I thought I would just provide my feedback about Straight Talk. I have an AT&T jailbroken iPhone 4 with the Straight Talk MicroSIM. I pay $45 a month for the service. Let me just start out by giving my short thoughts on the other carriers out there since unfortunately, I've had ALL of them.
This is for the Phoenix area.
AT&T - Costs WAY too much, data is VERY limited or $$$, and you have to sign a contract.
TMO - Very inexpensive, data is VERY limited, coverage is horrible.
Verizon - Costs WAY too much, data is very limited or $$$, and you have to sign a contract.
Sprint - Crippled network with "unlimited" data, however I could only get 100 - 300 kbps download.
Virgin - Bad selection of phones. Runs on Sprint's network.
Boost - Runs on Sprints network.
Okay, so now that the other guys are out of the way, here are my thoughts on Straight Talk with my experiences so far. I got the SIM in the mail, popped it in my iPhone, followed the instructions in the booklet and online. Bam. iPhone up and running with talk, text, and 3G data (4G according to my phone, but its not really 4G).
I am what is considered to be a heavy data user. I hardly ever use a laptop. I do all my email, music, movies, and social media on my phone. This is just the way it needs to me. For me I have issue with the "need" to be connected to WIFI. I want the network my phone operates on to be fast enough to do whatever I need it to do, and I don't want to need to use WIFI at anytime when I know I'm paying for unlimited data. Please remember, these are just my own personal opinions.
I've had the service for 2 months now. I've used 6.2 GB my first month (450MB in one day actually from downloading a game from the appstore), and no where in the first month did I get a warning call or was throttled. I can get 4.5-6.0MB download speed according to SpeedTest App.
My second month so far I have used 4.0 GB with one week to go. No call, no warning, no throttle. To make sure my review is accurate, please stand by. I'll run a speed test right now.
5.25 MB download 1.0 MB upload.
***JUST A NOTE - I NEVER TETHER MY IPHONE. EVER*** I dont know if that has anything to do with the other stories of being cut off and warnings etc. When I spoke with ST customer service they gave me a VERY black and white answer.... IF YOU USE THE DATA ON YOUR PHONE FOR WEB BROWSING, IPHONE APPS, YOUTUBE, WHATEVER, you will NOT be throttled or disconnected. I was informed if you ever tether, they will suspend you for abusing data. I think when people get caught and they play stupid Straight Talk gives the "make sure you close your browser" speech really just as a courtesy because they know as well as you do that you were tethering your phone. Instead of losing a customer they just make it known that THEY KNOW you're tethering and DONT DO IT AGAIN.
What this means for me is my internet is plenty fast for me to do whatever I need to do on the phone, and I'm using AT&T's network to do it all through StraightTalk.
Bottom line, I'd be paying well over $120 on ATT for the exact same thing I'm getting on Straight Talk for $45 a month. Let me just finish up by saying, I've never been happier with a cell provider. I've had mostly all of them only to be left financially drained or unhappy with the level of service I was getting on the network. Straight Talk has left money in my pocket along with quality service I really feel I can depend on. Best part of all... I get to keep my phone! LOL I'm kind of starting to feel like the chick in the commercial that drives the station wagon. Lets just hope they keep this service exactly the way it is. I'm in love with the ST.
Verizon 4G LTE
San Francisco | San Jose
AT&T 4G LTE
I wonder if there is any merit to the idea that your location also has some influence on how much data you can get away with using. Say an area where at&t has a heavily loaded network compared to an area that is relatively light or if your home area is edge rather than 3g/hspa+ for that matter?
Last edited by Cheapfone; 04-10-2012 at 09:58 PM.
That's here. Everyone is different. If you lived where I do but traveled into the city, you might find that Sprint is useless for you. I don't know - I've never tried using my phone the very few times I've driven through the nearby city.
When CDMA "goes digital", it sounds as if you're under water. When GSM goes digital it sounds more like analog breakup. And with over 50 years of using analog radios, I'm more comfortable listening to noise than to "burble". If the carrier doesn't allow the tower to be overloaded, there's no difference in range or coverage. As far as the codec (a wider codec makes for better audio), that has nothing to do with whether the signal is CDMA or TDMA (which is GSM).
MetroPCS might be a better choice than Virgin or Sprint because at least they'll sell you extra-cost roaming off of their very limited network.
Last edited by smsgator; 04-13-2012 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Corrected error. Actually RP does forbid tethering.
When the carriers turned off AMPS that analog coverage was thoughtfully replaced with nothing.
I've had great coverage with the TMO sim in the Phoenix Metro. The amount of individual usage relative to other users given available bandwidth in specifics sub markets was what ATT used to target the top approximate 2% of users. So in one market it could be 2gig in anther 4. I'm sure ST has a similar formula to squeeze out margins, which would explain the discrepancy between when people get the "call" or shut off. I would be nice to know a hard number as some phones are data hogs, and monitoring your own usage is not difficult. Have a feeling that the unofficial data cap will/is increasing as LTE etc. is rolled out and more powerful phones/pads come on line with the postpaid crowd. My question is; is there any way for them to tell if we actually tether, other than inferring it from data use?
Last edited by Loansharkie; 04-13-2012 at 01:19 PM. Reason: grammar
For streaming they can do packet inspection and determine the source of the packet and they pretty much know the big providers of streaming audio and video to look for.
If your ISP provides VPN service you can prevent the carrier from looking at the packets inside the VPN connection. The iPhone has a Cisco VPN client. Good luck on the Android though, there have been attempts to get VPN to work for a long time with little success.
Some people thought that by using VPN they could hide their tethering use as well, but AT&T found other ways to detect tethering.
Bottom line, be very careful. Some people say that ST doesn't actually care about streaming, as long as your data use is not excessive, but they'll quickly cut you off for tethering no matter how little data you use.
Red Pocket also forbids tethering, but not streaming. It would seem to make no sense for RP, since you get a fixed 2GB limit, but even RP would prefer that their users minimize data usage.
That's just not true. They don't care about either of the two activities as long as you don't use a lot of data. I usually tether 150MB a month over 3-4 days, never have an issue. There's other Hofo members who tether as well without getting the boot.Bottom line, be very careful. Some people say that ST doesn't actually care about streaming, as long as your data use is not excessive, but they'll quickly cut you off for tethering no matter how little data you use.
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus