Straight Talk activation kit

A little policy transparency from the most popular MVNO operator

TracFone, which operates (among others) the Straight Talk and Net10 prepaid carrier brands, has clarified its smart phone data policy to explicitly put a 2.5GB throttle point on its offerings. While both Straight Talk and Net10 have been extremely popular as inexpensive choices in the prepaid phone service arena, their policies on throttling or cutting off user's data connections with little warning were somewhat suspect.

According to official statements from TracFone, we now know that both Straight Talk and Net10 will give users of its "unlimited" plans up to 2.5GB of high-speed data access, throttling speeds to 2G (EDGE) after that point. Once your next 30-day renewal begins, you go back to a new 2.5GB data bucket. TracFone specified that this applies to BYOD plans on both carriers with either AT&T or T-Mobile SIMs.

Previous statements from TracFone refuted the suggestion that its prepaid brands only offered 1.5GB of data per month, and while this confirms that those statements were true it may not be the response many of us wanted to hear. In the end it is important that carriers disclose when you will be throttled or cut off, and with this bit of transparency customers now have more information when choosing which carrier they want to go with.

Source: FierceWireless


Reader comments

TracFone clarifies Straight Talk and Net10 data policy, confirms 2.5GB throttle point


I miss my GNex. For the $250 I spent, it was a great phone that handled everything I threw at it.

Posted via Android Central App

I second that, I spent almost a grand on mine and didn't get anything near that when I sold it.
Was money well spent though just having it about a month before my friends got their gimped Verizon version.

2.5 GB! Wow... that's great compared to the throttling we get her in cold Canadian companies. Not the best, but better than ours.

They should amend their advertising then, unless.2.5 somehow means "unlimited" these days. Whatever the case I'm fairly happy with the service and their cap won't really bother me. I'm saving a bunch on two lines over the att plan I had and the service is exactly the same. If att would get their head out of their ass and price plans accordingly for those that have devices, I might consider going back to them some day. I refuse to pay their monthly device supplement when I bought no devices from them.

Transparency is always a good thing and I'm glad to see some official statement from ST/TF.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

Unlimited doesn't say high speed unlimited, it just says unlimited. You don't pay extra after 2.5gb, you just get it at painfully slow speeds.

Unlimited means whatever they say it means, and in this case it means unlimited data, not unlimited data at full speeds.

Not sure how recently you've looked around, but AT&T offers many prepaid options that don't offer subsidies and have a decreased cost because of it. Both GoPhone and Aio Wireless are owned and operated by AT&T and offer many different plans and options, all notably cheaper than AT&T's postpaid plans.

I considered both but they are still more expensive and offer nothing else in return, and aio is more restrictive actually. Att still has work to do to really become competitive. $15 more for att prepaid? No thanks!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

I was using well over 4GB a month for about five months. Then one day they throttled me at 2.5GB. I left them that night after they refused to explain why. Don't count on yours staying that way.

About time they come clean. I left them a couple of months ago after they throttled me without warning, and after I had used considerably less data than I had in previous months. And they refused to tell me why over the phone, redirecting me to an automated number that didn't apply to my situation on three separate calls, even lying to me and telling me they would transfer me to a real person this time who could directly answer my questions.

Same exact thing happened to me. I can live with a data cap if I know when and where it applies, however with Straight Talk they just cap it when they feel like it. Also I understand when people say once you hit your cap its just throttled, well for me throttled meant ( nodda, nothing, no data, worthless all together). Back to T-mo with true unlimited lte I went and couldn't be happier!

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Exactly why I left for tmobile proper. They suspended me and couldn't tell me why. I've been with tmobile prepaid since January and I've never looked back. AT&T Will never have a dime of my money again.

i don't mind the 2.5GB/month. i'm more worried about the reports of getting your data cut off if you use more than 150MB/day. anybody experience or hear about this?

They absolutely will throttle you if you go over the 150 per day. They also will throttle you if you go against what they consider "bad" in terms of data usage such as watching youtube videos. If you even watch a couple in a day and stay under the 150 per day, they'll still throttle you because they do not want streaming. I have experienced this myself.

i like to stream Pandora for 1+ hour daily hikes. i'll prob choose GoPhone for less uncertainty. i don't need my data and balls cut off - especially without notice.

This is good news for me.
I've been on Net10 with an AT&T sim for several months now, and I've hit the 1.5 GB limit a few times. When you hit it, it stops. Cold. No data until the date ends and a new "reserve" card falls in OR you get another sim card to put a new card on (which moves around your start-end dates).

I'll be testing to see if I can get 2.5 GB before my service either goes cold or throttles.

Same story here, so this is a whole lot better than what we did have eh? My service end date is October 5th and according to the data usage meter on my Nexus 4 I've used 2.15 GB so far and I've still got strong AT&T hspa+ service. I'm almost curious enough to push it for the next few days to see how it transitions to edge when I hit 2.5 GB.

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This is enough for me. Price is right. I actually like the unlimited text and calls, too. Screw Verizon and the other overpriced carriers. Would like an option to go over and pay a bit more, though.

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I just used the last of my T-Mobile prepaid balance, so, I'm thinking about giving GoPhone a try.

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Right, because getting less for more is a good call.
Should you be off saying something ignorant about French Canadians somewhere?

Pay more for less data just to have the privilege of paying more if you go over 2GB? What a deal!

I love my ST sim. I've had their service for well over a year with no problems and now I get 4G LTE. I rarely even approach 1.75GB of mobile data like most of America who has access to WiFi.

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Why? This is basically the same level of service for $15 less and 512MB more data. The only advantage to go phone might be customer service, and that's questionable.

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That's never happened to me. I'll stick with ST for $15 less per month. If my needs change, I've got options. Thanks.

If have an HTC One Google Play edition with prepaid SIM cards from T-Mobile ($30 monthly with unlimited data with up to 5 gigs at LTE speeds), Straight Talk ($45 with phony unlimited data), and AT&T Go Phone ($60 with 2 gigs of data).
I get absolutely no LTE where I live in Sacramento (near Watt Avenue and El Camino Avenue), but there is LTE nearby. All I get is Edge, and frequently no data signal at all.
Two bars of Straight Talk and AT&T LTE reach my home, and after using Speed Test at several locations I go to, I've found ST is 30% to 50% slower (26 Mbps download versus 16).
However, I'm not a power user and the One isn't rooted, so I don't use more than about 1.6 gigs per month (mostly for speed tests, so far), so at the end of the month I'm dumping T-Mobile and AT&T.
When I move early next year I will ensure it is to an area with good T-Mobile LTE coverage, and I'll reactivate the SIM.

Posted via Android Central App

After almost getting kicked off straight talk due to murkly unlimited I'm glad they came clean
Their murky definition of unlimited made me leave for Solavei, which is still a better deal if T-mobile has decent service in your area. No LTE on T-mobile prepaid is a bummer though.

I have to say I like that AIOwireless throttles you to a more usable 256k instead of less than 128 on T-mobile and Tracfone. I'm actually shopping around for a new prepaid carrier so this is very good timing for me, makes my options clearer.

I'm leaning towards AIO or Straight Talk because as much as I prefer solavei, the occasional coverage gaps got to me when I had them before. AIO also has a 7GB option for $70 that really appeals to me as someone who used to be a much heavier data user and I would enjoy having some of that freedom back, honestly the throttle on AIO to 8mbps doesn't concern me, after 6 - 8 mbps the difference in daily usage is minimal. I'm actually more concerned about ping times, all of the mvnos AIOwireless and gophone included get 4 - 5x slower ping times than AT&T postpaid, which I have through work.