Just about everyone is at least casually familiar with the names of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Not nearly as many people are as well-versed when it comes to the topic of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). How many can you name?
It might surprise you to know that companies such as Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless operate on the T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T networks, respectively. These MVNO brands license the towers and coverage from the bigger providers but offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.
In this write-up, we will take a look at Straight Talk.
Straight Talk is an MVNO that offers both CDMA and GSM coverage as it uses all four major US networks. As a joint-venture with Walmart, the retailer is the only place you’ll find Straight Talk phones and service.
As often is the case with MVNO’s or prepaid carriers, there are no contracts with Straight Talk. Moreover, there are no credit checks or hidden fees.
When it comes to options, Straight Talk has three major nationwide plans with prices unlimited talk and text. Prices start as low as $35 per month and each comes with unlimited 2G data. For high-speed data, here’s what’s available today.
- $35 includes 3GB of high speed data
- $45 includes 25GB of high speed data
- $55 includes unlimited high speed data (may be slowed at 60GB)
Customers who sign up for automatic payment each month can save up to $5 per month on their plan.
An unlimited international plan runs $60/month and comes with 25GB of high speed data. The main draw here is unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls to Mexico, Canada, China, and India but there are a couple of other smaller details, too.
Those who commit to longer terms with Straight Talk can save anywhere from $5 up to $45 on the unlimited nationwide plan. Options include 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month extended plans.
Subscribers looking for two-line plans will like the $90 monthly rate which includes unlimited talk, text, and data. The carrier reserves the right to throttle speeds at 60GB or look at your account for abuse.
There are other options and add-ons available to Straight Talk customers, including global calling cards and extra data.
Fine Print and other Details
It’s worth noting that service plans do not include hotspot or wireless tethering. What’s more, video streams at up to 480p, or what’s commonly referred to as DVD quality.
Straight Talk customers can earn credits for referring others to its service. Additionally, they can earn them via watching video clips, sharing on social media, and automatic bill payments. The credits can be used toward high-speed data or a free service plan.
Deals and Discounts
As of today there are a number of deals available through Straight Talk. Currently things are grouped under a “Blowout Sale” and a “Clearance Sale” but both are a mixed of instant discounts, last-chance buys, and promotions when mixing phones with rate plans.
Bring Your Own Device
Should you wish to purchase a phone from Straight Talk you’ll find a range of devices from familiar brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, and a few others. The current crop of handsets isn’t overly attractive, but there are top-tier models like versions of the Samsung Galaxy S10 as well as a few of its predecessors.
The phones are priced outright as well as monthly, with financing options for 24-month and 15-month periods. There are also certified pre-owned models and reconditioned handsets, too.