Many of you out there are using Straight Talk, Net10, or a number of other MVNO’s that operate on AT&T or T-Mobile’s network. Well today we have some interesting information for you. It appears that users on Straight Talk using an AT&T SIM card will no longer have unlimited data as of March 1st. Instead, it’ll be capped at 1.5GB and then throttled down to EDGE or 2G speeds. But we kinda knew AT&T would do this since Straight Talk’s market share is going through the roof. Especially with the Nexus 4 being so cheap unlocked. Straight Talk has been taking customers away from AT&T’s prepaid GoPhone service.
Now this doesn’t affect T-Mobile SIM cards for Straight Talk, just AT&T ones. Here’s the full statement from Net10 as well as Tracfone. Tracfone owns Straight Talk and Net10.
Effective March 1, 2013 Unlimited data service is not available on the Unlimited Plan for AT&T SIM cards. AT&T SIM cards on an Unlimited Plan will be capped at 1.5 GB of data per month. This will apply even if you buy and redeem an unlimited service card that does not contain this limitation on its face. This limitation does not apply to phones using our non-AT&T SIM cards.
Here is the official statement from Tracfone:
Effective March 1, 2013, your NET10 Wireless Bring Your Own Phone (BYOPâ„¢) AT&T-compatible SIM will be limited to 1.5GB of high speed data usage per 30 day period on the Unlimited plan. Any redemption made prior to March 1st will not be affected by this policy.
The NET10 30-Day Unlimited Airtime Card that you add to your phone will indicate unlimited data; however with an ATT compatible SIM (A- dark blue or B- light blue) you will only receive 1.5GB of data for that 30 day period. You can choose the T-Mobile (TMO) compatible SIM (C-pink) that was included in your package if you prefer to receive Unlimited* 4GÆ— data. Please visit our website for instructions on determining if you have TMO compatible service in your area, activating the TMO SIM and transferring your telephone number.
In the event that you cannot locate your TMO SIM, NET10 Wireless will provide a onetime free replacement TMO SIM in TMO compatible areas. Please go to net10data.com or call 888-805-5895
Please visit our net10data.com site to learn how you can save data usage by accessing Wi-Fi sites and closing applications not in use that consume data.
*Tethering is prohibited. Other restrictions and limitations apply. See Terms and Conditions of Service.
One thing all avid smartphone users should know, is getting educated on your monthly data usage can help avoid costly & unintended overages or running out of data before the end of your service month. In this age of smartphones with ever-increasing capacities & apps that run processes in the background and have constant-on connections to the internet, it’s a good idea to step back now and then and take note of what can be done to best manage your data usage.
A good place to start is to know what kinds of activities use up the most data & which apps are used in those activities.
Top data users:
- Watching streaming video or downloading video files
- Automatic picture uploads & sync
- Listening to streaming audio
- Automatic update for apps
- Voice assistants
- Emails with large attachments
YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and other streaming video apps will rapidly eat into your data allotment. Facebook, Google+ Dropbox and other such apps now have the ability to automatically save your pictures to the cloud when you take them. Voice assistants like Siri, Google Now & Microsoft’s Tell Me use your data connection every time you ask them a question. These are actions that are easily missed and are not too difficult to remedy.
So users of Straight Talk, how do you feel about this? It primarily looks like it’s an AT&T issue and not Straight Talk. But it’ll be interesting to see how many Straight Talk users switch from AT&T to T-Mobile SIM cards. Let us know in the comments below what you think about all of this.
Update: Straight Talk’s representatives have reached out to us to let us know that the 1.5GB limit WILL NOT affect Straight Talk but rather just Net 10 customers.