Following the first details on the Straight Talk Galaxy S III revealed a few weeks ago, more concrete information has surfaced on the device and includes more clues on which CDMA network it will run on when the phone is launched later this month. First, the tutorial page for the phone has gone live, complete with interactive Flash tutorial which reveals that the phone may be powered by Sprint and not Verizon as originally speculated a few weeks ago.
The preliminary confirmation comes from the “Find Serial Number” tutorial, which reveals the Preferred Roaming List version, or PRL as belonging to Sprint, with version 31102 being a recent PRL first rolled out to customers in March of this year.
While definitive confirmation will not be known for at least another week before its expected launch next weekend, this does exclude Verizon as a possibility for powering the Galaxy S III, as all of its LTE-powered smartphones require separate LTE SIMs and provisioning in order to be activated, while Sprint uses non-removable embedded LTE SIMs with standard FOTA programming support that do not require additional service provisioning. The listed PRL also falls out of the sequence for Verizon, as its PRL for that month was 53096, nowhere near the range used by Sprint.
Currently, two additional Sprint MVNO partners also offer the Samsung Galaxy S III in Ting and Voyager Mobile, though they currently offer the phone at full Sprint MSRP, while StraightTalk will be offering a slight subsidy when the phone launches, as the phone will be priced at $440 when it launches later this month, though what has yet to be confirmed is whether Straight Talk will follow Ting and Voyager in offering full unlimited LTE access limited only by available coverage, Straight Talk has given no indication one way or the other on whether this version of the Galaxy S III will usher in official Sprint LTE access and support on the virtual operator.
Should the Galaxy S III usher in LTE support, it would fall within the previously detailed timeframe for such access, with the only difference being the company providing the access, as it was originally expected that Verizon would have opened up such access, but recent internal activity now suggests that Verizon is still actively restricting LTE access to virtual operators as a condition of allowing CDMA BYOD service and support.