Total Wireless: Is This Verizon MVNO The Deal It Appears To Be?


When most people ask about Verizon Wireless MVNO’s, the first answer is usually Red Pocket Mobile or Page Plus, since both offer LTE speeds with their service. Then you have the illustrious Straight Talk which also offers that precious high speed data. Then there are a bevy of other higher priced options that just don’t quite as much bang for the buck. If you look really hard though, you will find a new player in the game and that player is Total Wireless. Total Wireless is a Verizon Wireless MVNO offering found at Wal-Mart that offers some amazing pricing, but that might not be a good thing once you look at the actual service plan.


First off, if you are a talker, they have an unlimited talk and text plan for $25 a month. This is substantially cheaper than Verizon’s own prepaid offers if you don’t need data. That said, for just $10 a month more, you can add 2.5GB of data to that plan. If you need more data than that, it’s a flat $10 per 1.5GB more per month. That means a 5.5GB plan on the Verizon Network will only run you $55 a month.

Shared plans are an even better value at $60 for two lines and 5GB of share data. You can also do 9GB for $85 or 12GB for $110 with three or four lines respectively. This brings the cost of doing business with Total Wireless down to $27.50 per line with 3GB of data per line average. Under $30 a line and being able to use Verizon’s network is a number that should turn everyone’s head very quickly.

Total Wireless also has a very strong selection of entry to mid-level handsets available for a reasonable cost. With pricing ranging from the sub $100 Moto e to around $200 for some of the more powerful options, the expense of jumping into their system can be minimal. Of course, if you have a compatible Verizon device already, you can simply purchase an activation kit for it and get rolling right away. Be sure to check the compatibility of your device before purchasing the activation code.


Here’s where the not so pretty starts, you don’t get to use Verizon’s entire network. Actually, to be honest, according to the Total Wireless website, you don’t get to use much of the network at all. Sure, the coverage map looks just like the Verizon website, but if you pay close attention, you’ll see one major difference. The map is all red. There’s no various shades of red indicating voice, 2G data, 3G data and LTE data. There is just he one shade of red showing the voice and 3G data coverage that you get with your total wireless plan.

While this won’t be a big deal to the budget conscious shopper that is just looking to cut their bill, to a Verizon users that is hooked on that LTE reliability and speed, this would definitely be a deal breaker. Verizon’s 3G speeds usually operate about 1.2Mbps on the download, compared to their LTE speeds which run anywhere from 12-20Mbps. In reality, the 1.2Mbps is more than enough to do simple things like browsing the web and downloading some smaller files, but if you are hooked on that speed and like to stream your videos, you probably want to look elsewhere.

Overall, if you are a voice and text user and only need data for things like social networking, browsing the internet and have access to Wi-Fi for downloading larger files and updates, Total Wireless could be a great fit for you. If you need that higher speed internet on the road or use features like the Verizon Hot Spot or other services that Big Red offers, you might want to hang on to that higher price plan a bit longer. But if you just want a nice combination between the two, check out the CDMAV offers at Red Pocket Mobile and see how much you could save.



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