02
Feb
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We've been hearing for the past few days that users have been unable to get new AT&T-compatible SIM cards from Straight Talk and Net10 websites. The only option seems to be the T-Mobile SIM. This was causing quite a bit of consternation as the Nexus 4 is finally starting to ship again. The complete absence of AT&T SIMs from both sites led many to wonder if AT&T service was no longer being sold by these Tracfon-owned entities. Well, we've investigated and there appears to be no cause for alarm.

sim

Straight Talk and Net10 are mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). That means that neither company runs its own towers – they just buy access from the big carriers. In this case, the two main GSM carriers in the US, T-Mobile and AT&T. Most of the time you can order an AT&T or T-Mobile network SIM when you sign up for the MVNO's prepaid service. The issue is occurring on both sites because both are owned and operated by Tracfone.

What we have here seems to be a combination of high demand and poor website design. We have confirmed the AT&T cards are simply sold out in the online stores, so the sites don't offer AT&T as a signup option at all. Yes, this is a little misleading. However, you can still buy the Straight Talk and Net10 SIMs from various other retailers like Walmart and Amazon. This is definitely an inconvenience if you were planning on getting a Nexus 4 in the mail this week, but things will be fine after the supply gets sorted out.

[Thanks, Nicholas]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • Veridor

    I can confirm I just ordered two AT&T Straight Talk micro SIMs from walmart.com yesterday and they've shipped.

    • Splinter46

      I ordered 1 SIM from Straight Talk a few days again also, but it is a T-Mobile Card. They said they didn't have AT&T ST cards anymore. ST is now using T-Mobile's towers, not AT&Ts.

    • Tater

      Which Walmart.com they are only available in certain states so I'm curious to where your Walmart is.

      • Veridor

        Walmart.com seems to be sold out of them now. No Walmart stores near me carry the ST SIMs.

  • ProductFRED

    I've been using an AT&T SIM from Straight Talk on my Galaxy S3 i9300 for about 6 or 7 months now. I just hope AT&T doesn't turn around and screw over Tracfone by raising prices or something when "too many" people switch over. The concept itself is pretty awesome. Even with a 2GB softcap, why would you pay to go with AT&T over a carrier that uses their towers, for half the price?

    • Veridor

      I'm just glad you can still get SIMs on ST for AT&T. As much as I like the idea of HSPA 42 and all, T-Mobile coverage SUCKS outside of metro areas. For me, it's either Verizon or AT&T, and my Verixon contract is up in March.

      • Pyrotek85

        And even without the roaming I have AT&T coverage everywhere, its pretty nice.

        • jonathan3579

          Straight Talk has roaming. I've proven this countless times on XDA.

          • Josh Legoza

            Do you have a link to a thread? I'm interested in this. I was under the same understanding as Pyrotek85

          • jonathan3579

            I'll do one better for you. I'll post the screenshots taken from my Galaxy S3 at the time. My XDA username is the same as this... I posted all in the info in a Galaxy Nexus thread.

            First people said that Straight Talk has no roaming... I roamed while on a road trip. Then people changed the story to no data while roaming. I roamed with data consequently on another trip. Lol.

          • Josh Legoza

            Wow. Thanks for the screens!

          • jonathan3579

            Hope it helped. :)

          • Tim Tremblay

            I can get the calling and texting to work on what would appear to be roam, but no data for me. Whats your secret?

          • jonathan3579

            Do you have data roaming enabled? That's all I did, lol.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erica-Mathis/100002238870948 Erica Mathis

            What should I do if my phone is always roaming?
            If your phone displays "Roaming", please contact our Customer Care Center at 1-877-430-CELL (2355).

            Why is my phone roaming?
            "Roaming" occurs when a subscriber of one wireless service provider uses the facilities of another wireless service provider. If you are within the Straight Talk Service Area Map and your telephone displays "Roaming", please contact our Customer Care Center at
            1-877-430-CELL (2355).

      • ProductFRED

        It sucks even IN metro areas. I live in NYC. Sure, in Manhattan, you're pretty much covered everywhere. But here in Brooklyn and Staten Island? EDGE holes everywhere. And their signal won't even penetrate my house. T-Mobile has much, much faster data than AT&T, but it doesn't mean anything if you can't get reliable 3G service. And I can still pull 2-4 Mbps during peak hours on the AT&T SIM, which is good enough for me. I go up to 7 Mbps off peak hours.

      • bdyftns

        I just called Straight Talk and asked them if they had the AT&T sim cards. They told me yes. I asked again and they again told me yes. It's bull. They don't have them, they are selling the T-Mobile sim cards. Walmart has a web site that says THEY have them for sell. Not sure if they are telling the truth either.

        • http://www.facebook.com/maria.pricehathorn Maria Price-Hathorn

          In Jan 2013 I was considering getting straight talk. I went on ST website and they were selling the micro sim but I needed to get my Iphone 4S unlocked first due to being a current 9 year AT&T customer. I went back on ST website 03/25/2013 and the micro sim was no longer there only the T-mobile sim which the website and the person at ST said could be used in my Iphone as long as it was a GSM phone and unlocked. I purchased the sim from ST $16.04 with tax and when I received the sim it was a standard sim card..not a micro sim. I went on Ebay to my surprise there were sellers selling the AT&T micro sim for unlocked GSM or Iphone 4, 4S, Galaxy, and Nexus phones. I have NEVER bidded for ANYTHING on Ebay. I bidded and got a micro sim for $45 which took about 2 hours of bidding. The card actually only cost $14.99 but with this micro sim out of stock I was willing to take the risk. I sent in a request via website to have my Iphone unlocked via AT&T and received a reply in less than 30 min. It was approved. I went on ITUNES with the directions received from AT&T which took about one hour and received a message via ITUNES that my Iphone was unlocked. All this was done with the AT&T sim card still in the phone. I turned off my Iphone, inserted the AT&T Straight Talk micro sim I purchased on Ebay, was able to get it activated, my current phone number ported over and added the minutes. I did have to update/change my APN setting so I would be able to use the internet and send/receive text messages. Everything worked out but during the whole process it was kinda scary. I do know that ST uses GSM and pulls from AT&T towers while T-mobile is still CDMA. Therefore, trying to use a T-mobile straight talk sim on a CDMA network will not give you all the original perks these high tech phones have to offer.

          • http://www.facebook.com/james.nakazawa James Nakazawa

            First, you did not have to carrier unlock your phone in order to use it with ST.
            Second, APN settings affect your access to internet and MMS. You'd have had no problems with receiving standard SMS even with blank APN profiles.
            Third, TMo is not CDMA, they are GSM like AT&T. This is why some phones that support the proper bands will work on both networks (with the exception of LTE of course), One would not be able to use a TMo phone on Verizon's network.

        • hank white

          I'm using an att sim for ST that I bought thru Amazon from Paul Hickey for a pretty penny. I had T-Mobile in this area and it stunk. With the ST ATT sim card I wound up on Verizons tower which is the best of the lot. Not one dropped call but ST has horrible cust serv. They are still the best deal going. I did BYOP with a Samsung Infuse 4g. Paul can give you full size or downsized sim card so know what yoir phone needs. Lot to pay for a piece of plastic. If you are lucky enough to live in one of 8 states you can supposedly buy ST ATT sim card from Walmart. Don't recall the 8 states but that is the one thing you can reliably get from ST. Cheers.

  • Wayne Randall

    Wow, $15 now. Ordered my SIM before my N4 (round two) came for $5. Looks like someone is cashing in on the higher demand.

    • ProductFRED

      Its always been $15. I've been with them for 7 months. You probably used a code.

      • Justin Winker

        I got my ATT provisioned ST SIM card back in November for the first round of N4 devices for free (from a code), but otherwise it would have been $10.

      • moelsen8

        Yeah.. I got 3 in September for $5 a pop when they had a deal. Waiting for another one to hit.

      • Wayne Randall

        No code, straight off ST's website at $5 with free shipping.

        • ausdog

          Currently att cards only available in Walmart stores in 8 states. ST only selling tmobile cards. Tmobile has own dish here and it sux. ST is using Verizon dish here and not good quality but never drops calls. You can get ST att cards from phickey64 on Amazon but they are about 90 bucks. Ed

  • http://twitter.com/soullover1 Saeed Al Dhaheri

    My ST data became very slow this month I dont konow why. I have been using it for 5 months now
    A living in columbus, OH close to downtown

    • Splinter46

      Straight Talk's Data, Internet is NOT umlimited. After using a certain amount each month they throttle you down until the internet is worthless. Once you get your next month's $45 card, you will be back up to speed again until you go over the set limit by Straight Talk.

      • Ryuuie

        That limit changes depending on where you live or where you happen to be in the country. For the most part, it's widely accepted that 2GB/mo OR about 100MB a day (whichever you hit first) is fine but anything over will get you throttled.

        However, as I stated previously, that's nothing more than a safe zone. There are people who go over that zone daily. Jerry Hildebrand from Android Central has stated multiple times that he can do 3GB / month where he lives and not get problems and I personally have gone over 100MB a day where I live multiple times but never have gotten throttled.

  • Alex Mocaby

    People at Howard Forums suggested that it was because they were at the end of a contract (which apparently ends this week), which is why they removed EVERY mention of AT&T from the official site. They also said that the pull was a negotiation tactic or something.

    I dunno, maybe they were just sold out, but stripping every mention of AT&T from the site is kind of fishy to me.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1789146-Ability-To-Order-AT-amp-T-Sims-Removed-From-Straight-Talk-Site

    • RyanWhitwam

      They did not remove all mention of AT&T from the site. That's bunk. I found plenty of info on AT&T. The support area has an entire section about setting AT&T APNs, for example.

      • ausdog

        Depends on which state you are on.8 states are supposed to have them

  • Craig M

    Cheap Craigslist phone + Straight Talk sim = Win

  • upstanding

    "Don't Panic"
    Definitive proof that the Android Police Blog = Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy.

    • enomele

      So long and thanks for all the fish.

    • RyanWhitwam

      This was in fact the reference I was going for.

      • upstanding

        Do I get points for noticing it or was it obvious?

  • Andrew

    I just bought a SIM starter pack (2/2/13) from Best Buy and it came with 3 SIM cards. Two for AT&T (standard and micro) and one for TMO (standard.)

    • Daniela

      Is the sim card working for Straight Talk?
      If so, what exactly is the name of the kit you got at Best Buy?
      Thanks

  • toto

    Yes, I'm sure both Net10 and ST being out of SIM cards exactly at the same time is just a coincidence... Nothing to worry about, right ? Please.

    • OBK1352

      the story said that net10 and ST are owned by the same company. So no, it does not seem like a coincidence at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erica-Mathis/100002238870948 Erica Mathis

      Next time actually read the story.

      "The complete absence of AT&T SIMs from both sites led many to wonder if AT&T service was no longer being sold by these Tracfon-owned entities"

      Read between the lines, they are both owned by Tracfone.

  • Splinter46

    They didn't 'Sell out.' AT&T stopped providing them. Too many people were using Straight talk, jailbreaking and unlocking their smart phones so they could change there APN settings, and get all the services AT&T offered at Straight Talks $45.00 month cards. AT&T was losing money to ST. This will force people to go back to AT&T at their higher prices.

    • Nick Schiwy

      Artem, the founder of Android Police, and myself both contacted Straight Talk and they told us both separately that they were sold out of the AT&T SIM cards and that you could purchase them from WalMart and activate them without problem. I'm not sure where you heard that AT&T had stopped providing them with cards but it would be appreciated if you would at least cite your statement if you are going to blatantly contradict the company's official statement.

      • Splinter46

        So let me get this right. Net10 AND Straight talk both ran out of sim cards that use AT&Ts towers at the exact same time? Ah, ok. Yes, I've talked to ST a few times and they said they've 'just run out.' Well, let's hope you are right, just a fluke. But understand, the more people using ST's sim cards from AT&T, the fewer people purchase AT&Ts services. That's a lot of lost revenue for AT&T. Time will tell. But don't hold your breath.

        • OBK1352

          "The issue is occurring on both sites because both are owned and operated by Tracfone." same parent company probably means same supply chain.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erica-Mathis/100002238870948 Erica Mathis

          Net10, tracfone, Straight Talk and others are all owned by the same company, America Movil. AT&T owns 25% of America Movil. Every AT&T sim card sold through Straight Talk is a sale for AT&T in more ways than one.

          • Splinter46

            There is the other side also. Every AT&T sim card sold means one less person buying AT&T's two year contracts, or AT&Ts own direct monthly plans. AT&T may of found out this has cut into their profit margin. No one seems to know at this point. We will have to see if Straight Talk resumes selling AT&T sim cards. Maybe they are working on a new contract. In the meantime Straight Talk is selling T-Mobile sim cards. Mine was activated over 24 hours ago. After 2 calls to ST Tech support my cell still says 'No Service.' One more call to ST tech support tonight, then if it's still not working I'm going right to one of AT&T's plans. Rather pay more and get it working, then pay ST and go through all this time and hassle. p.s. My little Motorola is working fine with the AT&T sim card I bought from Walmart before they 'ran out.'

          • Splinter46

            As promise, here is the lastest update. Just got off the phone with Straight Talk's tech support. After much fumbling around, the tech talked to her supervisor. He said T-Mobile is having some sort of outage in this area I live in and should be resolved in a day or two. Call ST back then. Then I called our local T-Mobile and they said, no, there is no problems in this area with T-Mobile. This is a new phone mind you. For whatever it's worth. p.s. the sim card I bought last month from ST (AT&T towers) is still up and running.
            Straight Talk is going downnnnnnnnnnn.

  • spunker88

    Even though my Verizon contract still has a few more months on it, I went ahead and grabbed a At&t SIM from Walmart.com just in case they do actually stop making them. Hopefully they still allow At&t SIMs to get service on At&t's towers.

  • VonDerThWood

    I simply bought a regular sized SIM and cut it to micro for my Nexus 4. Works just fine. :)

  • http://twitter.com/ArtVandelay440 Nathaniel Webb

    Walmart has cancelled my order 4 times citing an "unknown error". Multiple computers and OS. Wonder if they are out of stock, just don't want to say so?

    • Splinter46

      Just a follow up. I have two cell phones. The first one, I bought ST sim card 2 months ago and all is working well. I bought a new unlocked phone a few days ago and ordered ST's sim card. They told me it would be though T-Mobile, that they were 'out' of their AT&T sim cards. They activated my new phone 6 hours ago. No go. Trying to make a simple phone call and it says 'not connected.' Neither is anything. Guess I'll be calling their Tech Support when the open up tomorrow....... on my other phone.

  • Patrick

    Just received my NET10 sim from yippz.com for my unlocked AT&T phone. They only sell the AT&T version, not the T-Mobile version. They included the complete manual and instruction booklet. Nice card and 3G service from NET10.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbhimself Aaron Catlin Styles

    no one thinks it has anything to do with straight talk now having an iphone available? apple despite what nerds may think is an above average evil profit driven company... they kill africans and hate charity, the possibility of even one person skirting their authoritarian hold on our electronic lives probably drove them so crazy they made a deal with walmart/straight talk... idk. i don't know anything... just wondering.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1402935065 Charles Chazz Matthews

    Bull. For 2 reasons...

    "What we have here seems to be a combination of high demand and poor website design. We have confirmed the AT&T cards are simply sold out in the online stores, so the sites don't offer AT&T as a signup option at all. Yes, this is a little misleading. However, you can still buy the Straight Talk and Net10 SIMs from various other retailers like Walmart and Amazon."

    1) How is a product being "sold out" or "not available" considered "poor website design"?
    If the company doesn't have any more AT&T sim cards -- or aren't allowed to sell them anymore -- then they don't have them to sell or just can't sell them anymore. SOMETHING has gone wrong with their business. (short supply due to managerial incompetence or they legally don't have the rights anymore) The company is not going to call attention to that fact.Thus, you only see T-mobile sims (the product they do have on hand). So, it's NOT poor website design that the product is not available.

    2) Ask yourself WHY the AT&T sim cards are allegedly "sold out" or not available?
    Obviously, because something ELSE is going on behind the scenes. Either AT&T is renegotiating the sim contract or AT&T is cancelling the contract. THAT's why the sims are "sold out". The current supply is gone and won't be replenished until the underlying business issues are resolved, IF they are resolved.

    You basically got snookered by a PR rep who didn't tell you the complete story.

    • ivan m

      I was just at Wal-Mart they told me that ST and AT&T were in litigation over it and Wal-Mart was not selling them at this timw

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1402935065 Charles Chazz Matthews

    So, are you ever going to contact Straight Talk/American Movil again and try to get the truth? Been 3 weeks now they aren't selling "AT&T" sims. Or are they still trying to sell the "sold out" story? :)

    • danielden05

      On February 25th Straight Talk will be unavailing a revamped website experience, along with several new mid and high end phones and a new procedure for inquiring and activating AT&T sim cards. The new Straight talk sim cards will work on AT&T 4G LTE networks. You will also be able to view call history and other information if you have a Straight Talk account. For the first time Straight Talk will also allow certain smart phones to be used on their $30 plan and will be expanding the plan to offer more voice minutes (1500) text (3000) and data (300 MB). Enjoy and remember, you heard it here first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benn-Dover/100000418683449 Benn Dover

    wow you suck big canadian moose cock

  • The Consumer

    interesting but this says it all http://www.helpowl.com/Straight%20Talk/Reviews

  • andrew

    i need to get a sim card for at&t for straight talk an i cant find one i found one at amazon but they wanted 79.00 for it an thats with no mins with it or im not looking at it right can any one tell me ware i can get one

  • andrew

    what is the diff from a mico sim card and a stander

  • Bethany

    After calling customer service we were informed their site is "under construction" and for now we should buy our sim cards at Walmart.com (sim activation kits have been newly added here in the last week to keep up with demand). Big surprise...they're sold out there as well (except T-Mobile of course).

    Here's where it gets good. eBay is flush with new AT&T sim card listings going for $60-$100 a pop! Such a shame that greedy people are snapping up all the inventory just to resell to the desperate. Our Nexus 4 is on backorder for 2 weeks so I guess we will just have to hold on until ST gets it's act together on their site.

  • David Kerr

    THANK YOU for writing this up....I was wondering what the heck was going on for the past two two weeks as I tried to order a SIM card from the Straight Talk website! I was trying again tonight and it was driving me crazy.

  • Joel

    Effective March 1, 2013, your NET10 Wireless Bring Your Own Phone
    (BYOP™) AT&T-compatible SIM will be limited to 1.5GB of high speed
    data usage per 30 day period on the Unlimited plan. Any redemption made
    prior to March 1st will not be affected by this policy.

  • ReefChick

    Wow! This seems to be the place to ask my question, as everyone is well-versed in the ST SIM information. I was going to make the change to ST today. Just received my new/used unlocked iPhone that will work on the GSM network. I was unable to find the AT&T SIM card, so I was going to purchase the tmobile one, but it does not appear to be a micro sim. What is my next step? Do I bite the bullet and pay the big bucks on ebay for a micro sim? Do I use another pay as you go carrier? Which one? In advance, thank you for ANY help you all can provide. I have been researching switching for months from TMobile (just finished my contract) and going onto straight talk, so now I am at a bit of a loss. :)

    • doofus

      You can buy a sim cutter that will cut it down to the perfect microsim size. They're like $6 to $10 on Amazon.

      • ReefChick

        Thank you for responding! Will the Straight Talk TMobile SIM work on my unlocked AT&T iPhone if cut down?

        • http://twitter.com/Saerise Sarah Lise

          It should.

  • carol

    Walmart.com has removed the micro sim bundle from their website. It was there a few days ago, and now it says product not found.

  • William Babis

    Straight Talk no longer activating AT&T SIMs. Talked with them today and it is kaput. Not sure if they will use AT&T in the future. I am standing by.

  • Dawn

    In New York, you can not buy them at Walmart either right now and I refuse to pay $119 on ebay for a 14.99 sim and yes it is very frustrating.

  • Gage

    Does the at&t ST sim card use AT&T towers I purchased the.unlocked GSM similar card off Straighttalk.co and I'm pretty sure it.uses t mobile towers and I have awful service

  • Wow oh wow

    So I had an IPhone 4S(unlocked) with an AT&T straight talk SIM card. I was so happy with the service seriously AT&T service for 45$. I recently got my phone stolen and was forced to buy another iPhone 4S. Doing so I did not realize straight talk only sells t mobile sims now. I figured this is fine because I will just unlock the iPhone. So now everything is working BUT I do realize my service is TERRIBLE. Like wow I get Internet almost no where in every day places I used to all the time with my straight talk AT&T sim.

    So here is my question if I get an AT&T straight talk SIM card... Will I be getting the AT&T compatible service I used to get? It's driving me insane nothing is said about it anywhere how the sims effect the service provided.

  • DestinAndroidHack3r

    I just bought an att galaxy s2 and i cant seem to find a straight talk sim card for it