TracFone BYOP 4G LTE SIM kits, which include AT&T network SIMs in mini/micro combo and nano sizes, are now available on the TracFone web site.
The new kits are priced at $6.99 but TracFone is requiring them to be purchased together with a $19.99 or higher priced airtime card so the minimum outlay for a SIM is $26.98.
The kits also include Verizon based SIMs for TracFone's CDMA BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program which launched in March.
TracFone BYOP phones use the same "triple-triple" billing scheme as the carrier's smartphones. With triple-triple a $19.99 "60 minute" airtime card provides 180 minutes, 180 texts and 180 MB of data good for 90 days. Unused minutes, text, data and days of service "roll over" and are not lost as long as another airtime card is added at least every 90 days.
Assuming you could use all three buckets at an equal rate, the per unit price of a minute, text or MB of data ranges from 3.7ċ with the $19.99 60 minute card to 2¢ with the $79.99 450 minute card. If you run out of data or texts before you use up all your minutes or days of service, data-only and text-only top ups are also available. Data cards are priced at $10 for 300 MB, $20 for 750 MB and $50 for 2 GB and a $10 Text Card adds 1000 texts. The $20 and $50 data cards are currently on sale at Walmart for $15 and $30 respectively. At the sale price, that's just $15/GB which is the best price I've seen for roll over data from any US operator or MVNO.
TracFone says that the new GSM SIMs will support LTE data. It's not known if speeds will be throttled or roaming will be available. But BYOP GSM phones on TracFone's NET10 and Straight Talk brands do get true LTE speeds of up to 20 Mbps and have some off-network voice and text roaming so hopefully TracFone will be the same.
Source: TracFone via Howard Forums
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