Straight Talk Wireless: An Overview

Straight Talk




$30 Nationwide Plan$45 Unlimited Nationwide Plan$60 Unlimited International Plan

The Details (How it Works)

In summary, Straight Talk is a pay-as-you go prepaid wireless phone service (available only at Walmart) that requires no long term contracts.  Here are some specifics:

  • You can bring your own phone or purchase one from Straight Talk
    • The selection of phones is limited, but Straight Talk supports unlocked phones for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint — as well as compatible unlocked phones bought elsewhere
    • With a simple switch of a SIM card, almost any phone can be a Straight Talk Wireless phone
    • iPhones are now offered by Straight Talk — iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, and iPhone 4S
  • No-Contract Service Plans
    • Plans range from $30 to $495 (see chart below)
    • The Unlimited Plan ($45) offers the best value
      • Unlimited Talk/Text/Data
      • 30 Day Plan
      • First 5GB data at high speeds then 2G
  • Coverage / Performance Overview
    • Nationwide coverage (99.6%) via four national carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint)
    • No, your Straight Talk phone won’t roam,
    • Straight Talk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that buys capacity from the four large nationwide carriers and resells it to its customers. Performance will largely depend on which of the carriers is providing your service, and that’s determined by which phone you buy or bring to Straight Talk. Keep in mind, however, that while talk and text performance will be just as good, reviews say that LTE data speeds will likely be a little bit lower than what the carrier being used delivers to its own customers.
  • Customer Service Issues
    • J.D. Power and Associates surveys that look at customer care and the buying experience aren’t very complimentary. Among prepaid providers, Straight Talk finishes second to last in customer care and dead last in the buying experience.
  • Known Pros:
    • Uses all four national carriers for service
    • Good options for international callers
    • Can use your own (existing) phone
  • Known Cons:
    • Limited plan options and features (no daily or pay-as-you-go plans)
    • Mixed grades for customer service




This month (12/2015), I’ll be reviewing the services/offerings from certain non-major providers such as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). 

Each service will be looked at in detail, as I make a decision as to what to direction to go in when my current contract ends later this month.

Stay tuned for more!

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