Not long after Net10 rolled out Verizon BYOD support yesterday, a HowardForums poster with a known track record for providing accurate information on future StraightTalk products and services has shed more light on the relative silence from the brand, despite the recent announcement originating with the brand late last month. StraightTalk was expected to launch Verizon BYOD service on March 26th, only to delay the launch until later that week and remain silent on the issue.
Now, the poster has offered an update with the Verizon BYOD rollout now expected for the first week of May, though he’s cautioned that it may change again due to more delays, owing to StraightTalk’s tendency to change plans at the last minute while offering little in the way of updates, and even pushing up launches without warning.
On top of the revised launch schedule, the rollout of Verizon BYOD service is expected to lead up to the rollout of official 4G LTE support later that month into June, with a new wave of LTE capable smartphones as well as updates being rolled out for the Verizon-powered iPhone 5 which will enable LTE support, albeit with the still unacknowledged monthly data cap of 2GB, despite previous statements to the contrary in the media.
Should these claims pan out in the given timeframe, this would set up StraightTalk to be the third MVNO to rollout LTE support on prepaid, as little-publicized Sprint MVNO Voyager Mobile currently offers unlimited LTE service on its two of its three service plans, but it’s appeal is hamstrung by the requirement of purchasing handsets at full price and the still limited availability of Sprint LTE service in spite of ongoing expansions. Another Sprint MVNO in Ting also offers LTE access, but is again hamstrung by the same handset cost and coverage limitations.
In contrast, the purported availability of Verizon 4G LTE on StraightTalk and new smartphones would allow more people access to the updated data network at a much lower cost than current postpaid rates, which has been a long-held desire by many StraightTalk customers after Verizon’s new deal with the brand introduced smartphones to the lineup in 2012.
Finally, in related StraightTalk news the MVNO is now offering iPhones directly on its portal with the following models available in select markets:
Apple iPhone 4 8GB – $450
Apple iPhone 4S 16GB – $550
Apple iPhone 5 16GB – $650
Apple iPhone 5 32GB – $750
Apple iPhone 5 64GB – $850
The phones are available without the special financing promotion currently available via Walmart, which had a timed exclusive on the iPhone offering.