TracFone is a subsidiary of América Móvil, a Mexico based, multi-national corporation that is the fourth largest mobile operator in the world. In the US TracFone operates as a MVNO, reselling service on all four US national operators under the Straight Talk, NET10, Tracfone, Simple Mobile, Page Plus, Total Wireless, Telcel America and SafeLink Wireless brands. According to América Móvil, last quarter's US subscriber losses were mainly with the TracFone pay as you go and Safelink Lifeline brands.
TracFone's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also took a big hit last quarter, falling by 24.2% year over year. The decline was mainly due to a 22% drop in EBITDA from device sales.
It's not all bad news for TracFone. Monthly Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increased to $21, compared with $20 a year ago. Churn decreased from 4.5% to 4.3% year over year.
I believe that TracFone's decline in subscribers and earnings is largely a result of aggressive price cutting and port-in promotions by AT&T's Cricket, Sprint's Boost Mobile and T-Mobile's MetroPCS prepaid brands. TracFone has responded with new plans that include more data and with device price cuts, but it hasn't been enough to prevent subscriber loss. If TracFone, the largest, most successful MVNO is posting subscriber loses and earnings declines, smaller MVNOs are likely hurting badly.
Source América Móvil (PDF)