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Straight Talk Tablet SIMS and Plans Now Available

Straight Talk has been advertising tablet SIMs and plans on their Website since June but every time I tried to order one I an error or a  "coming soon" page.

Well, I tried again today and lo and behold tablet SIMs are finally available on the Straight Talk site. $9.99 buys you a Straight Talk Bring Your Own Tablet Activation Kit that includes AT&T and T-Mobile compatible SIMs in nano and mini/micro combo sizes. Shipping is free.

Straight Talk tablet SIM activation kits have also been spotted in a Walmart stores but so far they are nowhere to be found on the Walmart site.

According to Straight Talk the plans include access to LTE data on AT&T and T-Mobile. There are five plans available:
  • $15 for 1GB good for 30 days
  • $25 for 2GB good for 30 days
  • $40 for 4GB good for 60 days
  • $50 for 5GB good for 60 days
  • $75 for 7GB good for 60 days
These prices are nothing special for T-Mobile based service as both T-Mobile and RedPocket offer better deals. However, for service on the AT&T network Straight Talk undercuts AT&T's own pricing, especially at the lower price points.

Here's a comparison of tablet plan options using the AT&T and T-Mobile networks:
Straight Talk AT&Ticon Red Pocket T-Mobile
Free - - - 200 MB
$5 -
500 MB 500 MB (1 day plan, no auto-renew) 
$10 - - 1 GB 1 GB (7 day plan, no auto-renew) or 1 GB (auto-renew required)
$15 1 GB 250 MB -
$20 - - - 3 GB (auto-renew required)
$25 2GB - - -
$30 - 3 GB 3 GB 5 GB (auto-renew required) or 3 GB (no auto renew)
$35 -  - - -
$40 4 GB (60 day plan) - - 4 GB (no auto renew)
$50 5 GB (60 day plan) 5 GB 5 GB 7 GB (auto-renew required)
$60 - - - 9 GB (auto-renew required)
$70 - - - 11 GB (auto-renew required)
$75 7 GB (60 day plan)
$80 - - 12 GB 13 GB (auto-renew required)
Allowed Devices AT&T, T-Mobile and unlocked GSM tablets iPads, AT&T Tablets T-Mobile and unlocked GSM tablets and mobile broadband devices T-Mobile Tablets and mobile broadband devices
Hotspot allowed No Only on 5 GB Plan Yes Yes

Related: Prepaid Tablet Data Plans Compared


18 comments:

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  1. That's actually a pretty good deal if you use the AT&T SIM. I wonder if there will be the same restrictions against streaming video from services like Netflix or HBOGGO.

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    1. I am late to the party here but actually at $75 for 7GB for most people it is actually cheaper to go watch a two-hour movie at the local first-run theatre (AMC, Loews, Star, Jack Loeks) than to watch a movie on Netflix using this plan. Unless you know how to turn down the quality setting on Netflix (or Hulu) to low -- which on a ten inch tablet would still produce a reasonable quality picture -- you would be using about a gig an hour ($10.50 an hour at $75 for 7GB). That is $21 to watch a movie that you can rent on cable or satellite for $4.95! Even on low quality on Hulu you would use about 375MB an hour in my experience, that would cost about $4 per hour so about $8 for a year old two-hour movie. At the local Jack Loeks theatre in the Grand Rapids, MI area a first-run movie is about $11 to see and likely has been released within the past month and is not yet available on Hulu or Netflix.

      I would save the streaming video for times when you are home to use your cable or DSL modem. Use the mobile internet for general web-surfing reading mainly text pages. That way your 7GB will last for at least 75 hours of surfing assuming you use Firefox and use the setting requiring your input in order to run Adobe Flash.

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  2. You could use something like Hangouts or Skype and use your tablet as your phone too. Some of the small tablets are about the size of the big phones.

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  3. how can you tell if you have a t-mobile or att sim card? I would tend to believe that you would have better coverage with at&t if you live in a non-urban area.

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    1. The first six numbers of the SIM ID identify the carrier: 890126 = T-Mobile, 890141 = AT&T

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  4. what about the ping time? Will it have to go through a proxy and suffer embarrassingly high latency? If it's anything like their smartphone plan with 250+ ping it's a no go.

    Personally I'm on gophone $30/3gb plan which works out perfect for me, as I supplement talk/text with google voice now that hangouts has both integrated. And the ping is low in the 70s.

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  5. Is tethering explicitly allowed/disallowed on any of these plans? When you say "mobile broadband devices" does that mean/include hotspot devices?

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    1. May have partially answered my own question by reviewing the "Related: Prepaid Tablet Data Plans Compared" link. But that table only covers the big 4 and not the MVNOs. You should consider adding a "tethering allowed" row to the table in this post as well. It's something we always ask about... :)

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    2. I've never seem a phone or tablet plan that supports using your device as a hotspot (which allows simultaneous WiFi tethering multiple devices) that didn't also permit USB or Bluetooth tethering (which is limited to a one device at a time. You can safely assume that all "Hotspot allowed" tablet plans also permit Bluetooth or USB tethering.

      Mobile broadband devices includes wireless hotspots, USB wireless modems and laptops with built-in wireless modems.

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    3. Thanks for both clarifications. And I was being unclear as I was using "tethering" to mean"hotspot," which you clearly have on the table above. My mistake.

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  6. Are you sure Straight Talk allows mobile hotspot on their tablet plans? I came across this page and it seems to imply it is not permitted (although their terms and conditions don't expressly say it is forbidden on tablets or mobile hotspots):

    http://www.straighttalkbyot.com/faq.php

    Quote: "Can my tablet be used as a “hotspot” through which other devices can connect to the Internet?
    No. It is not permitted to tether your tablet to another device for that purpose, either wirelessly or using a cable. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions."

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  7. Straight Talk Bring Your Own TABLET Activation SIM Kits are FREE with purchase of Data Card. FREE FedEx 3 Day Ground Shipping is INCLUDED.

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  8. No hotspot/tethering allowed on Straight Talks' BYOT Plans. Needs to be updated up above.

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    1. What's your source for that information? The terms and conditions pop up on the Straight Talk Tablet plans page says only "STRAIGHT TALK UNLIMITED PLANS CANNOT BE USED FOR: any applications that tether your device to a laptop or personal computer other than for the use of Wireless Sync" which doesn't apply to tablet plans as they are not unlimited.

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    2. this Link .http://www.straighttalkbyot.com/ Scroll down to FAQ's, at the very bottom click "read More FAQ's" there are all the FAQ"s.

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    3. That's pretty clear although it's funny that it says "Please refer to our Terms and Conditions." which don't say anything about tethering and hotspot on non-unlimited plans like tablet plans. I've updated the post to indicate that Straight Talk doesn't allow hotspot on their tablet plans.

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  9. I just bought a straight talk att sim and the tether feature on my nexus 7 was removed. I have not figuoout a way to tether with it yet. I tether just fine with my verizon sim card.

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