Why Does My Straight Talk or Net10 iPhone Show TFW Instead of HOME

I wrote this article over two years ago and I recently I noticed that a lot of people are still reading it, but I am not sure why. This change happened two years ago. If you are having a problem with your iPhone leave reply below and let me know and I’ll update the article.

If you are curious about the network name displayed in in the status bar, keep reading, but it’s not that interesting.

The carrier name displayed in your iPhone’s status bar is a setting that Apple lets the wireless companies make on your iPhone. TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless. Straight Talk, Net10, and Tracfone are all owned by the same company, America Movil. Think of Straight Talk, Net10, and Tracfone as three brands. The company chose to use one name for all three brands, that is TFW. If a wireless company didn’t pick a name to display in the status bar, it shows HOME.

Your Straight Talk, Net10, and Tracfone is using either the ATT, TMobile, or Verizon network. Last I checked, customers using the ATT or Verizon network will see TFW, while customers using the T-Mobile network see HOME.

Some Straight Talk customers using the Straight Talk Verizon network see Verizon as the network name in the status bar and others using Straight Talk’s Sprint network say they see Sprint.

I have heard from a number of readers recently that they have seen the Carrier name in their iPhone’s status bar change from HOME to TFW.  This appears to be part of a new carrier update that has been released.  I installed the carrier update on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.2  and you can see that updating my Carrier changed from AT&T 15.0 to TFW 15.6.

Both my data and MMS continued working after I installed the update. There is also a iOS update 7.0.3 currently available. If you updated to iOS 7.0.3 you may have automatically received  this TFW 15.6 update.

So the change to from HOME to TFW is ok. By the way, TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless. Straight Talk, Net10 and Tracfone are all owned by the same parent company.


191 comments on “Why Does My Straight Talk or Net10 iPhone Show TFW Instead of HOME
  1. Barb says:

    My Iphone 5S used to say 3G now it says TFW or LTE. It seems to be much slower now too. You seem to have some good advice, heres to hoping you can help. I have straight talk through Verizon towers.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless, the company that owns Straight Talk. Just like a phone might say Verizon or AT&T they set the phone to say TFW. 3G and LTE are the type of network connection you have. an LTE connection should be faster than a 3G connection. If you used up all your high speed data for the month. Try texting USAGE to 611611, what does it say?

  2. Jake says:

    I used a straight talk $45 plan and bought it with the phone the other day and when I call someone a machine answers saying verizon company cant direct the call, the data wont work, and I cant text under my phone number that came with the phone. This leaves me unable to call, text, or use data that I bought with the plan and I dont know what to do. I have reset the phone and took out and replaced the sim card. I dont know what to do

  3. Habiba says:

    How can I tell of my iPhone is unlocked

  4. Meranda says:

    I have Straight Talk up until I updated it recently it said Verizon in the corner now it says TFW. Is this going to change my coverage?

  5. Katy says:

    I don’t get internet were I live. All I have is what is on my I phone. So to do the up dates it says I need wifi. Do I have to hook up to a computer to do the update or can I just be connected to wifi to do the up date. Because as soon as I got my I phone it says I need to up date it. And I do show the TFW at the top already.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      I’m not sure if you are saying you don’t have internet at home or your iPhone’s cellular data isn’t working. Usually cell phones will tell you to connect to wifi to do updates because they are large and will use up or cost a lot to download using cell data. If you don’t have internet at home you can take your phone to any place that does have Wifi and update it there. You can also update it using a Mac or PC with iTunes but the computer would need to be connected to the internet.

      You must have a library, coffee shop, or other location somewhere within a reasonable distance from home that does have a WiFi connection you can use. If not you should be able to use your phone without installing the update until you get a chance to do it.

  6. Dawn says:

    I have to have it. Please don’t take it ofg

  7. Wildebeest says:

    New @ this. My iPhone 6 s was to have ATT for carrier. Wondered why it shows TFW. Thanks for your answer……. Guess I am using ATT signed? That is the signal I need when traveling out of state and in a rural area in the mountains and ATT signal was the best available. Hope I am right in this. I’d hate to get stranded up there and be unable to get a sognal. Thanks again

    • Bob Thompson says:

      If you used the blue SIM card your on the AT&T network. The red or pink one is for the tmobile network. You should be good to go. Just an FYI, in some rural areas, AT&T customers have coverage but customers using prepaid wireless service on the att network do not. This happens when AT&T doesn’t have coverage on their own network in an area and has an agreement to use a local or regional wireless company’s network to provide service. In that case AT&T made the agreement for their postpoid customers. Not their own prepaid wireless customers, or customers of othe companies like Straight Talk using the AT&T network.

  8. Bri says:

    iPhone 5, from a friend, straight talk acc

  9. Bri says:

    My bf bought me a phone and it says tfw and I tried to set it up with a straight talk AT&T SIM card and it says it’s not valid but I made the acc and it said it’s compatible

  10. David says:

    Oh ok thank u

  11. David says:

    Just a YouTube video showed it showing Verizon and I guess I was just wanting to make shure I hooked it up rite

  12. David says:

    I have a sprint iPhone 6 Plus unlocked using it on the Verizon side but it says tfw is thair a way to get it to say Verizon

    • Bob Thompson says:

      No. TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless. If your a Straight Talk customer using the Verizon network your iPhone should show TFW. Why do you want it to say Verizon?

  13. Elizabeth says:

    having the same problem now

  14. Crissy says:

    My internet is no longer working since the tfw showed up

  15. Elyssa says:

    How do I get a better signal on my TFW?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      You can’t really improve the signal. If you are using Tracfone, Straight Talk, or Net10 you might be able to switch your service to one of their other networks.

      In your area do most people use AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or TMobile service? What wireless company do you use? What type of phone do you have? Any idea which network your phone is on?

  16. Dustin says:

    Not able to do anything except text and is says lte

  17. Dustin says:

    It says tfw at the top and my phone will only text it’s an iPhone 5

  18. Lou says:

    Interesting post. I have the same question. My network bar says “TFW LTE” although I am on net10. Today I was able to transfer my net10 account from an iPhone 4S (unlocked from sprint – network bar was saying SPRINT even though I was using net10) to an iPhone 5S (also unlocked from Sprint). I’ll skip the trial and error part, but both online check and about one hour on the phone with net10 assured me that my phone was not “eligible” to be transferred to my net10 account. Anyway, since I had already bought the activation kit, I followed the steps with the nano SIM (for AT&T compatible or unlocked GSM devices – on the blue card) and it works 100% (phone, SMS, web). Network speed is Poor though, as per data manager app: 1.10Mbps (upload)/1.32Mbps (download), but it might be because I am a the end of my billing cycle and I went over the limit for high speed. Anyway, I thought that it might be interesting to someone to know that you can bring your BYOP iPhone 5S LTE on net10.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Lou,
      Hmm. Thanks for the comment. Some Straight Talk customers have told me their phones status bar show Verizon when using the Straight Talk Verizon network. You are the first to tell me their phone’s status bar shows Sprint.

      Also I was wondering if you needed to get Sprint to unlock the 5s for you. For a while they were shipping their iPhones SIM locked. Finally, did you check the MEID of your phone to see if it was compatible with ST’s CDMA network? Straight Talk sells Verizon SIMs but not Sprint SIMs. Some Sprint phones have built in SIM cards, I don’t think the iPhone 5 models do.

      • Lou says:

        First, you keep making reference to Straight Talk, but I am using Net10. I understand that their are the same company, but for the sake of clarity I want to mention that.

        Yes, I had SPRINT unlock both my iPhone 4s (in July 2015) and my iPhone 5S (in Feb 2016). In both instances, this was done over chatting.

        Indeed, I was using my IMEI/MEID on Net10 to check for eligibility on CDMA, and it was not eligible (confirmed by Net10 phone Tech). My iPhone 5S has a slot for nano SIM, which I used with the net10 activation kit.

        • Bob Thompson says:

          thanks. I both Net10 and Straight Talk myself, but I answer way more questions about Straight Talk so sometimes I confuse myself.
          I was glad to hear that you were able to get Sprint to unlock your phones, they were really bad at it.

  19. coco says:

    i reset my network settings and i think the data on the straight talk plan is starting to work. thank you for your post. i feel relief.

  20. Alegra Cooper says:

    I just got the service yesterday and now i can not make no phone calls out its saying no service and my sim is in my phone can you please please please get back to me ASAP and tell me what i should do

  21. Olivia says:

    My iPhone 5c is on straighttalk and its Verizon so it said Verizon up in the corner and then I dropped my phone on the back of it in a case and no there’s a small crack on my screen and now it says TFW and I can’t use it if I’m not home and I can’t use my wifi when I’m not home now and I’m supposed to still have service.

  22. andre says:

    ever since this happened my phone data has stopped working. whats wrong

  23. Tess says:

    It is a iPhone 6S Plus

  24. Tess says:

    It’s a 6S Plus

  25. Tess says:

    I’m having trouble with my cellular data. It shows that it’s turned on but gives me error messages when I try to connect with the web or anything that needs it when I’m not connected to a wi-fi. Straighttalk can’t seem to figure out why or what is going on. Anybody else have this issue?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *