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Straight Talk AT&T SIMs Discontinued

As of Jan 23, 2013, It's no longer possible to purchase Straight Talk or NET10 AT&T SIMs from the the Straight Talk web site. After initailly saying the SIMs were simply out of stock, Straight Talk representatives have confirmed the AT&T SIMs have been discontinued.

No explanation for the discontinuation was given, leading to speculation that America Movil, the parent company of NET10, Straight Talk and Tracfone) and AT&T are involved in some sort of contract dispute. If that's the case, AT&T may have blocked the sale of the SIMs or America Movil could have removed them from sale as a negotiating ploy.

Straight Talk seems to be directing customers away from AT&T based products as much as possible. My market (San Francisco, 94103) has been reclassified from GSM4SPRCO (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) to GSM5SPRCO (T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon) meaning that no AT&T based phones are available to anyone who enters a San Francisco zip code on the Straight Talk site.

Straight Talk and NET10's AT&T based phones including Android and Symbian smartphones are still available in zip codes like 65046 where AT&T is the only carrier.

If you must have a Straight Talk AT&T SIM they can still be found on eBay, but expect to pay $50 for more for one.

An alternative is Straight Talk's sister brand  NET10. AT&T based Net10 SIMs are readily available for $5 or less from Amazon and from well regarded eBay seller ShopCellDealsNET10 itself will also sell you an AT&T SIM in your use an AT&T only zipcode like 65046.

With Straight Talk ending and Net10 cutting back their AT&T based bring your own phone program, what will happen to existing customers? According to Straight Talk and NET10 representaives current customers can continue using their SIM indefinitely and unactivated AT&T SIMs can still be activated. However NET10 has imposed a 1.5GB/month cap on AT&T SIM users and Straight Talk is reportedly throttling AT&T users who use more than 50MB in a day.

For alternatives to Straight Talk and NET10 for AT&T based service see: AT&T and AT&T MVNOs Compared.

Updated 5/22/2013 with current information on SIM availability and NET10 and Straight Talk data caps and throttling.

51 comments:

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  1. NET 10 HAS A PARTNER SITE WHERE YOU CAN STILL GET ATT PHONES

    http://www.net10wirelessphones.com/ATT-Phones-Net10/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is not about ATT phones. It's about the sim cards that let you byod

      Delete
  2. The BYOP program turns one year old on 2/2/2013. My guess is that AT&T did not extend the deal for another year.

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  3. Are this could be because of the new laws that take effect today, with unlocking devices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, since the ATT sim card option would allow you to use a still locked att phone.

      Delete
  4. I can't find the SIM cards anywhere. I tried to purchase the AT&T one from Walmart that was linked in the article, but it won't go through to checkout, so I'm assuming they've pulled it.

    Just when I thought I found a good alternative.... I hope they work this out and don't lose AT&T cooperation, or I would have just shelled out $180 for a phone I can't even use because I'm currently using Verizon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait really? This happened to me too and I've been searching for confirmation that it's happened to someone else. I get a payment processing error no matter what type of valid payment I use. It seems like even Walmart.com is not selling that sim, despite it being available, they are cancelling the orders.

      Delete
  5. There are plenty of AT&T MVNO's out there,(H2O is very competitive) you don't have to use TracFone and Co.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had H2O since September and just ordered my ST sim a couple days ago, it is due to be delivered tomorrow according to the fedex tracking. While H20 works good, the problem with it is it does not have unlimited internet. for $60 a month it is 2g, with unlimited talk/text/photo mess. My husband on the other hand has my old iPhone 3GS on H20 and is on the $25 month plan for talk/text and he never uses it all, glad it rolls over. He does use the wifi here at the house but never needs internet while out.

      Delete
    2. Your husband could switch to the AirVoice $10/month plan and save 60%.

      Delete
  6. I don't get it, Net-10 T-mobile sim, will roam on AT&T, so what's the problem??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Off network roaming is quite limited. It's only available in markets that where a roaming agreement exists, typically only markets that T-Mobile doesn't serve. If you are in a T-Mobile dead spot in a city that T-Mobile serves like LA you won't roam. Or if T-Mobile has only 2G GPRS data and AT&T has fast HSPA+ data you won't roam.

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    2. dose straight talk work with at&t htc

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    3. An AT&T phone would need to be unlocked to work with a Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM

      Delete
  7. That is very interesting! I'm going to follow this thread fairly closely because I would think America Movil provides a good source of revenue for AT&T.

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  8. maybe after a certain as amount were sold, that was it, or to many people leaving at&t for straight talk, whatever there reason, the market is pretty well saturated.

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  9. What's amazing is that AT&T hasn't adapted well to increased competition in the market place. For that matter, neither has Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile have recognized that consumer behavior is steadily shifting away from traditional cell service in favor of prepaid. Whereas the postpaid market is saturated, there is plenty of growth in the prepaid market. Tracfone has demonstrated this and turned a significant profit at it over the past three or four years. Prepaid is for anyone and no longer only for those unable to qualify for traditional plans.

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  10. adapted well? Sprint and Tmobile are hardly a success story , prepaid is low profit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, Sprint and T-Mobile have excellent growth prospects. Prepaid is not as low profit as it would appear to be. There are a lot of costs with subsidized handsets so the cost of aquiring a new customer is actually lower.

      Delete
  11. Yesterday I tried to purchase a Net10 AT&T sim from the Net10 website using a San Jose, CA zip code and was only given T-Mobile sims as available to purchase. Last month I used the same zip code to purchase a LG840G with an AT&T sim on the TracFone web site. So it appears that something is going on between AT&T and America Movil.

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  12. Net 10 at&the Sims are still widely available, Amazon EBay best buy to name a few, but yes something is going on with at&t and tracfone.

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  13. Maybe ST has maxed-out on the amount of data service they bought from AT&T.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would go and try Solavei if you still want to buy/use GSM BYOD option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Solavei looks fishy to me. Something about it looks like mutli-level marketing. Anybody remember Buzzirk?

      Delete
    2. It is multi-level marketing. That is not illegal. Lots of successful phone companies like Ptel and Ting pay for referrals.

      Look at the experience of the people who run the company and the financial backing they have in order to get an idea of whether they are likely to survive.

      Delete
  15. Has anyone ever heard of Phonata? Their pay as you go rates look great, as low as $.03 per minute and $.005 per text which is the cheapest per text rate I have seen. But their site seems a little confusing, and I can not find information on them ANYWHERE. No info at all. Any info on them would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even their T&Cs are 'under construction.'
      I would not trust my phone number to them yet.

      Delete
    2. Monolex Telecom L.L.C:

      http://www.linkedin.com/company/monolex-telecom-llc

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/hendrik-lamprecht/20/b3b/650

      https://www.fcc.gov/document/international-applications-streamlined-accepted-pn-04262012

      http://www.bbb.org/west-florida/business-reviews/telecommunication-companies/monolex-telecom-in-bradenton-fl-90126097

      http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Bradenton/monolex-telecom-llc/65982663.aspx

      11-50 employees. Offers a platform to support MVNOs, and claims to have resale agreements with all 4 major US carriers. None of their officers appear to have any significant telecom experience based on a very brief review of their backgrounds.

      Delete
    3. I think that since they started offering the iPhones through walmart they pulled the AT&T sims due to the fact you don't get the 'Cellular Network' settings network tab. Up to this point anyone that wanted to use their iPhone did not have access to set their valuable APN settings other than the PITA sim swap method.

      Delete
  16. Wow I just bought an AT&T SIM for my Nexus 4 a couple weeks ago. Hopefully it will continue to work.

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  17. You can still purchase the Net10 and ST AT&T SIM at WalMart.com.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Net10 SIM (3pk) 1 AT&T micro SIM, 1 AT&T SIM, and 1 TMo SIM can be purchased online or in store for $9.99. Best Buy has them for $14.99. and can be purchased online or in store.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Any updates on this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, AT&T SIMs are still gone from the Straight Talk and Net10 sites but the Straight talk SIMs are still available at Walmart and the NET10 SIMs are available from Amazon, BestBuy and eBay.

      Delete
  20. I just received my ST tmobile sim and alas. I now have access to my 'Cellular Network' tab. I hope ST puts the squeeze on AT$T to allow access to those settings....maybe the next batch of sims will do just that(fingers crossed)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just activated a SIM yesterday (Feb 1 2013) from walmart.com. Its was an ATT sim, starts with 89014, HSDPA+, 6mbit down, 1 mbit up, shows up as AT&T on google voice forwarding.

    Nexus 4 shows up monday (Ill have to cut the SIM, its in a galaxy nexus now).



    ReplyDelete
  22. http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/02/psa-straight-talk-and-net10-sold-out-of-att-sim-cards-online-dont-panic/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anything is possible but I doubt that the SIMs are just out of stock. It seems highly unlikely that stock of both regular and micro SIMs for both Straight talk and NET10 would run out at exactly the same time. Plus, the same day that the SIMs disappeared, the majority of GSM4 (AT&T) zip codes on the Tracfone, NET10 and Straight Talk sites were reclassified to GSM5 (T-Mobile).

      Something is up, probably either a contract dispute between America Movil and AT&T or else AT&T raised their wholesale pricing to America Movil to the point that AM wants to severely limit sales of its AT&T based products.

      Delete
  23. AT&T Micro Sim back in stock on Walmart website

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Yeswap,

    Will appreciate if you can reply to my question. I just moved to smartphones last month. 2 weeks ago I activated an old corporate BB Curve 9300 (got it free from a friend) phone with T-Mobile $50/month plan that gives unlimited talk/text/100 MB of data. But since it was a blackberry they forced me to add the BIS plan for an extra $10. I ended up paying $66.xx - which will be a recurring charge if I stay on T-mobile.

    On top of that I am getting only EDGE coverage at my home but do get 3G while moving around town (Dallas, TX). My wife has an iPhone 4S with AT&T and gets a much better 4G coverage (my BB is capable of 3G only).

    I am looking for AT&T MVNO's who offer the following features:
    1. Unlimited Talk
    2. Unlimited Text (though I don't use too much)
    3. Preferably 1 Gb of un-throttled data (500 MB minimum)
    4. International text/SMS - I hardly use it but I need the ability to communicate with family back in India.

    Any suggestions for which AT&T MVNO would fit my bill? If not, then I was thinking of going with SimpleMobile - only thing is being T-Mobile MVNO their coverage is not at par with AT&T.

    Appreciate your help.

    Sincerely,
    Sridhara-syama dasa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most AT&T MVNOs offer unlimited voice, texts and 500MB - 1 GB of data for between $40 and $55 per month. Good choices for service and reliability include Airvoice, Red Pocket and Jolt.

      All the AT&T MVNOs charge extra for sending international texts with their unlimited plans,10¢ each on Red Pocket, 20¢ on Airvoice and Jolt.

      AT&T's own $65 month prepaid plan does include unlimited international SMS along with unlimited domestic calls and messging and 1GB of data

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your response. Few more points of clarifications:

      1. You did not mention StraightTalk - is it that they do not allow International text at all ? Or is there a way to get it from them as an add-on like cash card etc?

      2. Do you consider AT&T network that much better than T-Mobile that I should be specifically looking for an AT&T MVNO (especially in Texas)?

      3. Since my phone is an unlocked AT&T phone - is there any reason to believe that it will work better with AT&T - like getting more wireless bands coverage etc?

      4. Since my Int'l SMS use is very little it does not drive my decision on which MVNO to use. How would you rate the MVNO's you have mentioned in terms of coverage/reliability/support/speeds etc?

      Sincerely
      Sridhara-syama dasa

      Delete
  25. 1. Straight Talk doesn't allow international texting except with their Sprint based Android phones where unlimited international texting is included at no extra cost.

    2,3 You specifically asked for information about AT&T MVNOs. T-Mobile's overall coverage is less than AT&T's but if it works for you there are plenty of T-Mobile MVNOs to chose from.

    I assumed you were planing on replacing your-Mobile BlackBerry with something else but if you aren't only T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNO Simple Mobile offer BIS on prepaid.

    Simple's $50 plan includes unlimited talk and text, about 2 GB of data and unlimited international texting. Unlike with T-Mobile itself there is n0 off network voice-only roaming.

    4. I mentioned this in my first reply but I consider Airvoice, Red Pocket and Jolt the best AT&T MVNOs for customer support, reliability and not arbitrarily throttling or cutting off your data. Coverage should be identical across all AT&T MVNOs.

    Please read:
    T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared
    Prepaid Operator Profile: Simple Mobile
    Coverage Maps For All Prepaid Carriers
    Which should give you the information you need to make the best choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your answers Yeswap. I am not planning on replacing the handset in the short term - maybe later on down the road.

      I will go back and re-read the links you have given.

      Does any of the AT&T MVNO offer BIS ? If no, then I will simply stick with Simple Mobile.

      Regards
      Sridhara-syama dasa

      Delete
    2. None of the AT&T MVNOs offers BIS and neither does AT&T on prepaid, only postpaid.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous, from my experience AT&T has far better coverage in the Dallas area. Particularly indoors.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just received an e-mail/text message from Straight Talk, that if you enroll in Auto-Refill you get $2.50 off of your monthly bill indefinitely. Now may be a good time to go for it...$42.50 for "unlimited" everything. Yeswap did you hear about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, thanks for sharing. Hopefully this is a new program that will be available to all.

      Delete
    2. It looks like its for existing customers not enrolled in Auto Refill. I called customer service, and they said I'm not eligible, because I am already enrolled in auto refill. So what the rep did, was cancel my auto refill and then I re-enrolled to get the promotion in the same shot. Simple loophole.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the tip Derek. I was able to confirm that the promotion is available to all and wrote a post about it.

      Delete
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