13
Sep
4g_lte-1

There was a time not long ago that you couldn't even get AT&T-compatible Straight Talk SIMs due to a mysterious shortage. Well, things have certainly turned around. Straight Talk has just started listing 4G LTE service for AT&T devices. You can break free from the traditional carriers, save some money, and still keep your LTE data. That's a deal.

2013-09-13 11_52_59-Choose Your SIM card

Straight Talk offers monthly plans starting at $45 with "unlimited" data. Straight Talk will throttle heavy users after a few gigabytes of data, but the price isn't bad. AT&T's Aio national prepaid service is slightly more pricey. There is no additional charge for LTE data – the SIM cards should just work. However, it isn't clear if older SIMs will need to be replaced, or if this is a network update.

T-Mobile service on Straight Talk is still just 4G, indicating HSPA+. T-Mobile's LTE network is still in its infancy and probably doesn't have spare capacity to let MVNOs use. The magenta carrier does have an in-house prepaid option with LTE, though.

Update: Existing customers with LTE-capable devices will need to buy a new SIM card and move their number over, according to Straight Talk.

[Straight Talk – Thanks, Alex and Brad]

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.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Chris Webster

    Will this be compatible with the current AT&T SIM cards or will I have to buy a new one?

    • John

      From the article... "However, it isn't clear if older SIMs will need to be replaced, or if this is a network update."

    • Justin W

      Guess (and this is just extreme speculation here) that you need to buy a new Sim, but you can check with ST customer service on that.

      • shojus

        As soon as Straight Talk actually hires "customer service" I will give them a call... ;)

        • Justin W

          Well, they have people in some office in the phillipines... They aren't great, but eventually you'll get what you call for.

    • iamnid

      Wondering this myself. I've been with straight talk since December...loving it and no throttling so far.

    • Hemp92

      Chris- I have an older AT&T SIM on a new GS4, my wife has a NEW SIM on a new GS4. We traveled to Denver last weekend when i noticed her phone said LTE and mine did not.... I swapped SIM cards and it followed her SIM card across.. I called ST and they said it was my phone.... naturally........ calling them is worse then placing your testicles in a vice.. At any rate, I ordered a NEW SIM and we'll see this weekend when we are back in Denver. BTW- the lady said that I did not need a new SIM. But I trust their advice on cell phones as much as giving money to Bernie Madoff to invest....

    • coLin

      I have an iPhone 5 and and an old SIM card and I have LTE. Hope that helps

  • RH

    Been on ST for just a little over a year. International Note1 didn't come with LTE, but this one is almost 2 years old, and I figured I'd be needing a new one, about the time LTE was enabled in my area. They turned it on in May, so I haven't missed it by much. Note3 coming as soon as they are available. Will probably stick with ST now. Was thinking about AIO, because ST didn't have LTE, but, now that they do, might stick with them. No contract is NICE.

  • cheeto0

    While Tmobile is behind att and verizion. Tmobile lte is not in it's infancy anymore. Today they announced they now cover 180million people in around 234 markets. I have tmobile's own prepaid and for $30 I get 5gb of LTE.

    • Jeff B

      I would love to switch from my out of contract t-mobile plan ($67 monthly) but their prepaid doesn't offer conditional call forwarding for google voice.

    • Scott Hendry

      man i wish i had gone with that plan... finishing my contract sucks.

  • ProductFRED

    Don't be so quick to jump. I was with them for a year. Straight Talk would throttle me continuously for the last few months I was with them, for barely any data usage. I remember one month I was up to 300 MB and I was limited to 256 kbps. Afterwards they wouldn't remove the throttle at all, even after I paid the month's bill. I called them and the Indian reps (just stating facts) would read me a scripted response over and over and over again about how "the system determined I was using excessive amounts of data." When I asked how much and on what, they said they couldn't tell me because the system doesn't tell them how much or on what.

    They're shady. If you use them, port your number to Google Voice. Don't assume they won't terminate your account without telling you, because its happened to people.

    • Pyrotek85

      I'm with them now and they've been alright, but I'm not using much data as I usually have wifi access. I did port to Google Voice beforehand as suggested, since you're not the first person I've read about having trouble.

      Honestly it sounds like most any carrier shady. I don't think I've ever heard of a good carrier, just ones that are more tolerable than others.

    • iamnid

      I've had a completely dissimilar experience. Been with them since December. No throttling or anything and it is actually $42.50 a month if you sign up for automatic payments.

      Now I can't wait to see if the next nexus has LTE and to determine whether I'll have to get a new Sim for this

      • blast0id

        that's messed up, I'm signed up for auto payment, and I'm being charged 45 plus tax...

        • hemp92

          I too am being charged $49.50/month and have ALWAYS been on auto payments.....

    • Daniel

      Everyone read this post above. The customer service is incredibly hard to deal with. They recently changed their apn settings and didn't notify any of their customers. My wife was stuck without data, and we couldn't tell why. They gave us a scripted response that she was streaming Pandora too much and they capped her data. They were completely wrong. She had no data rather than slow data, and they didn't even bother to check her data for the month. It took weeks to get the new apn settings (and the ones listed on the website were incorrect). If you are in a financial position where you can pay more than the $45/mo. Get someone else.

      • ProductFRED

        Yup! I'm in my senior year of college and went with them because I refused to tie myself to a contract. $45, even for "fake" unlimited data (I knew there was SOME limit) sounded great. I would use 2GB or less a month on average. And like I said, near the end of the year I was with them, they throttled me 3 months in a row continuously, even overlapping bill payments with no mercy. So I politely told them to go **** themselves (self-censored) and close my account.

        Then I ported my number out to T-Mobile. I'm on their $30 100-minute/unlimited text/5GB 4G-LTE plan. I live in NYC, so coverage is fine aside from inside my house (wifi calling solves this). But I can understand why some people may need AT&T's coverage. But trust me, don't waste your money on Straight Talk.

      • Kcls

        Wow, I went through this EXACT same thing. Last month or 2 months ago my data randomly stopped working. APN settings on my phone were right, pulled straight from the website.

        I called them up and asked why my data wasn't working. She said yes, one moment, and transferred me to a pre recorded response about how I was using too much data, and I was being throttled. The only option at the end was to "Press 1 to hang up",

        So I called back. I said, "I'm not being throttled. Don't send me to the prerecorded message." "One second, let me put you on hold" She tranferred me to the message.

        I went through this 9 times. NINE. TIMES. "Oh you're being throttled." "No, I'm not. My data ISN'T WORKING." "Oh, it'll reset next month" "My Month started yesterday." Over and over and over.

        Finally got a woman who thought to double check my APN settings. I told her I got them straight from the site, she said she wanted to try anyway. Turns out they were all wrong. I lost 3 hours of my life over the course of 3 days because of the incompetence of their CS.

        But I'm stuck with them.

        • Brian J. Cohen

          Isn't the whole point of prepaid that you're NOT stuck with them?

          • Kcls

            Yeah, but T-Mobile doesn't work where I am, so ST is really the only other option.

          • blumpkinpie

            Try ATT Gophone. It's LTE, 2GB data and unlimited text/talk. You also get support at any ATT corporate store. It's $60/mo direct from ATT, or you can buy refills on ebay for ~$48 around the 6-10th of each month.

          • Kcls

            2gb is waay too little for me haha. Thanks for the suggestion though! I pay 49 a month for straight talk so that's definitely an option for the future. I don't care for the LTE though because I have a nexus 4.

          • blumpkin pie

            And straight talk is giving you more than 2gb on att? I doubt that... ST throttled me after 700mb... You can buy additional GB on go phone for $10/GB.

            Tmo doesn't think Alaska is a state so I can only use ATT and their mvno.

          • Kcls

            Yeah they throttle me too after a gig. I might even be permanently throttled for all I know... my speeds are always slow. But I came from Virgin Mobile so I'm used to it.

          • Kari Teubert

            roger that

        • Kari Teubert

          sound like they at least speak English. Jus sayin ;/

        • randy

          so what are the correct APN settings. Im having the same problems

          • Kcls

            Name: StraightTalk ATT
            APN: att.mvno
            MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
            MMS Proxy: proxy.mvno.tracfone.com
            MMS Port: 80
            MCC: 310
            MNC: 410
            APN Protocol: IPv4
            APN Roaming Protocol: IPv4

          • trey

            Will these settings allow me to use my mobile hotspot. ... I've been getting a temporary out of service msg for a month now. Im new to ST

    • Spasillium

      Straight Talk and Net 10 both have some of the worst customer service reps ever. I'm so glad to have moved away from both of them permanently.

    • knowYourFacts

      StraightTalk call centers work from Philippines, not India.

    • Khanlala

      They are very likely to be Filipino reps working there (just stating facts). Every time I called them I got a Filipino always.

  • duse

    Wow, I think this article EXTREMELY understates the significance of this by saying you can "save some money" and that the price "isn't bad." This is HUGE. $45/month for LTE speeds (even if it's capped at 8 Mbps like AIO, who cares) and AT&T's coverage and already pretty decent 3G network. You will not find a better deal than that in America. You're saving a lot more than "some" money - last I checked a single line account with Verizon or AT&T will run you $100/month nowadays. Unless you have a family of 4+ people taking advantage of phone subsidies, I really can't imagine why anyone signs up with a new post-paid contract and pays those prices. Compare:

    ST: $45/mo, unlimited calls and texts, "reasonable" data (maybe in the 2 GB ballpark), AT&T LTE
    AT&T: $90/mo plus fees (so closer to $100), unlimited calls and texts, 2-3 GB of data (depending on plan type)

    • Pyrotek85

      That's why I switched, it was costing me a fortune even though I wasn't a heavy user, but I was required to get the expensive data plan since I wanted to keep using smart phones. I barely use any minutes either, mostly just texts and emails as far as communication goes. I really hope post-paid dies.

    • iamnid

      Agreed... I was paying $80 a month before. Now, with taxes and fees I pay less than $45 per month and it is much faster than Sprint was.

    • DirkBelig

      I'm paying $49 per month including taxes for 2.5GB of LTE data for my Nexus 5 on ST AT&T.

      My friend is on contract to AT&T for his "$200" GS3 and paying over $80/mo for 1GB of data.

      It's like I'm getting a free $400 phone each year.

      • duse

        Pretty much. You can also knock another $2.50/month off that by enrolling in auto-pay.

        • DirkBelig

          For some reason I'm not getting that discount. I'm enrolled with autopay, but am still paying $45+taxes.

          • duse

            It's not automatic, you'll have to un-enroll and re-enroll again. If you're worried about it ask CS on the phone, I did that and they had no problem re-enrolling me and giving me the discount.

          • DirkBelig

            Looks like I'll have to call because I just un/re-enrolled and it gave no indication of a discount. Bother.

          • duse

            In "My Account Summary", next to my phone under Quick Links, it says "You are eligible for a promotion! Click for details." Do you have that link? Clicking that opens a pop-up talking about the $2.50/month discount. Either way if you call I'm sure they'll give it to you.

          • DirkBelig

            Nope. I've just got this:

            * Quick Links
            * Buy a Service Plan
            * Add a Service Plan NOWAdd a Service Plan to RESERVE
            * Check Balance / Service End Date
            * Manage Auto-Refill Enrollment

            I've been a customer for a year and a couple months after I enrolled for autopay I received a text or email offering the discount if I enrolled in autopay. Well, I was already enrolled, so what then? It's like when you're a longtime customer of cable TV or something and they offer new subscribers a much better deal, but existing customers get squat.

          • duse

            Yeah, same here, I was already enrolled, then got the notification about the discount. When I called CS they had no problem un- and re-enrolling me just to get the discount applied. So give it a shot, they might do it!

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    How much throttling goes on? 3G speeds? Slower than 3G? I use a ton of data but it's almost all from music streaming.

    • ProductFRED

      256 kbps when they throttle you.

      • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

        Wow, that is horribly slow. Thanks for replying.

  • br_hermon

    So let me get this straight... If I'm fed up with VZW and want to dip my toe into AT&T's pool and check to see how reliable they are in real-world tests I can just buy a an AT&T phone off swappa or something (or maybe even borrow someone's old one), take it to straight talk and give it a try for $45? All I'm out is the price of the phone and $45? Does straight talk use all of AT&Ts towers or is their coverage more limited than what AT&T offers? I think I've heard something like this.

    If the theory above works, I may just ditch VZ so I can get the next Nexus :)

    • RXG9

      Yes, and AT&T's coverage is the same. You can also switch to to other MVNO's every month if you really wanted to.

    • cy_n_ic

      Its not as great as a full blown account with at&t. As long as you are not a heavy data user its not bad. Definately better than sprint i can tell you that. Also $45 a month and a nexus is double dip holo heaven ;)

    • br_hermon

      Here's a video comparing Straight Talk to AT&T for anyone that's interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrH-6gbaxZs

    • DarrenR

      You would have the cost of the sim also.

      • br_hermon

        according to the pics above, that's just $6.99 right?

    • Daniel

      The calls won't sound nearly as nice. I don't know if there is also a drop in data coverage or speed either. My wife switched from ST to AT&T using the same N4 and the calls are much easier to hear.

      • Laney

        Untrue. I have ST galaxy s4 and a true AT&T LTE Hot Spot. their service and speeds are IDENTICAL.

    • blast0id

      If you know you have good t-mobile coverage in your area, you're much better off with a t-mobile compatible sim on straight talk... I have both at&t and t-mobile sims for my HTC Amaze, and I only use the AT&T sim if I'm in a shitty t-mobile area, which is VERY rare...

    • br_hermon

      Well it sounds like I'm getting advice from a variety of different experiences but I just wanted to say thanks to all of you and your valuable feedback. I greatly appreciate it!

    • CJ

      U can use your Verizon phone for Straight Talk too, they allow CDMA just not LTE, my Thunderbolt isn't compatible with them but I keep using my Droid X. Of course disregard this if you want LTE working :)

  • jonathan3579

    The funny part is when I had my Galaxy Nexus and saw AT&T Straight Talk users, they always complained about being throttled after 2-2.5gb. However, I was on the T-Mobile side of Straight Talk and averaged 5-7gb a month without ever being cut off or throttled like them.

    Edit: And I've also proven in an XDA thread that despite what most people say... Straight Talk DOES have roaming at least as far as T-Mobile is concerned. I have provided pictures as proof in that thread and on here. Lol.

  • G3treal

    I would be very careful using MVNO's like these (Straight talk is Net10). They may use the same networks but not necessarily the same coverage or priority on a busy cell site as the carrier's post paid customers. They also use their own APN to provide you Internet connectivity and I can tell you from experience Net 10 sucked for Internet. It was unreliable and I left just over a month ago because it was down for hours and even a day or more. Look at the thousands of customers on their forums (or just Google it) and see people begging for help with their Internet. It isn't a setting issue either. I ended up going with AIO and my data has been much better. Don't be cheap and try to save yourself a few bucks like I did. Research first before you end up with an LTE connection with horrible speeds and reliability.

    • duse

      I've been with them almost a year and a half now and my experience has been great. Web, MMS, streaming Pandora all work fine. There's been a situation here or there where I had no signal and our AT&T post-paid iPhone had 1 bar...I'm not sure if that's a post-paid/prepaid thing or if the iPhone just picks up a signal better than my GNex. Either way, the service for me has been great and reliable. Adding in LTE now makes it even better and shows that they are growing and adapting the service as time goes on.

  • Vetal

    my bro has a htc one with strait talk since feb of this year and his phone always showed 4G LTE signal.

    • Daniel

      It's probably just the misleading/false icon the HTC One uses. My stock ROM S3 almost always used to say LTE when I was connected to the data network, but after I flashed CM, it would only say H or H+ while I was walking around the same places. CM did show LTE, it just did it when it was actually connected to LTE.

  • mortition_poet

    I have the red Galaxy S4 from ATT and I broke my contract to get this service.
    I recently (as of 9/10/13) got my SIM and activated my account/service with the $45.00 unlimited plan. I hope I don't have to get a new SIM for this.

    • ДЯД∇IИDД

      The SIM you got on 9/10, did it have the 4G LTE logo mentioned anywhere, or was it the old SIM?
      thanks.

      • mortition_poet

        The SIM I got doesn't have any 4G LTE on it nor anywhere on the packaging I received.

  • prepaid-unlimited.com

    Anyone not satisfied with StraightTalk customer service? I used to have Straight Talk, couldn't stat the customer service, so I switched to Solavei. I would recommend Solavei to anyone. http://www.prepaid-unlimited.com Unlimited 4G data (NOT LTE) up to 4GB, not 1.5GB like ST. And like ProductFRED said, they even throttle you for a few MB of data used. Enough said.

    • ProductFRED

      Actually, the LTE APN does work on Solavei. Google it.

  • prepaid-unlimited(.)com

    I would recommend Solavei for anyone interested in finding a better provider than Straight Talk. Solavei's customer service is much better and you're allowed to stream content like Youtube and Pandora, they give you 4GB of highspeed data and after it goes to 2G speeds unlimited. Check my website prepaid-unlimited dot com for more info.

  • anezarati

    Anyone having trouble ordering one? I am getting an error with my city/state/zip code verification.

  • saynotostraighttalk

    I recently left straight talk for Red Pocket after a year of straight talk service. I just couldn't take the inconsistent throttling rules and I was left without data with a full month left. Red Pocket is a little pricier but no throttling and a definite data limit. Hope they get LTE soon.

  • hbdon

    Ive had my att straight talk sim since they came out. just got a new s3. two days later im now all of a suddent getting lte. wtf! didnt expect that but im hitting 10mbps on speed test, nice!

  • KD

    I have the HTC One X (AT&T) with an old ST AT&T sim and I am getting the 4G LTE symbol but still the same speeds as 4G.

  • Khanlala

    I advise paying a bit more and going with T-Mobile if they have good coverage in your area. I have tried all these crappy MVNO's and when it comes to data they are all pretty much a disappointment. And straighttalk never again. They blocked my data permanently after I had used 35GB on their tmobile sim. They told me it would be fully unlimited. They made me switch from AT&T sim to T-Mobile. Been with T-Mobile for 3 months unlimited $70 simple choice plan. Taxes r about $11 NYC. But I get 12% ($8.40) in discount here cause of my school so I pay around $73. I went with postpaid cause it includes call forwarding and I think 2.5GB of hotspot. Not sure if prepaid gets HS data allotment. Yay Google Voice.

  • Khanlala

    Have used more than 10GB a few times and no complaints no phone calls no headache. My friend who has a Note 3 and watches movies at his job (graveyard shift) touched 45GB last month. Still all is fine with him.

  • Khanlala

    By the way I haven't tried Gosmart. I think it's handled by T-Mobile directly so you might wanna look in to that. So basically it's not an MVNO but in fact T-Mobile itself. And this can be a good thing.

  • Paul

    I am confused. I have an i727 using the original straight talk sim card and in November 2013, my phone started showing LTE up by the antenna and my speeds increased from 6MBs download to 20MBs download. I did not get a new sim card or convert my number over or anything. I have had the same phone and sim and number for over a year and LTE just started working on its own in November 2013. Guess, I am lucky.

  • coLin

    I bought an AT&T compatible SIM card of eBay by that time when they were out of on their website. I didn't have to get a new SIM to get LTE. (I use an iPhone 5 AT&T)

  • Eric Johns

    The old AT&T SIM cards work quite well in newer devices; I trimmed my regular StraightTalk AT&T SIM card to a Micro SIM card, and I am getting 4G LTE AT&T Service.

  • trey

    The son settings I seen posted ten days ago will thst allow me to use my mobile hotspot again

  • Steven

    You are able to use any unlocked Android device with a Straight Talk SIM card. Every phone at http://www.flumongu7s.com is compatible.

  • Hateitman

    I went to straight because I was tired of Verizon. Straight cust. support is literally non existant. The FCC should close this bunch down. As soon as I find something that looks better, I'm out. I've had this nearly 1 whole month

  • VulcanHybrid

    I cannot stand straight talk. Not only is the service crap but their customer service is just horrible

  • Belinda Richardson-Baker

    i have Samsung Galaxy Rugby thru att and i was just wondering if a straight talk sims card would work in my phone to switch it over

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