Total Wireless is a pre-paid mobile carrier in the United States, which has been owned by Verizon for almost a year now. Under new management, Total Wireless is now “Total by Verizon,” with updated mobile plans that could save you some money.
Total by Verizon is positioned as a new budget brand for Verizon, similar to Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS) and AT&T’s Cricket Wireless. Just like before, the phones and plans are available online, and in stores like Walmart and Target. You can buy a new device from Total, or bring your own — assuming it’s carrier-unlocked and compatible with Verizon’s network.
The cheapest plan for $30 per month includes unlimited calls and texts (including to Canada and Mexico), 5 GB of high-speed data, and 5 GB of hotspot data. Jumping to $40/month gets you 15 GB of mobile data and hotspot data. Finally, there are two “unlimited” plans, for $50 or $60/mo. The cheaper one has less hotspot data available, while the more expensive one includes a subscription to Disney+. Adding more lines and enabling automatic payments slightly lowers the prices for each line.
Only the most expensive $60 plan includes access to Verizon’s “5G Ultra Wideband” network, while the rest of them are limited to Verizon’s regular nationwide 5G and LTE networks. The main advantage with Ultra Wideband is C-Band connectivity, which dramatically boosts speeds in some areas.
Despite that limitation, the new plans from Total by Verizon look like a good deal, especially considering you can have different lines on different plans. Metro by T-Mobile’s cheapest plan is $40 per month, which does offer more data than Total’s $40 plan, but no hotspot support. Cricket Wireless from AT&T starts at $30 per month for 5 GB of monthly data, the same as Total, but also lacks any hotspot support — you have to move up to the $55/mo or $60/mo plan for that. There’s also Verizon’s other budget carrier to consider, Visible, which has unlimited data and hotspot for $30/mo, but the hotspot is limited to 5Mbps.
Even though the new plans are competitive, many existing Total Wireless customers are taking out their frustration on social media and Total’s website. The main complaint is that sharing a large pool of data (such as 100 GB) across multiple lines has been discontinued, in favor of the more standard per-line data. Verizon is allowing existing customers to keep their old plans, at least for a while.
If you’re aiming to save some money on your phone service, the new Total by Verizon is worth a look. The ability to mix different plans across lines is a great option for families — if some people use more mobile data than others, not everyone has to pay for the pricier plans.