Several mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) use Verizon’s network. In some cases, these companies may offer service that’s substantially cheaper than service purchased directly from Verizon.
Recommended Verizon MVNOs
My favorite Verizon MVNO at the moment is Xfinity Mobile. The carrier offers excellent prices and a sleek customer experience (surprising given Comcast’s reputation in some other areas). Unfortunately, Xfinity Mobile is only a good option for people already using Xfinity Home Internet. US Mobile may be a good option for other people.
While Verizon Prepaid isn’t technically an MVNO, I’m also a fan of Verizon’s prepaid plans.
List of Verizon MVNOs
|Xfinity Mobile*||3,000,000||✔||Xfinity Mobile is only available to those paying for Xfinity Internet.|
|TracFone||10,000,000||Additional subscribers may use other carriers that are part of TracFone. An América Móvil (TracFone's parent company) report covering performance in the 4th quarter of 2018 indicates the company had roughly 22 million lines in the U.S.|
|Straight Talk*||9,000,000||Straight Talk is a TracFone brand.|
|NET10 Wireless*||3,000,000||NET10 is part of TracFone|
|Total Wireless*||2,000,000||Total Wireless is part of TracFone.|
|Page Plus*||1,000,000||Page Plus is a TracFone brand.|
|Red Pocket Mobile||200,000|
|Clearway Wireless*||Clearway is a TracFone brand. I believe Clearway works with all of the Big Four networks, but I'm not confident.|
Performance of Verizon MVNOs
Verizon MVNOs offer nearly the same coverage profile that Verizon offers its direct customers. When the network is not congested, I expect most subscribers on Verizon MVNOs will receive the same speeds that Verizon’s own subscribers receive.1 When the network is congested, many MVNO subscribers may experience slower speeds than some of Verizon’s postpaid customers due to deprioritization. Xfinity Mobile’s by-the-gig plans are a notable exception. These plans come with data that’s prioritized in the same manner as the data offered on most of Verizon’s postpaid plans.
The future of Tracfone
Tracfone and other brands in the Tracfone family (e.g., Straight Talk and Total Wireless) are expected to be acquired by Verizon in the near future. The majority of subscribers on Tracfone-owned MVNOs are already using Verizon’s network. If the acquisition goes through, these brands may transition from being MVNOs to flanker brands (in practice, flanker brands often end up getting called MVNOs despite pedantic reasons the term isn’t entirely accurate).