone's ownership. Page Plus is noted for much better than average US based support, hopefully TracFone will leave Page Plus support alone.

Related News:
Tracfone Acquiring Page Plus Cellular
Prepaid Operator Profile: Page Plus
Prepaid Operator Profile: TracFone

31 comments:

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  1. The interesting component of this transition is how it will affect all of the indepedent PP dealers and what, if any changes will be in store for them going forward?

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    1. Hard to say but Simple Mobile dealers seemed to be pretty unhappy with the changes TracFone made to the the Simple Mobile dealer portal.

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    2. I am unfortunately on the receiving end of this acquisition as a page plus employee. Tracfones addition to our lives has been nothing but a headache. They have changed our business hours and shifts by force with no regard of our personal life at all. Recently, we were told we are now open 365 days a year with no holiday pay. That was yanked out from under us with less than a weeks notice. Carlos Slim has very poor business practices. He has already out sourced page plus call center to 2 foreign countries, to which all we do is fix their mistakes.

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  2. Any idea how much they paid ?

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  3. So this deal will close real soon. More importantly FCC and DOJ should give their same blessing to At&t and At&t will soon own Leap/Cricket most likely some time next month.

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  4. What a shame. Customer and dealer support will deteriorate. I truly hope that the CS in Ohio do not all get pink slips. Then we when we call call the 800 number all we will will get are reps that script all responses from international locations.

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    1. You are so right! We will be no better than Tracfone, Straight Talk, Safelink & Net10. All America Movil companies with very poor English speaking reps in other countries!
      I have been a Pageplus dealer for 13 years and this breaks my heart.
      US based customer service was my strongest selling point!
      Fat Cat is slowly acquiring all of the major resellers.
      Next thing you know he will be buying out AT&T or Verizon. He is already the richest man in the world for the past 3 years...this is why.
      That is also why I feel the Ohio office will close! :-(
      He saves money by sending all the calls to countries who work for less money.
      So many people switch from Straight Talk to Pageplus for this very reason!
      My Day is ruined! :-(

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    2. HECK, it's been in decline for quite some time!. PP already allowed every Tom, Dick, and Harry to have a Pin machine to compete with us (7 locations in our small town). TracFone is something you buy at the DimeStore (Dollar Gen/Fam Dollar). They'll be pushing 7.99 phones while we're trying to sell Droids.

      AT&T does well around here signal wise. T-Mobile/GoSmart is doing much better. I'm thinking about going 100 per cent GSM with Blu unlocked phones and selling RedPocket/H20/GoSmart..AND you're right about Simple Mobile. Dealer portal is shot!...

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  5. TracFone will likely merge the PP CS operations into those for ST and Net 10.

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  6. It. Looks like all us CSr's that work our hardest are going to be out of a job.

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    1. You have experience, maybe you'll get a better one.

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  7. Ive been porting all of my customers out of pageplus and Into Selectel Wireless Headquartered in Nebraska and Using the Retail Verizon Towers as opposed to the Prepaid like the Other MVNOs

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    1. I didn't realize there was a difference in the towers used, Ryan, can you elaborate regarding the difference?

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    2. The only prob is, and this is a major one...NO way to get your balance on the handset via 611, txting, etc. Even Gov Phones like Budget have #4007...Selectel needs to pay me a WAGE to be their remote CSR IF they expect us dealers to answer 500 "What's my balance" calls a day!

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    3. Your road Rage is out of date. I just log into my Selectel account using my phone browser and see my balances. Go sign up right now, and you can too. Almost everyone can handle this unless they are using a dumbphone and can not figure out how to work the browser or it's incompatible.

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    4. "NO way to get your balance on the handset via 611, txting, etc."
      This is just not true! Text 9892208989 and Zach at Freedom Wireless of Bay City will promptly send you back your balances just like he does for me (a customer). freedomwirelessbc@gmail.com works too, if you prefer email. Zach even does this for me when his store is closed. You gotta have a GOOD dealer with Selectel or PagePlus.

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  8. I use the biggest Pageplus dealer and I do not things will change for at least a year or more. The dealer may have some trouble with TracFone, but I will keep using the dealer for services. I am not going to switch unless Selectel matches the $30 Pplus plan for data.

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  9. I dont think verizon will let page plus go 4g for a long time..why would they !!! customers would jump off of post paid to prepaid

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    1. Why? Postpaid dominated prepaid when there was just 3G. Why would 4G make people jump ship?

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    2. Prepaid market share has been grown from less than 9% in 2001 to over 25% today. Carriers have an economic incentive to slow the switch from post to pre paid and use handset and service restrictions to do so.

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    3. There are always those customers who run to US Cellular / Verizon Etc for their "Free phone" and 3 months later complain because Verizon screwed them or something else and they cant afford their bill

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  10. Believe me , The Tracfone Borg will absorb Page Plus. Resistance is Futile , just like their customer support...

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  11. I have several customers who are truck drivers with Pageplus there were a few areas that they would travel to and not get service (roaming areas) unless they had a cash balance with Selectel they have service in those areas without having to have the cash balance
    In the end its whatever the customer wants and works best for them its my job as a dealer to let them know the differences and find the best solution for them

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  12. I really hope they dont lose their jobs at pp. The reps there are great.

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    1. They have gotten Better
      I must say the help at Selectel however is light years above what Ive experienced with P+ maybe as Selectel grows more and more it will get worse as they hire more help but from what Ive experienced its been top notch Id agree with Anon that Selectel does need to step it up a notch and match or beat P+ in terms of data

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  13. I have to say I hope we don't lose our jobs here at Pageplus because it would suck big time and hate to see some wacked out company take over such a good business and put such great reps out of a job.

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  14. Is the LGL39C MHL capable?

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    1. It doesn't claim to be. MHL is mostly found on high-end phones.

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  15. Is page plus in toledo closing?

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