Mobile carriers shaped the way communication is made and helped connect many people separated geographically. Having a mobile phone and a carrier was a privilege before – accessible only to the elites of society. This is until the full-blown commercialization of telecommunications. Conversely, with the advent of telecommunications came the rise of major providers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. But have you ever heard of Total Wireless?
In this article, we will be exploring this carrier, including what it offers to the public, the plans which it says are cost-efficient and ones that will give value to the money customers would be paying for.
What is Total Wireless?
Total Wireless is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that runs on Verizon’s network. This carrier is a subsidiary of TracFone Wireless, a provider that holds an agreement with major wireless network operators in the United States namely Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular.
MVNOs are wireless communications service providers operating without owning the wireless network infrastructure to provide services to their customers. It is worth noting as well that MVNO carriers offer older wireless units by the host networks. MVNO providers push for a specific brand or model that conforms with the carrier’s preferred network. As a result, MVNO companies do not proactively offer consumers to opt for using their devices.
Total Wireless Single Line Mobile Plans
To cut consumer bills to half, Total Wireless markets itself as a consumer-friendly provider, offering affordable plans that cut the frills on plans offered by its competitors. This is one of the deliverables that entice consumers to choose this carrier. Moreover, it does not only offer call and text services, but it also offers all-in data plans. Data has become a staple product to every mobile holder as this allows anyone to connect to the internet wherever, whenever.
Below is a table showing Total Wireless plans and prices for single lines:
|Features||$25/mo. Unlimited||$35/mo. Unlimited||$50/mo. Unlimited|
Unlimited Call and Text
|1 GB high-speed data, unlimited 2G after||5 GB high-speed data, unlimited 2G after||25 GB high-speed data, unlimited 2G after|
Total Wireless Multiple Line Mobile Plans
Offering family-friendly plans to its customers has positioned Total Wireless to be one of the best choices for MVNO carriers in the United States. Let’s just say that multiple line plans from competitors will have consumers paying for more to have the same amount of data that Total Wireless offers.
Its plans are also ergonomically economical with inclusions like unlimited talk and text plan. Below is a table showing the Total Wireless plans if you are looking to subscribe using multiple lines:
|Features||$60/mo. Unlimited||$85/mo. Unlimited||$100/mo. Unlimited|
Number of Lines/ Devices
Unlimited Call and Text
|30 GB shared high-speed data, unlimited 2G after||60 GB shared high-speed data, unlimited 2G after||100 GB shared high-speed data, unlimited 2G after|
|10 GB per line|
Total Wireless Add-ons
Need more credits to make calls and text? Or data allocations to surf the net? Say no more! Total Wireless is the provider for you if you are one of those who want to get big on international calls and data. It offers consumers the option to enjoy an extra 5 GB of data for just $10. Comparing this add-on to a competitor, MetroPCS only gives an extra 4 GB for $10 while Boost Mobile offers 2 GB for the same price.
It’s also a plus to note that unused mobile data is rolled over the next cut-off and does not expire — unless you have already used up your allocation. This does not only save you money from continuously adding on the mobile data service, but it will also save you the data allocation for when you need it.
Total Wireless International Calls
Sadly, Total Wireless is not made for international or long distance. Although it has a $10 global calling card that should be paired with any service plan, it is very restrictive, which is limited to a few destinations only. That aside, calls should be made in the U.S. and Puerto Rico only.
Comparing it to other MVNOs like Mint Mobile, it’s a shame that Total Wireless doesn’t have inclusive international mobile plans, which normally comes as free from its competitors. If you travel or do overseas calls a lot, Total Wireless might not be for you.
How to Activating Total Wireless?
Similar to other services and devices, Total Wireless accounts and devices need activation. While some Total Wireless users have reported issues when trying to activate their newly purchased plan, getting your plan activated should be easy as one, two, three.
Below is a step-by-step guide to activating your device:
1. Open the phone package provided by Total Wireless.
2. Locate your serial number written in the Red Activation Card.
3. Using your PC or tablet, visit activate.TotalWireless.com or call this exclusive number, 1-866-663-3633.
Alternatively, you can bring your compatible CDMA phone to Total Wireless to get an affordable plan.
The Total Wireless Experience
As you already know by now, Total Wireless relies on Verizon to deliver services to its customers. It is an MVNO and has mobile carrier plans competitive enough to give its competitors a run for their money. The question is whether or not is it worth the buy?
Below are FAQ points consumers always take into consideration in deciding what carrier to go for and may help you decide whether this is the carrier for you.
Data Usage and Speed
Total Wireless’ data speed was restricted for a period, which only allowed its speed to a max of 5 Mbps download and 2 Mbps for upload. In 2017, restrictions on the LTE speed has been taken off from MVNO running on Verizon’s network. Despite the restrictions in place before 2017, the user experience remains the same. Websites load quickly and faster than most carriers and videos load in full 1080p HD resolution.
Netflix streaming and music streaming are way better, especially if a user is at an optimal location after the removal of these restrictions. If in doubt, it does not pay you any amount to conduct an internet speed test via Ookla.
Calling and Texting
Since this carrier sources its network infrastructure from Verizon, its customers do benefit from the high-speed signal from Verizon. Caller experiences are relatively positive when making and receiving calls; dropped calls are also very rare around most locations and major cities in the United States. There are instances that may seem the network is not available but can be resolved by doing basic troubleshooting. If the call remains unstable, it is usually a network problem.
The same is true about the provider’s customers’ texting experiences. Sending and receiving a text via this carrier can be reliable as it can get. There are fewer issues on this front with an exemption to sending MMS to devices that are on AT&T’s network. This is because Total Wireless customers can send large-sized MMS compared to what AT&T customers can accept.
As with other carriers, it is also possible to connect two devices using one Total Wireless data through tethering or a mobile hotspot. There is almost no difference in terms of speed when accessing the internet using data allocation and a home network. Although, the speed of a home network would vary depending on the speed of the network.
However, customers must note that Total Wireless does indicate in its Terms of Condition that using tethering is an example of unauthorized use of its services. This is because the provider does not explicitly support any tethering. The provider has the ability to track tethering activities and an ability to shut down an account it detects using tethering.
TracFone offers various methods for customer support, including chat and phone support. But TracFone and its brands faced mixed receptions when it comes to their overall customer support after some customers aired their problems online.
To verify the claims made, a test was conducted to monitor TracFone’s customer support capacity — completed on specific timeframes and days to properly have an overall look and balanced picture of how Total Wireless performs. On chat support, there has been an average wait time of two minutes. Even on days after a national holiday where companies experience a volume of queues, chat support was able to deliver with an average wait time of a little over five minutes. In conclusion, chat support was efficient and effective; its representatives hailed knowledgeable and helpful.
Additionally, its phone support service has also been put to a test at specific times in a day and days in a week to get an overall picture of the provider’s performance. While some calls have been attended to right away, other calls had an average wait time of seven minutes. A call had to be dropped immediately after a representative picked up. The representative called back and offered a callback number, which is a plus.
Compared to Other MVNOs
Total Wireless is just one of the many MVNO in the United States and it is one of the most recognizable providers. Despite being recognizable for its goods, it also comes with bad reviews from consumers. The lack of other features in the plans offered by Total Wireless will make you feel high and dry. Hence, some of its offers pale in comparison to prepaid carriers like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS. The latter carriers offer at least one unlimited data plan option. This makes plans under this provider not the top choice for the demographic that is huge on streaming videos on providers like YouTube and Netflix.
The table below shows a comparison among known MVNOs, including where one lags:
Total Wireless offers competitive plans to shoppers that their pockets can afford. A large portion of these plans will give its competitors a run for their money. However, it’s vulnerable to some factors that cause disruptions to services it offers because it solely depends on the network infrastructures of Verizon.
At the end of the day, a consumer’s choice for a carrier and provider depends on the purpose of getting one. For those of us who are on a budget and who constantly have to be on the phone as part of our day-to-day business, Total Wireless is the provider to go for.