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TFW means Tracfone Wireless

The Carrier Name text displays the name of your wireless carrier. Tracfone Wireless is abbreviated as TFW. Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, Total Wireless, and Tracfone are all Tracfone brands, in case you didn’t know.

If their Straight Talk, Net10, or Tracfone iPhones are on the AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile network, shouldn’t their iPhone show the actual network they’re on? And, unfortunately, the answer is no.

The Carrier Name displays the brand name of your wireless provider, not the network to which you are connected.

So, if I’m on Straight Talk or Net10, why doesn’t my iPhone show Straight Talk or Net 10 instead of TFW? That’s an excellent question, and the answer has to do with how the Carrier Name is determined.

Carrier Settings on the iPhone are used by your wireless carrier. Carrier settings include the Carrier Name, network, calling, cellular data, messaging, personal hotspot, and voicemail settings, among others. Look in Settings > General > About to see which Carrier Setting version your phone is running. You may receive notifications to install new carrier settings updates from time to time. It’s possible you’ve seen this notification before.

Tracfone has chosen to use only one carrier settings bundle for all three brands: Tracfone, Straight Talk, and Net 10 for whatever reason. Perhaps Apple had something to do with it. Rather than having three different settings with only minor differences in names, there is only one.

My iPhone’s Status Bar Shows HOME

If HOME appears in your iPhone’s status bar, you’re probably on Straight Talk or Net10’s T-Mobile network. When your wireless company has not specifically set the carrier name in the Carrier Settings, the iPhone uses HOME as a default Carrier Name.

Can I Change TFW or HOME to say AT&T or Verizon?

You can’t change the Carrier Name on your iPhone, unfortunately. Previously, you could edit and install the carrier settings yourself. You could program your iPhone to display whatever you wanted. I could have changed mine to “smartphone matters” or “Bob,” for example. Apple stopped allowing users to manually install carrier settings files in 2014 for security reasons. If you really want to change the Carrier Name for some reason, you might be able to do so if you jailbreak your iPhone, but that is outside the scope of this article.

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