Update: A StraightTalk representative has responded to PhoneNews.com via email, reiterating the previous month’s statement about the 1.5GB limit only applying to Net10 SIM cards and stating that the below exchange was made in error and has since been deleted. No changes in policy have taken place and all current ST policies regarding data on AT&T SIMs are still in effect.
The representative has also confirmed that the above situation arose when the social media representative that made the below statements was performing work for both the Net10 and StraightTalk accounts, leading to the policy mixup The original article follows below and should be read purely as a record of the situation that led to this update.
This morning on Facebook, a recent exchange between a customer and a StraightTalk customer service representative may have confirmed what has long been suspected since the Walmart-backed virtual operator suddenly pulled all AT&T SIM cards and related inventory from active sale nearly 2 months ago; StraightTalk would begin enforcing a 1.5GB data cap on AT&T SIM customers going forward, following the lead of sibling brand Net10, which recently amended its AT&T agreement to limit its customers to 1.5GB a month with a hard cap that began at the first of the month.
This does fly in the face of the previous confirmation received by PhoneNews.com on the matter late last month, when wholesale changes were expected to come into effect for both brands, only to be initially confirmed as exclusive to Net10 and not affecting other brands.
The initial speculation and evidence for the changes included the 1.5GB cap and the removal of AT&T SIMs and devices from StraightTalk’s offerings as well as the move to T-Mobile SIM cards, which are not currently subject to any soft or hard data caps and are provisioned identically to T-Mobile’s current $70 Unlimited plan when activated with new service across all Tracfone brands, regardless of the respective $45/$50/ or $60 plan selections currently available on each brand.
With the confirmation that the remaining StraightTalk AT&T SIMs are being capped to 1.5 GB per month and presumably extending to AT&T-powered devices, this does put those remaining AT&T customers in a tough spot, as on top of the cap, data speeds are also frequently throttled more often for users, making it less attractive, though few are willing to give up AT&T’s more expansive GSM coverage compared to T-Mobile’s current coverage, which has a heavy focus on urban areas at the expense of patchy 3G coverage across suburban areas.
The coverage problem is also magnified especially if the areas are part of the network reconfiguration to 1900MHz 3G service. Those looking for unlimited data on ST may have to indeed sacrifice total coverage for data access, which doesn’t bode well for those looking for such access with AT&T SIMs and AT&T-powered devices.
Officially, Straight Talk has repeatedly stated that AT&T SIM cards are not available at this time and that updates will be provided, but no word has been given since the removal began, making things more frustrating for current customers as no real assurances are being provided about the viability of current devices and SIM cards that are already in use and active while seemingly continuing to sell AT&T-powered devices in select markets and excluding other larger markets, without much of an explanation.