A number of readers recently asked me: Why is my iPhone showing “TFW” and “HOME” instead of AT&T or Verizon in the top left status bar?
You may wonder why your iPhone’s status bar displays HOME or TFW instead of AT&T or Verizon if you are a Straight Talk, Net10 or Simple Mobile, Total Wireless, or Tracfone customer.
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TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless
This text is known as the Carrier Name and shows your wireless carrier’s name. TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless. Straight Talk, Net10, and Simple Mobile are Tracfone brands.
People often ask me if their Straight Talk or Net10 or Tracfone iPhones use the AT&T or Verizon network. If so, shouldn’t the iPhone show the network it is using? The answer is no.
The Carrier name refers to the brand name of your wireless company, and not the network to which you are connected.
You might be wondering why my iPhone doesn’t display Straight Talk or Net10 if I use Straight Talk or Net10. It’s a great question. The answer was due to the way that the Carrier Name is set.
Carrier Settings are used by your wireless carrier. Carrier settings control settings related to the carrier, including Carrier Name, calling, messaging, personal hotspot, and voicemail. Look in to see the Carrier Setting version that your phone is using. Settings > General > About . From time to time, you may be notified to update your carrier settings. This notification may be familiar to you.
Tracfone decided to only use one carrier settings bundle, regardless of brand, for Tracfone Straight Talk, Tracfone and Net 10. Maybe Apple was involved in this decision. Instead of having three settings that differ only in their names, they now have one.
My iPhone’s Status Bar Displays HOME
Your iPhone may show HOME in its status bar, which could indicate that you are using Straight Talk or Net10’s T Mobile network. When your wireless company hasn’t specified the carrier name, the default Carrier Name for the iPhone is HOME
Can I change TFW/HOME to AT&T/Verizon?
You cannot change your iPhone’s Carrier Name. It was possible to manually edit and install carrier settings in the past. Your iPhone could say whatever you want. You could change the name of your iPhone to “smartphone matters”, or “Bob”. Apple made it impossible for users to manually install carrier settings files in 2014. You may be able to change your Carrier Name if you jailbreak your iPhone. However, that is not the purpose of this article.
How about you? What network do you use? Which Carrier Name is your iPhone showing? Share your thoughts below by leaving a comment.