Straight Talk is one of TracFone's brands partnered with Walmart to provide prepaid phone and hotspot service. They offer plans on all of the major US networks - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular.
The device you activate will determine which carrier you are placed with. However, their mobile hotspot plans seem to only be available for Verizon and AT&T.
And, currently, their mobile hotspot plans are their only viable semblance of a 'home internet replacement' option on the road.
None of their smartphone plans include mobile hotspot use, so we only consider their data hotspot plans to be of interest for the purposes of mobile internet options for RVers and cruisers.
All of their mobile hotspot plans are capped data buckets, which include between 1GB-7GB, spread over either 30 days or 60days of use.
Policies & Perks:
- Domestic Roaming: All of Straight Talk's plans are only on the carrier's native network and does not include domestic roaming.
- Throttling: Speeds delivered full speed of network, but all data is de-prioritized behind traffic of users on native (big four) plans.
- International: No international data usage is included.
- Mobile Hotspot Use: None of Straight Talk's smartphone plans include mobile hotspot usage, however they do offer data only hotspot plans.
- Data Roll Over: Unused data does not roll over to the next billing period. However, Straight Talk does offer some of their data plans on a 60-day period, instead of the typical month.
- Overage Charges: There are no overage charges on prepaid plans. Once you use your data, you just refill your account, or you don't.
- Streaming: No streaming services are provided with prepaid accounts.
- Unlimited Plan: StraightTalk offers an unlimited on phone device data plan, but with no hotspot capability, it is not a viable home internet replacement. Their hotspot plans are all capped data - and currently top out at 7GB.
- In addition, Straight Talk's TOS indicates the following: "We further reserve the right to limit, deny, or terminate Service to anyone we believe is using their Service in an unauthorized manner.... We will presume you are engaging in an unauthorized use in violation of these Terms and Conditions, if in our sole discretion, you are using more than 60 GB of data in a 30-day period." So, technically, 'unlimited' means '60GB'. And yes, we have seen reports of folks getting cut off for 'violating' these TOS.
- Device Lock/Unlock Policy: Straight Talk will provide an unlocking code to customers who request unlocking, provided the device has been activated on Straight Talk Service for no fewer than 12 months with service plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.
Testing Status: We do not keep a Straight Talk plan in our testing arsenal.
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Straight Talk Ratings
None of Straight Talk's smartphone plans include mobile hotspot use, so for the purposes of mobile internet solutions we only consider their hotspot plans to be of interest. They do have some flexible options, but research is key to ensuring you get the carrier & plan you want.