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Are data speeds the same as the national carriers?

Discussion in 'Straight Talk' started by Geese1, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Geese1

    Geese1 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I've been considering switching to Straight Talk when I get my new phone. I'm currently with Verizon, in a grandfathered unlimited LTE plan, and have no real complaints with them, but I barely use any data and I figure I can save between $25 and $30 a month switching over to Straight Talk.

    I'm just wondering if, since they are using the towers of the national carriers, they are slower in any way for data speeds as opposed to the nationals. I'd be going with an AT&T sim card (no T Mobile coverage in my area), so for example would I get the same speeds on Straight Talk as I would if I had an AT&T plan?

    The reason I ask is because years ago we had an internet plan through Earthlink for a short time that ran on Verizon's lines only to find out that the speeds on Earthlink were slower than they were on Verizon, even though they used the same lines.

    A buddy at work moved his whole family over to Straight Talk and he loves it, but he didn't know the answer to this question so I figured I'd check here.

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  2. epp

    epp Well-Known Member

    On my ZTE Unico (LTE) which goes through AT&T, during the early morning hours (Eastern U.S. time zone), Ookla's Speedtest app reported a download speed of greater than 50Mbps, which actually exceeded the limitations of the app. Interface-wise, the needle only goes up to 50Mbps in the app. Usually, during the early morning hours, is when I see the best speeds via both carriers.

    I also have a ZTE Majesty which is through Verizon CDMA.

    If you like Verizon, Straight Talk just introduced the ZTE Rapido (LTE), which goes through Verizon and it is a dual CDMA/LTE phone. I purchased one today. :)
    Geese1 likes this.
  3. Geese1

    Geese1 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the info.

    I'd be bringing my own device, rather than using one of Straight Talks phones. However, I just found out this weekend that AT&T only has limited LTE support in my area. Quite a bit of it is still HSPA+. In fact, my the town where I live still doesn't have LTE through AT&T.

    I spoke to one of the reps at the AT&T store and he said that they are expecting to roll out more LTE coverage in the coming months, but they don't have any direct confirmation as to when it will be available.

    So, while this is not a deal-breaker, I'm more inclined to stay with Verizon until there is more LTE coverage in my area through AT&T towers. I'm no longer in contract, and I'm planning on buying a Nexus 6, which has support to work on all carriers, so switching to Straight Talk down the line wouldn't be an issue.
  4. bg1287

    bg1287 Well-Known Member

    So we could expect the same speeds and coverage as using a phone under AT&T's service?
  5. freeups

    freeups Newbie

    I actually just left Straight Talk (AT&T) after nearly a year. I had no issues with their service at all in all that time. I also experienced excellent reliability and hardly any dropped calls.


    One thing is that Straight Talk users are routed through a proxy so you generally have a much higher ping time. This is problematic with Skype. Not so much with using Navigation or Facebook.

    About a month ago I listened to some standup comedy on youtube on the way home from work two or three days in a row. Big mistake as I found myself throttled even though I was under the 3gb per their SMS data counter.

    I therefore decided to leave as I want to use my data the way I want. If that means watching a YouTube video 3 times a week for an hour then dam it I will. It's all there in their t&c that they could do this for streaming so it's fine. I have taken my phone and money elsewhere namely T-Mobile. Who I might add, have excellent coverage in the Seattle area and couldn't be happier. If I go on a long distance trip I might pick up another carrier temporarily as T-Mobile aren't known for their coverage outside the city. But for 11.25 months out of the year T-Mobile rocks. YMMV
  6. epp

    epp Well-Known Member

    I read online that Verizon LTE for Straight Talk BYOP would be rolled out sometime in November, perhaps closer to Thanksgiving.

    In all likelihood, freeups getting throttled before reaching 3Gb, is due to the YouTube usage and ST is well within its rights to throttle. In the TOS, it specifically mentions continuous uninterrupted video as a factor.

    As for Verizon LTE speeds, for Straight Talk, they are throttled to 3Mbps down, 1Mbps up. Straight Talk's sister division, Page Plus, also has Verizon LTE throttled to the same speeds.

    Although I only use YouTube on WiFi, I sometimes exceed 100Mb on any given day, mostly listening to radio, but not all day - mindful to listen to a lower bit rate stream (which uses less data) and haven't had a problem in the 3+ months I've had Straight Talk.
    cookedgoose likes this.
  7. bg1287

    bg1287 Well-Known Member

    If you don't talk on the phone a lot, you should definitely sign up for their 30 dollar a month 5GB data plan.
  8. freeups

    freeups Newbie

    Yep, that's the plan I got :). Should've done it years ago. Latency is way low.
  9. bg1287

    bg1287 Well-Known Member

    Awesome deal, huh? I'm using my S5 on it :)

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