Those who purchase the Sprint-powered lineup of Android smartphones available on StraightTalk will now find an included bonus with the $45 unlimited rate plan, as the activation support page lists included support for international text messaging to and from non-US mobile numbers at no extra charge.
With this confirmation, the included international messaging service for the current $45 rate means that StraightTalk is actively undercutting postpaid and other flat-rate/prepaid service providers which either charge on a per-message basis to send and receive messages from international numbers separately from any active unlimited messaging plans, while other providers charge additional fees per month for unlimited international SMS options, such as Boost Mobile, MetroPCS and Cricket while limiting the scope of countries that qualify for unlimited messaging.
The International Texting feature is currently included on the Samsung Galaxy Precedent, LG Optimus Q and the recently released LG Optimus Black and is expected to be available to more Sprint-powered Android phones, should more be added in the future. This follows the week’s previous news regarding StraightTalk’s new $60 monthly unlimited plan with unlimited international calling to select countries.
The capability to send international text messages on Sprint-powered Android phones was only recently discovered after multiple StraightTalk customers confirmed the capability to send messages to other countries on the aforementioned models, but was quickly dismissed by many as a loophole that was left open and had yet to be closed. Many users had assumed that Tracfone would quickly shut down the service, based on the assumption that since international texting service was not included on AT&T and T-Mobile powered phones, it would also be excluded on Sprint-powered phones.
With this additional feature now confirmed and the additional perk of unlimited data with no immediate prospects for throttling unlike the current throttling rules being put in place with Virgin Mobile this weekend, Sprint powered StraightTalk Android phones are an even more compelling alternative to flat-rate carriers such as Cricket and MetroPCS while providing direct competition to Boost, Virgin Mobile and even Sprint itself as it seeks to sign as many wholesale network lease agreements in order to shore up its short-term cashflow to pay for its Network Vision initiative and work to return to profitability.