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TracFone is a Mobile Virtual network Operator that serves 10 million customers nationwide. The carrier offers services under three brands: TracFone, Net10 and Safelink. The latter is a government-sponsored program that provides a free cell phone and airtime for income-eligible customers. Though all service is prepaid, rates, service options, and handset selection will differ between the two brands. Unlike most carriers, the carrier offers both CDMA and GSM phones, though handsets are limited to basic models from Motorola and LG. TracFone does not use contracts nor does it conduct credit checks, but customers are required to keep a balance of air time and days of service. Also, while customers have to activate their phones, they do not pay activation fees. Originally launched in 1996 as Topp Telecom, it changed its name to TracFone in 2000. It is now a subsidiary of Mexico City-based América Móvil, which operates wireless service throughout Latin America.
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