Straight Talk is a different kind of cellphone service where you are not tied to a specific brand of phone. You can switch your existing cellphone over to the service at the expiration of your current contract with your cellphone service provider, so long as the phone meets certain criteria.
They advertise that it can save you money over your existing service provider; it can even cut your cellphone bill in half. If your cellphone is a model that is compatible with the Straight service, you can simply purchase a SIM card and install it into your current cellphone, purchase a service card, and begin using the prepaid service.
Compatible Cellular Phones
The types of phones in which you can use SIM cards include:
– Cellular phones compatible with T-Mobile
– Unlocked GSM phones
– Phones from Safelink, Net10, TracFone, Straight Talk or Telcel America
If you have one of the aforementioned phones, you can switch to the Straight Talk cellphone service without going out and purchasing a new phone.
There are several different prepaid service plans to suit your needs. These service plans include:
– 1 month – 1,000 minutes for $30
– 1 month – unlimited plan for $45
– 1 month – unlimited international plan for $60
– 3 months – unlimited plan for $130
– 6 months – unlimited plan for $255
– 1 year – unlimited plan for $495
Because most of the plans are unlimited plans, you do not have to worry about going over your minutes allotment for the month, nor do you need to worry about things such as rollover minutes or fees for texts and data, as these are included with the unlimited plan.
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Where to Purchase a SIM Card
The best place to purchase a SIM card is Walmart.com. A compatible with a T-Mobile phone sells for $15 on the Walmart.com site. Walmart also sells a number of phones with the SIM already included.
Amazon.com also sells the SIM cards on their site. There are a few selections for you to choose from; however, you can purchase one for approximately $25. In the technical details section of that page on the site, it lists the phones that are compatible with and which they can be used for.
Phones With SIM Cards Included
You can purchase a phone from their website at StraightTalk.com with a Straight Talk SIM card installed in the phone. There are a number of phones that you can choose from on the site. The most expensive are the iPhones, which can cost as much as $850 and include a substantial number of features. The least expensive phones are the basic Samsung and Motorola phones with few features other than a basic cellular phone and camera. There are also some reconditioned phones available on the site so that you can get a phone with a substantial number of features at a low discount price. Some of the phones only work with specific service plans, so it is important to note whether a specific plan is required with purchase and whether this plan is right for you.
The services include call forwarding, text messaging and data transfer (including web capability), as well as standard phone calls. While the services are independent of any major carrier service, the overall network is run in tandem with the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon networks. More specifically, Straight Talk is a Mobile Virtual Network operator, supporting GSM and CDMA standards. The CDMA network uses the CDMA 1xRTT network (provided by both Verizon, and Sprint), whereas the GSM services are run from either T-Mobile’s or AT&T’s networks (which are GSM-based).
About the Network
The Verizon and AT&T networks prove to be the most reliable in regards to data transfer and multi-media applications, but are likewise available depending on certain conditions. Ostensibly, the prepaid SIM card service does not work with Blackberry phones, nor does it work with any phone designed to work with CDMA services, due to an incompatibility between CDMA phones (of which Blackberry is one) and GSM networks. This incompatibility has been the source of much frustration amongst customers hoping to use the prepaid service with current-generation iPhones, unlocked Blackberry phones and other phones designed to work exclusively with CDMA services.
They do provide several CDMA-based phones that can work with GSM networks. These available phones include the iPhone, Nokia Lumia, several LG designs, Motorola, and HTC phones. These unlocked phones are available through their website, as well as Walmart, which markets the Straight Talk service and products.
Ultimately, the service offers all the same features and services of major network providers such as AT&T and Verizon. If purchasing a SIM card, it is important to take note of whether the card is compatible with CDMA or GSM phones, as it might not work unless compatible. Luckily, Straight Talk’s customer support can better determine whether a CDMA or GSM network would work best, based in part on the customer’s data usage.