Sometimes it's tempting to adopt the greatest and latest new smartphone when switching to a new service, but you also have the option - with Straight Talk, anyway - to Bring Your Own Phone to its services.
Bring Your Own Phone programs help lift a financial burden off of your shoulders, allowing you to possibly save hundreds of dollars, depending on how long your phone lasts. Furthermore, there are no contracts required, meaning you won't be chained to a contract during your stay with the carrier.
Straight Talk certainly offers enticing prices. After all, as of Spring of 2016, 6.28 million cell phone users adopted Straight Talk as their provider, according to Statista.
Bring Your Own Device
According to FierceWireless, former global head of mobile at Wal-Mart Gibu Thomas stated this a few years ago:
"Straight Talk has been an incredible value for our customers. It's the fastest growing segment of our wireless business."
He later goes on to add:
"I think it's an incredible value for anyone. I think it's one of the best-kept secrets."
To this day, Thomas is right. Straight Talk offers an incredible value with its plans. Not only that, but Straight Talk happens to operate on all four major carrier towers in order to bring you the best coverage available.
So are you curious about the plans Straight Talk offers with its Bring Your Own Phone program? While Straight Talk doesn't offer a broad range of plans for you to sink your teeth into, there are three to choose from, all labeled by price: $45, $55, and $60.
All three plans last for 30 days and come with an Auto Refill option. However, what is also eligible for the BYOP program Straight Talk provides are the extended plans. Only the $45 plan is eligible for the extended plan, which saves both time and money. You can purchase three months, six months, or even one year's worth of the plan.
Straight Talk $45 Plan
The cheapest plan grants you 5GB of high-speed data and unlimited nationwide talk and text, but keep in mind that once your high-speed data allotment has been exceeded, your speeds will reduce to what you would experience in a 2G network. At 2G speeds, you won't be able to stream audio or video very well.
Straight Talk $55 Plan
The middle plan, which is the newest, features unlimited nationwide talk and text. You'll also receive 10GB at high-speeds, which will reduce to 2G speeds once the 10GB has been used.
Straight Talk $60 Plan
Finally, there is the international plan, which comes complete with 5GB of high-speed data. Like the other plans, your speeds will reduce when once your high-speed data allotment has been exceeded. However, you'll have unlimited nationwide talk and text, as well as international calling to over 1,000 destinations. You'll be able to dial up to 15 unique numbers.
Sim Card Activation Kit
Straight Talk offers a 4G LTE Straight Talk Activation Kit. These kits allow you to obtain nationwide coverage and grant you the ability to keep your own number. There are two ways to obtain an activation kit. You can buy one straight from Wal-Mart for just 99 cents.
However, you can also obtain a SIM card by visiting the Straight Talk Bring Your Own Phone page, checking your phone's compatibility, and following the steps to place an order.
Read More: Interested in learning more about the SIM card? Then feel free to head on over to our article on "What is a SIM card?"
Activate Your Own Device
First, you need to know how activating your own device works with the phones you can bring. Here is what you need to know in regards to major carrier compatibility:
If you have a Verizon-compatible 4G LTE phone, you need both a SIM card either directly from Straight Talk or via Walmart and your choice of an Unlimited Service Plan. However, if you have a Verizon-compatible 3G phone, all you'll need is an Unlimited Service Plan. You will select that during the activation process.
If you have an AT&T phone, you'll need both a SIM card and your choice of an Unlimited Service Plan.
If you have a T-Mobile phone, you'll need a SIM card and your choice of an Unlimited Service Plan.
If you have a Sprint phone, then all you'll need is an Unlimited Service Plan, which you can select during the activation process.
Overall, compatible phones include GSM-unlocked phones, AT&T phones, T-Mobile phones, Sprint phones, and several other CDMA technology phones. You may need to refer to this guide if you need help unlocking your phone. Furthermore, if you find yourself confused by the terms GSM and CDMA, perhaps our article on GSM vs. CDMA will shed some light.
Activating Your Phone
Now, as for the steps on activating your phone, all you need to do is follow this simple guide:
- Find out whether or not your phone is compatible with Straight Talk. On the site, all you need to do is select your phone and pick your carrier.
- Buy an activation kit and service plan. Again, this kit includes the SIM card required to make your phone work on the service.
- From there, all you need to do after you receive your activation kit and select your service plan is to decide whether or not you would like to keep your phone number. Then from there, follow the simple directions on the activation page and activate your phone. Your phone will then be ready for usage.
Are Straight Talk BYOP Plans Right for You?
While Straight Talk is heavily affordable, there are some qualms with the prepaid provider. For one, it doesn't do much to stand out from the rest of the pack.
It only carries three plans, which are simple for those who crave simplicity, but there are no additional features tacked on. However, it does tend to rely on the four major networks for its coverage - you'll receive 99.6% coverage - but at the same time, it's been noted that its download speeds fall behind its competitors.
Looking to compare bring your own phone plans among other carriers? Then you should read our review of the best bring your own phone plans.
Perhaps you're instead curious about all the cell phone plans a provider has to offer. In that case, you definitely should take a peek at our review of the best cell phone plans and our handy cell phone plan comparison tool.