StraightTalk has updated its website to reflect a new addition to its plan lineup launching today for $60 a month that will allow for unlimited international landline and mobile calling to select countries. The service integrates StraightTalk’s previous a la carte international calling service and removes the need to dial a separate 800 number in order to make calls to other countries, but does replace that 800 number with a Manhattan exchange number as the international dialing gateway.
Currently, unlimited calling service is available when dialing mobile and landline numbers in Canada, Mexico, India and select other countries by offering an online phone number cross referencing service to check if the number falls under the unlimited service guidelines. The plan and service are online exclusives on the StraightTalk webpage and is available now. StraightTalk is facing even stronger competition from other operators and service providers such as Boost Mobile, which launched its own unlimited talk and text plan with its service exclusive Shrinkage plan earlier today, designed to compete directly against Straight Talk’s lower monthly rates for unlimited voice, messaging and data access.
This offering also follows Tracfone’s latest moves to attract more users to StraightTalk by relaxing its draconian service bundling rules and is now selling SIM cards for those that wish to bring their own equipment to the service after its attempt to offer its first high-end Android phone in the LG Optimus 2X failed and led to its quiet cancellation after two months of heavy promotion, only to be replaced by the Sprint-powered LG Optimus Black, which was launched last week and is currently the most expensive Android smartphone in its lineup at $329.99 before additional taxes and the required purchase of a service card, pushing the total up to $400 after all taxes and fees.
With this latest offering, StraightTalk is aiming directly for the customer that needs to keep in touch with extended family and friends outside of the US, but does so at more consistent rates without having to rely on continuously variable rate calling cards, at the expense of cheaper offerings from other providers with their own limitations and caveats. At $60 monthly, StraightTalk is making a compelling offering for those that need unlimited local and international calls compared to other flat-rate providers and even postpaid carriers, but what remains to be seen is if other providers and even postpaid carriers will follow suit, or if StraightTalk will stand on its own as the only prepaid flat-rate provider offering unlimited international calling for an extra $15 a month.