Obamaphone Providers

Free Obama phones and service are provided by authorized Lifeline Assistance cell phone companies. Each company must apply to and be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, on a state-by state basis.

Individuals who wish to apply for a free cell phone and service must go through one of these companies. While some Lifeline providers are very large and serve most states, there are also quite a few regional companies serving a smaller number of states.

The following is a list of the largest of the Lifeline providers who offer Obama phones and service. There are dozens of other smaller multi-state companies and even hundreds more very small, single state companies. While each company must be judged on it’s own merit, overall, we recommend the larger companies for their track record of generally having been in business longer.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a rapidly-growing industry and that many of these companies have aggressive expansion schedules that constantly add new states to their rosters. You you should check their websites to see if you state has been included since we published the list. We make every effort to keep the list up to date.

Companies that provide Obama phones and free service

IMPORTANT NOTE: The plans of the various companies below can vary considerably. Some may give unlimited minutes, some unlimited texting, and most now include up or 500 MB of mobile internet data (or more!). And the phone models can vary greatly as well, with some providing smartphones. We urge you to compare plans of all providers who serve your state.

Safelink Wireless – Safelink, a subsidiary of Tracfone, is the largest, oldest and best known company in the Lifeline phone business. It has more than 3.8 million customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Assurance Wireless – Assurance, a rapidly-growing subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, is number two in the Obama phone business with 2.7 million customers. It offers phones in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Budget Mobile – Based on the number of customers it services (more than 750,000 in 34 states and the District of Columbia), Budget is the third largest of the companies. It offers Lifeline cell phone plans in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Texas, West Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. They are working on certification for other states.

Access Wireless — This provider is quickly becoming one of the major players in the free government cell phone business. They currently offer the Lifeline Assistance program in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Blue Jay Wireless — Blue Jay is one of the medium-sized companies that provide phones to low-income residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

enTouch Wireless – enTouch Wireless supplies free cell phones to the needy in 22 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Life Wireless – Life offers free government cell phones in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The company currently serves more than 700,000 customers.

Q Link Wireless – Serves the states of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

True Wireless – There seems to be three tiers of Obama phone providers: Safelink and Assurance sit alone in the first tier with millions of customers. Budget, Life and ReachOut make up the second tier with approximately 700,000 customers each. True sits atop the third tier with approximately 240,000 customers in five states — Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Texas.

Tag Mobile – Tag serves approximately 230,000 customers in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

StandUp Wireless – StandUp Wireless is a free cell phone provider in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

SafetyNet Wireless – SafetyNet is now available in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Assist Wireless – This Lifeline cell phone provider offers cell phone plans in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri and Oklahoma. They have a number of different plans.

Cintex Wireless – This regional Lifeline provider offers cell phone plans in Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island or West Virginia.

Easy Wireless – If you live in Oklahoma, Kentucky, or Missouri, you can contact Easy Wireless for your Lifeline cell phone.

FeelSafe Wireless – the brand name of the free government cell phone program offered by Air Voice Wireless. The service is available in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Terracom Wireless – Terracom is a regional provider that provides these free cell phones to just over 200,000 customers in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Tempo Communications – Serving low-income residents of Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

TruConnect – This two-state only provider currently offers free government cell phones with unlimited talk and texts in California and Texas.

How to qualify for an Obama Phone

Of course, it’s important to remember only certain low-income Americans are eligible for Obama phones. Eligibility guidelines may vary depending on the state in which you live, but as a rule of thumb you may qualify if you participate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Housing/Section 8 Assistance and Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit. You may also qualify based on total household gross monthly income. There are also qualifying Tribal programs such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA), Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard) and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

Find out if you qualify. Click here.