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LTE Now Available With Straight Talk AT&T SIMs

Tracfone's Straight Talk and NET10 brands now appear to be selling SIMs that enable LTE data on the AT&T network.

The new SIMs showed up yesterday online at www.straighttalkbyop.com and www.net10sim.com for a $6.99 with free shipping. Straight Talk SIMs were $14.99 up to now so that's a price reduction too.

It may not even be necessary to get new SIMs in order to experience LTE speeds on Straight Talk and NET10. A HowardForums user posted that he started getting LTE yesterday on two Samsung Galaxy Express phones using a SIMs that were purchased some time ago. He is using Straight Talk's normal tfdata APN setting.

The HowardForum's user posted a screenshot showing a speed test result with the 4G LTE indicator in his phone's status bar. His 10 Mbps speed is on the low side for LTE but still better than the throttled 8 Mbps LTE that AT&T's own Aio prepaid service is delivering.

The AT&T and NET10 SIMs work in unlocked GSM phones as well as locked AT&T phones. They require activation on the Unlimited Talk Text and Data plan which costs $45 on Straight Talk and $50 on NET10.  Bothe MVNOs charge taxes and fees of between $1 and $6 per month depending on your state of residence.

While Straight Talk and Net10 both represent very good deals potential users should be aware that the advertised "unlimited" data does have some very real limits. Both virtual operators will throttle or terminate the data of anyone whose use they consider excessive. It doesn't take much to get in Tracfone's bad graces either. Customers using as little as 1 GB in a month or 100 MB of data in a single day have reported having their data speeds reduced to about 128 Kbps or cut off entirely.

The most exciting thing about the arrival of LTE on Straight Talk is that it likely means that other AT&T MVNOs with less draconian data policies will also be getting LTE access soon.

Images: StraightTalk, HowardForums

36 comments:

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  1. Great news! Now bring on the Nexus 5!

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  2. I would say whoop tee doo because it's Tracfone but I really do agree with Dennis that this could lead to more 4G goodness from other MVNOs that keep it real.

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  3. Can we get a page to learn the best deals for 4G/LTE data? I read the page on best deals on data, but if I really 4G, it's not easy to go through plan after plan to figure out whether it's 3G only or not. I know Virgin Mobile(by Sprint) and Aio(by AT&T) have LTE, but are there any Verizon MVNOs that offer 4G? I don't think so unless you tell me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no LTE on any Verizon MVNO or even Verizon Prepaid.

      Delete
  4. I have an AT&T HTC one x on Straight Talk AT&T in a major LTE market, no LTE yet.

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    Replies
    1. That is a beautiful phone,amazing screen,better than galaxy s3.

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  5. Anybody know if LTE will use more battery on the same phone that is currently on HSPA+?

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    Replies
    1. LTE generally uses more battery especially on older LTE phones. Check the specs for your phone on the manufacturers site. They often list separate talk and standby times for LTE and HSPA.

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  6. Update: LTE for ATT BYOD Sim card works perfectly in Dallas - Forth Worth area with new APN (tfdata.) The old ATT Sim (associates with Nokia phones) cannot get LTE, and still use the old APN.

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    Replies
    1. The ST Nokia phones are not LTE phones.

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  7. Has TF/ST cleaned up their hugely vague TOS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To the best of my knowledge, they have not .....

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  8. I had a rough patch with Straight Talk on AT&T early on with frequent data issue or slow data, but it has worked really well the last few months. I am getting reasonably low latency and 2 to 6mbps down and 700k to 1.4mbps up on an iPhone with only HSDPA, not the HSDPA+. I think people sometimes get spoiled by good AT&T and VZW service.

    I am trying T-Mobile HSDPA+ on a second phone and man, does T-Mobile sucks or what. Weak coverage through out the SF bay area (especially indoor) and even the signal is very strong, the latency is like 300-800ms. When you are getting 1-3 bars (which happens often), getting 1.5mbps down seem like a tall order.

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  9. I've also noticed that ST is "expanding" their online availability of ATT-powered phones. For example, until a few days ago, only Verizon-powered phones were available in zip code 39120. Now, severall ATT-powered phones have been added even though ATT prepaid worked there the whole time. It looks like ST and ATT are getting their problems ironed out.

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  10. This is amazing news. I was going to switch to Aio when the Nexus 5 came out, but I'll be sticking with Straight Talk. Wish the Nexus 4 had native LTE.

    I only use about 1GB of data per month, and haven't had an issue in the year I've been with them.

    All we'll have to do is change the APN settings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could try that but if your SIM is using the old att.mvno APN it probably won't work with the APN set to tfdata. I believe Straight Talk can fix that on their end.

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  11. The market is so saturated,all the providers are doing now is swapping customers.

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    Replies
    1. Good point, but new customers are created everyday. Children are getting cell phones everyday and at a younger age.

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  12. How do you edit the apn if I had to use unlockit.co.nz to create the apn? Iphone 5

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    Replies
    1. Use the NET10 (tfdata) profile from unlockit.co.nz

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    2. Even if I have ATT straighttalk?

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    3. StraightTalk and NET10 APNs are the same. You can use either of these unlockit.co.nz profiles: StraightTalk (new) or NET10 (tfdata)

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    4. I tried both and it's still slow. LTE is on the screen, but it's slower than my 4g. I filled it couple of days ago. Should I call Straight talk?
      Thanks!

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    5. I would call them using the "Executive Resolutions Dept." number 1-305-715-6500 on a weekday before noon Eastern time.

      Delete
  13. AT&T's LTE network is tiny compared to Verizon, I just talked to Straight talk and they said you do need buy a new sim, and Straight talk is NOT allowed to use AT&T'full at&t LTE network, and like I said, their LTE network isn't very big even for their full priced customers.

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  14. LTE is available with straight talk and most likely net10 will get it as well but as for the data YES its unlimited but its the current trend of unlimited meaning High Speed Data to 2.5GB then its throttled. As for not using AT&T's complete LTE network they mean the data speeds will not be the same similar to AIO Wireless...Most likely its just the priority level on the data network....Sometimes l laugh when customer talk the size of a network WHY? because if you don't travel to those places why would it even matter?

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    Replies
    1. For some of us data and voice coverage while traveling is the most important criteria, because at home we have other, better ways of accessing the Internet. I personally laugh when someone says carrier X is great at home--who cares there, I have cable and use that when at home or at work. When I need my phone the most is when traveling.

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    2. Many younger people aren't signing up for home phone lines, wired or VOIP via cable or Fios. My daughter has Verizon Wireless service and has to stay in her guest bedroom to use her iphone. She has the Vonage app for outgoing calls, and it works OK most of the time over her cellular broadband hotspot, but she does not want to tell her friends she will call them right back. Laugh all you want, but there are many people who think poor coverage at home is a big hassle.

      Delete
  15. Do they sell the 4g LTE sims at walmart in the store?

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  16. all you need is a 103-255 sim card from TF (TF = NT=ST)

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  17. I live in the Kansas City area where PC Magazine in June reported that AT&T was now the clear leader in the 4G LTE market with average D/L speeds of 20.74 mbps and on the high end up to 49.02. That's smoking. AT&T HSPA+ showed average d/l speeds of 5.61 with a max of 13.88. However, that's probably straight AT&T and not prepaid. With AIO previously throttling their 4G LTE speed at 8 mbps, I'm wondering how important it is at this point to shell out bigger bucks for a 4G LTE phone if I go with ST. Has anybody heard of ST throttling 4G LTE speeds and do they throttle HSPA+ as well? Wonder what the actual difference will be between the two on ST? I'm looking at a nice HSPA+ phone for under $100 and wonder if it's worth paying at least $150 more for a 4G LTE phone. Any words of wisdom?

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    Replies
    1. I suspect that when the network gets busy AT&T cuts back on prepaid and MVNO user's data speeds. So you probably won't get get the same speeds that PC Magazine did but LTE should still be faster that HSPA+.

      Paying $150 more for an LTE capable phone than a comparable one without LTE is not worth it to me. For typical phone data use like Web browsing and YouTube I can barely tell the difference between HSPA and LTE.

      Delete
  18. Ooops....forgot to add....with ST now providing 4G LTE service, I would think they have to be pulling a chunk of business away from AT&T postpaid and even GoPhone and other carriers. ST has to be getting hammered right now. Does anybody think this will have a negative impact on AT&T speeds ??

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    Replies
    1. Straight Talk and GoPhone LTE users probably account for 5% or less of the total LTE traffic on the AT&T network so they alone will have little impact. But LTE traffic is growing rapidly. Whether the network can handle that growth or not depends on how willing AT&T is to spend the money to increase capacity. Historically AT&T has done a lousy job of keeping up with data traffic growth.

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  19. Does ST unlimited plan include international SMS like AT&T go phone?

    thx,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Straight Talk only the Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent (M828C) and LG Optimus Q (L55C) which both use the Sprint network are able to send international texts. I've heard of other phones working but I wouldn't count on it.

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