Straight Talk Data Clarification". It's basically a denial that Straight Talk's unlimited data is capped. As they put it;
"You may have heard rumors online that there is a hard cap of 1.5GB for data on Straight Talk. We want to clear this up for you right away: We are NOT cutting off data at 1.5GB on Straight Talk. The data limit in reference only applies to Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP™) AT&T-compatible SIMs on our sister brand, NET10. In fact, most of our customers enjoy their unlimited data plans with no issues or complaints regarding their data speeds or service. Please see sections seven and eight of Straight Talk’s terms and conditions for full details."
So there's no cap. That sounds good. But we all know that the devil is in the details and the details are supposed to be in the Straight Talk terms and conditions. So lets take a look at the TOS.
Straight Talk's blog post contains a link that's supposed to go to the terms and conditions. The link actually takes you to a Site Map page. There is a "Term and Conditions" link at the bottom of that page that opens the terms in a small non-resizable pop up window. It's not easy to scan the long document in such a small window. There's a more readable copy of the terms here: www.straighttalk.com/terms
Straight Talk's blog refers us to sections seven and eight of the TOS. That's probably a typo as section eight is about possible coverage map inaccuracies and doesn't mention data at all. I think Straight Talk actually means sections five, six and seven which do cover data usage.
Section 5 says;
"...we reserve the right to deny, modify or terminate Service, with or without notice, to anyone we believe is using the Straight Talk Service and/or Mobile Web Services in a manner that adversely impacts the Carrier’s network."That seems reasonable, the network is shared by all users and the operator shouldn't allow an individual to consume so much bandwidth that others are adversely affected.
Sec. 6. has a few examples of prohibited uses that also seem reasonable:
- Uploading, downloading or streaming of uninterrupted continuous video (Sec 6.)
- Using the phone to run a data server, host a webcam feed or for peer to peer (P2P) file sharing (Sec. 6)
- Tethering your device to a laptop or personal computer other than for the use of Wireless Sync.
"Straight Talk may modify or cancel any Service or take corrective action at any time without prior notice and for any reason, including but not limited to your violation of this agreement."That makes the rest of the TOS essentially meaningless. Straight Talk can do whatever they want and there's nothing you can do about it. After referring us to the Terms of Service, Straight Talk's blog post offers some "tips to help you conserve your data" which I think is the real message of the blog post:
- Connect to WiFi whenever possible to avoid using data entirely. WiFi Finder can help you discover open WiFi networks.
- Close applications that are not in use (this can save your battery, too!).
- Turn off auto-updates for apps or change the settings to update over WiFi only.
- Turn off automatic photo uploading or change the settings to upload over WiFi only.
- Turn off push “as items arrive” email. Instead, set your email account to sync every hour or longer.
- Browse mobile friendly websites instead of full webpages, which use more data to view.
- Use apps that help you manage data. In Android 4.0 or later, you can set limits and alerts on your usage. Otherwise, you can download 3rd party apps for Android and iOS such as:
- Onavo – iOS/Android
- Data Usage - iOS
- Wife used 580mb in a month on her iphone, got throttled and many pages including straight talk site were "access denied" (Howard Forums user)
- I have had my data cut off nine times now. I have not streamed audio, video, or done anything more than browse a handful of webpages per week. (Android and Me comment)
- Watched a youtube video (about 3 mins long) and within 24hrs I was throttled. A month later after service renewed I ran speedtest.net and the very next day , throttled again. (Howard Forums user)