Total Wireless, a Verizon MVNO that's part of TracFone and is sold only online and at Walmart currently doesn't offer LTE data and won't activate LTE capable phones. But there are indications that might be changing.
Soon after Total Wireless launched, a user on Howard Forums discovered that if they entered a Verizon LTE phone's IMEI on the Total Wireless BYOP page they got a message saying that the phone was eligible and to click Activate to continue. However there's no Activate button or link anywhere on the page to click.
A couple of days ago, A Prepaid Phone News reader who tried activating a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III on the Total Wireless website and got the congratulations your device is eligible message will no way to continue called Total Wireless' support number. She was told that Total Wireless was in the process of allowing LTE device and offering LTE service "very soon".
The same user discovered that if you search for Total Wireless SIM card Activation Kit" on Google you get a hit on a Walmart page:
Total Wireless SIM Card Activation Kits : No-Contract ...
Shop for Total Wireless SIM Card Activation Kits : No-Contract Phones & Plans - Walmart.com.
The link fails with a redirection error in Firefox but works in Chrome. However there are no Total Wireless SIM Activation Kits listed on that page or on Google's cached copy of it. But there is a Total Wireless check box in the refine results filter in the page sidebar. All of which suggests that the Walmart website may have once had a listing for Total Wireless SIMs that's been removed.
Is Total Wireless getting LTE soon? Maybe, but before you get too excited keep in mind that:
- First line customer support reps aren't a very reliable source of information about future products and services at any company. There's no need for them to know about about a new offering until it's actually available. TracFone reps in particular have a reputation for being poorly trained, poorly supervised and for telling customers what they want to hear to get them off the line.
- There have been many TracFone products and services that have shown up in deep links on the TracFone companies' websites weeks or months before they were actually available. That happened with Straight Talk Verizon BYOP, TracFone Android phones, TracFone BYOP, TracFone LTE and countless phones, some of which were never released.
- $25/month: unlimited talk & text and no data
- $35/month: unlimited talk & text and 2.5 GB
- $60/month for 2 lines with unlimited talk & text and 5 GB of shared data
- $85/month for 3 lines with unlimited talk & text and 9 GB of shared data
- $110/month for 4 lines with unlimited talk & text and 12 GB of shared data
TracFone probably prefers to steer LTE seeking customers to its more expensive and presumably more profitable NET10 and Straight Talk brands, at least for now. That could change if another MVNO starts taking sales away from the TracFone brands with cheaper LTE plans.
I'm sure that Total Wireless will eventually get LTE. They have to, Verizon 3G will eventually get shut down, though that's probably at least five years away. But how soon LTE comes to Total Wireless is anybody's guess. It could be tomorrow, it could be years away.