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pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..

AT&T dropping Straight Talk due to phone unlocking law?

I was reading a thread XDA developers forum for Straight Talk and Nexus 4 issues ... when I came across this thread - »forum.xda-developers.com/showthr···=2120957

According to posters, AT&T will no longer permit Straight Talk to sell BYOD SIM cards to run phones on its network. Users are indicating AT&T is getting tougher about limiting network (Internet) access on Straight Talk sims.

The theory is some change in phone unlocking laws, that protects AT&T locked phones. Apparently AT&T locked phones can be run on Straight Talk AT&T sims without being unlocked. It may be AT&T will preserve revenue by using the law and preventing resellers like Straight Talk (Net 10 and others) from reselling service to locked phones. Keeping legally unlocked phones, like a Nexus 4 out may also be a factor.

Visiting the straighttalk website, it appears the only sim one can purchase is for T-Mobile. No other sim only BYOD option is available for GSM.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"



Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

They're just sold out.

»www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/02···t-panic/

Additionally, phones didn't need to be unlocked to use the AT&T SIM.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
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·Future Nine Corp..

said by Cabal:

They're just sold out.

»www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/02···t-panic/

Additionally, phones didn't need to be unlocked to use the AT&T SIM.

That was discussed early in the thread. Then came this on post 31 in the thread -

On Jan. 29th, I tried to get the AT&T SIM from StraightTalk as well. After putting in my (and other major city zips) the site returned TMobile sims every time; nothing from AT&T. I then called StraightTalk and was told that they would no longer (NEVER) be offering the AT&T sims through their website. The ST rep did say that I may be able to find the AT&T sim for ST on the Walmart website until the stock was depleted. When I asked the ST rep why they wouldn't be selling them anymore he said ST lost an agreement with AT&T to sell the sims. Considering this, I was concerned about activation (in the event that I was able to get a sim from Walmart). He said that ST will continue to honor and activate AT&T sims.



Then this in post 44 -

Note those of you entering the game late. Consider that although you might be able to get an att sim. The att offering is not and most probably will begin to dwindle in the amount of "unlimited" data you'll be able to use at full speed. People have already claimed being throttled between 30mb-1gb by att on st.

Also there are post stating net10 has also discontinued offering att sim.

I personally switched from st att after being throttled twice, both under 2gb moderate use. Was with then for 6months, previously used 4gb without issues until recently.

Perhaps this is why they're parting ways..

Then there is a link »www.howardforums.com/showthread.···alk-Site where the folks on howardforums are trying to make sense of the situation the following is post 29 in the hf thread -

Could they be discontinuing service with AT&T? That could be big as half their phones with Tracfone, Net10, and Straight Talk use AT&T.

Edit: AT&T BYOD removed from Net10 site also. What's going on?
Reply

As the thread moves along, there is a post indicating Net 10 and Straight Talk are owned by the same parent company (America Movil). It appears AT&T is parting ways with them.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to pandora

For anyone that really needs an AT&T MVNO fast while that gets sorted out, there are a ton of them:

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un···perators

Ones that have prepaid SIMs include Red Pocket, H20, and Pure Talk, among others.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

I am curious how this will sort itself out.
I suspect that AT&T has seen a ton of people leave them and go to Straighttalk; enough that they need to do something. The kneejerk reaction is to stop the SIM card with ST.

There are plenty of other AT&T MVNOs and people will find them much quicker than AT&T think/hopes.

Eventually they will need to offer plans without subsidized phones.


pandora
Premium
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said by Hagar:

There are plenty of other AT&T MVNOs and people will find them much quicker than AT&T think/hopes.

Maybe, but Straight Talk and Net 10 appear to be owned by American Movil which is a publicly traded (Mexican?) company. They claim a quarter billion subscribers. How many MVNO's are owned by the same company? There may be fewer real choices than we understand.

If AT&T put out Straight Talk and Net 10, how many other MVNO's will continue? On Howard Forums posts are indicating much over 500 MB is the new 2 GB for AT&T users on Straight Talk in terms of data consumption per month. At the same time, on T-Mobile with Straight Talk users are reporting 4 GB of usage without issue.

AT&T has a larger footprint than T-Mobile, but if AT&T and Straight Talk have cut limits by 75% and T-Mobile increased them by 100% it appears one company doesn't want a large MVNO and the other does. ... Spare capacity? Or a desire by AT&T not to slit their own throat via an MVNO?
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

said by pandora:

There may be fewer real choices than we understand.

AT&T and Verizon got fat and arrogant because people did not go elsewhere. That AT&T felt that they were forced to do this is a good sign, business as usual is not working as well as it used to.

I have faith that AT&T solution to dump Straight talk and net10 will not be enough to get back to business as usual. Finding alternatives might not be easy and might even be painful but I and many other will not go back to use AT&T until they offer better value. Only offering subsidized phones bundled with expensive plans is not working anymore.

Here is a list of MVNO »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un···perators

I have a friend who as unlimited calling and text for $25 and a LTE tablet data plan for $20 per month. There are many alternatives that are better than regular AT&T, I do not think people who left will come back.


RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
reply to pandora

Straight Talk, Net 10 and Tracfone are all owned and operated by America Movil.
--


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

While on the subject of America Movil, AT&T is a rather large stakeholder owning nearly a quarter of the company.

»www.americamovil.com/amx/en/cm/a···=28&s=37

Since America Movil had been actively courting T's disgruntled iPhone users, maybe the new deal with AM selling a VZW powered iPhone 5 (LTE disabled) has some feathers ruffled over at T not to mention, AM would make a bit of coin off of the phone sale whereas they don't make anything on BYOD hardware. VZW probably offered AM a sweetheart wholesale deal on EVDO access. The article below was linked on the DSLR homepage a few days ago

»gigaom.com/2013/02/01/as-users-f···etwork/?

quote:
Now that Verizon is quickly moving customers to its LTE network, what can it do with the older 3G airwaves? Use them for two new prepaid plans and make a little new money on old resources.

It's starting to appear as if T has decided to "monetize" VZW's EVDO spectrum on the cheap by off loading the heavier iPhone traffic on Big Red.

The ATT BYOD program will probably return once everyone gets their panties out of a wad and/or learns if peeps are really willing layout $650 for a new phone rather than going subsidized.

--
Zach

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
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Reviews:
·ooma
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said by Zach1:

The ATT BYOD program will probably return once everyone gets their panties out of a wad and/or learns if peeps are really willing layout $650 for a new phone rather than going subsidized.

A Nexus 4 is $300 or $350 is unlocked and without any subsidy. An AT&T Galaxy Note II is about the same price ($299) from AT&T with a 2 year contract. After I lock in the Note II for the same price as the unlocked Nexus. AT&T wants $59 a month for 900 voice minutes, $20 a month for 300 mb of data, and $20 a month for unlimited texting.

That works out after charges and fees to a bit over $100 per month, vs the $45 Straight Talk offered. The math should have made it easy for customers to make a better choice than locking in to an overpriced prepaid plan.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit

+1 The math should be simple but until now not enough people did the math.

I estimate that a simple phone is subsidized with $10 a month and a smart phone is subsidized with $30.

That makes the real cost for the Galaxy II for with 2 year contract 299 + 24 * 30 = $1019

Not counting upgrade fees and taxes.

/edit typo



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by Hagar:

I estimate that a simple phone is subsidized with $10 a month and a smart phone is subsidized with $30.

Your estimates are too high. Since the purpose of the ETF is to recover the phone subsidy then in most cases the subsidy will be equal or less then the ETF. I realize that there can be special situations where a company is willing to make a loss on the subsidy for strategic reasons but those will be rare cases:

Regular phone: ETF = $150-175 over 2 years is $6-7/month
Smart phone: ETF = $325-350 over 2 years is $13-15/month
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Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit

1 recommendation

I like that you showed how you came up with your numbers. I did not use ETF but I show my math.

I think ETF is related to what the phone actualy cost AT&T but the phone subsidies will be higher for two reasons.
1) AT&T want to inflate the list price of the phone to increase the perceived value of subsidized phones.
2) You are borrowing money from AT&T and they want interest and money to cover the people who default on their contract.

To get the phone subsidy you need to find the lowest price AT&T is willing to sell you the service and look at what the least expensive plan cost. The difference is the phone subsidy.

On a family plan an extra phone cost $10. AT&T did not sell you anything, no extra minutes, nothing.
AT&T charge $10, cost of service $0, gives a phone subsidy of $10.

The lowest cost for data is $10 per GB. The lowest cost individual data plan is $20 for 300 MB. The cost for AT&T for 300 MB is at most $3, in reality it cost much less.
AT&T charges $20, cost of service 0-3 dollars, gives a phone subsidy 17-20 dollars.

/edit typo



Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to leibold

said by leibold:

Smart phone: ETF = $325-350 over 2 years is $13-15/month

Unfortunately, an iPhone new and off-contract is $650-850, so $30+ a month is more accurate on the high end:

»store.apple.com/us/browse/home/s···/iphone5
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


willowhaven

@sbcglobal.net

Unless you purchase off eBay which I have for all of ours and the average I have paid was $150 for iPhone 4's and I paid $200 for my iPhone 4S. Prior to that I purchased an iPhone 3 and a 3GS a few years back for much cheaper than new. Each one looked almost brand new. But then I get our Otterboxes there too, NIB and haven't paid more than $25 for those. Why buy a subsidized when for a little more I can get a gently used one and avoid the contract? You don't have to get a brand new phone. Almost new is just as good.


tknab

join:2013-02-19
reply to pandora

There's a theory that since a number of us have figured out how to run our iPhones on a MVNO, they don't *want* us to do so. I have absolutely no incentive to run it on T-Mobile because the data speeds are not up to even 3G in most of the country.

If I could not run my iPhone on AT&T's network, I'd be screwed. I refuse to go android, and I refuse to use an iPhone on T-No Service.


thatphotoguy

join:2013-02-26
reply to Hagar

Redholm.... Can you share more about the plan your friend has?

Thanks.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

My friend needed a ton of minutes and text and almost no data (use mostly wifi). When data was needed it had to be fast and work well inside buildings.

The solution was to split the minutes/text and data, e.g. this requires two devices but he already carried them.

Find a phone text plan that works for you, data coverage does not matter. I do not think his plan is currently available but Gosmart $30/month unlimited minutes and limited text is a good place to start. My friend added the cheapest Verizon LTE tablet plan $20/month for 1 GB to his tablet.

Verizon tablet LTE plans apparently does not care if you tether so he makes his tablet an hotspot so any device can use data (no shared data plan $10 fees)

There are cheaper data plans with more data but they did not have coverage where he was and they did not work well indoors. The Verizon LTE works great.

As always check coverage in your areas but you do not need to have phone and data from the same provider, breaking them up might give you more flexibility.



Runehasa

@scansafe.net

Below is from a chat session I had with Straight Talk after i lied about losing my Sim. Apparently they claim to be bringing them back but just sold out at the moment

> Sybil has entered the session.
> 10:37:04 AM You wrote: I lost my sim card for my phone is there anyway i can get it replaced
> 10:37:17 AM Sybil: Thank you for visiting Straight Talk Wireless. I would be happy to assist you today.
> 10:37:35 AM Sybil: May I have your phone number so that I can check your account?
> 10:37:43 AM You wrote: *********
> 10:38:27 AM Sybil: Thank you. Please allow me a moment as I check your account.
> 10:39:53 AM Sybil: I regret to inform you that Straight Talk cannot replace lost SIM cards. You need to purchase another SIM card to replace your lost SIM card.
> 10:40:21 AM You wrote: I do not see the option to buy the at&t sim anymore that i need
> 10:41:01 AM Sybil: I apologize to inform you that Straight Talk Wireless is not selling SIM cards that are compatible with AT&T devices at this time. We will bring them back as soon as we can and will work to keep you up to date on this issue.
> 10:41:26 AM You wrote: Are you sure they are coming back?
> 10:41:51 AM You wrote: Heard rumors they might be discontinued forever
> 10:42:54 AM Sybil: One moment please...
> 10:43:43 AM Sybil: Yes . However, as of the moment we still do not have the update as to when AT&T SIM card will be available with Straight Talk. On the other hand, you may visit Wal-Mart's website to check for SIM cards that are compatible with AT&T devices.
> 10:44:07 AM You wrote: They are sold out as well
> 10:45:10 AM Sybil: One moment please...
> 10:45:48 AM Sybil: We are still working towards improving and expanding our products and services. Be assured that we will bring AT&T SIM cards back as soon as we can.
> 10:46:21 AM You wrote: Ok well at least thats somewhat hopeful
> 10:46:23 AM You wrote: thank you
> 10:46:46 AM Sybil: You are welcome. Is there anything else that I can assist you with?
> 10:47:19 AM You wrote: No thank you
> 10:47:32 AM Sybil: You are welcome. Thank you for chatting with Straight Talk Wireless. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-888-251-8164. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.
> Sybil has exited the session.
> You are the only user left in the session.



Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

This screws me over, too.

I updated to the latest Cyanogenmod 10.1 on my Captivate and looked up the settings on StraightTalk's website. There is no mention of at&t's settings at all. I had to go to archive.org to get the settings.

I am LIVID.. The only options here are at&t and Verizon. I like the SIM card option because if I wanted to upgrade my phone to a S4 (which I'm drooling over), it's easy. I doubt ST would let me put a CDMA S4 on their network.

..and T-Mobile.. Not available here. This is absolute bullsh*t. I just hope I can keep using my SIM card.
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RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
reply to pandora

I was in Walmart today and saw something new, it was a Straight Talk bring your own phone package, it had a SIM Card, manuals, etc in a plastic envelope/package deal, it was priced at $65 with included the SIM and first month's unlimited. I know Straight Talk sells that package online on their site, but that was the first time I had seen it in a Walmart store, previously all they had were the whole phone packages and cards.



pcdebb
RIP lil hurricane
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Brandon, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to pandora

well this is very interesting. I've finally did the math and i've realized the crime of rape. I dont care what network i'm on, however my tmo service was shitty when i had it, so i'd prefer att. my phone is already unlocked and i'd love to split my bill in half. i'm just kinda pissed I didnt see this option sooner.
--
| map your city |



SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA

2 edits
reply to pandora

The answer to the op's question is no, att is not dropping straight talk.

If you cant find ST sims, substitute with Net10 att sim cards and get the same service by the same company who owns ST.



lev
Smells better here without the monkey
Premium,Ex-mod 2002-08
join:2001-05-30
Chicago, IL
kudos:2
reply to pandora

I found a couple of Straight Talk SIMs bundled with a 30-day "unlimited" card at my local Wal Mart two days ago. I bought 3, and gave one to a friend who delayed migrating. I'm holding on to one for an extra SIM when I take my iPhone to something newer (cutting to a nano-sim makes me a little nervous) and the other for a neighbor who might be going to an iPhone in a week or two. If not, I'll probably sell the extra on eBay.

Check your local Wal Mart. They just might have what you're looking to find.



Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to SysOp

said by SysOp:

The answer to the op's question is no, att is not dropping straight talk.

If you cant find ST sims, substitute with Net10 att sim cards and get the same service by the same company who owns ST.

I might buy 5 of them just in case. I know my wife's been wanting a smartphone, and can't get an at&t ST SIM card anymore.

This might be a good alternative. Sure, it's $5 more, but it's better than getting screwed over my VZ and at&t. I'd love to get a Galaxy S4 and toss a MicroSIM in it. Just have to wait for an Armor Otterbox for it.
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Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

2 edits
reply to pandora

We will probably never know why Straight Talk stop selling AT&T SIM cards; it probably is a combination of several causes.
But I found one explanation more believable than the others I have seen.

Several people have reported that they switched from AT&T active contract plan to Straight Talk without paying an ETF. If the billing system allowed that then Straight Talk did not have much of an option but to stop selling AT&T SIM cards, modifying billing system would take too long.

This is of course only speculation but I was always curious on why ST never gave an explanation.

/edit typos



SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS

1 edit

re

No. Removing, switching or replacing a sim card imei will not, could not, does not, cancel a contract.

Even if you could put a ST sim card on an Att account, you didnt change the plan, you only changed the imei number on that account.

Imei does not select the plan. imei is used for handset id on the netwok.

Then att go phone would get you out of a contract too? Ahh No.

The parent company of ST owns Simple Mobile which wholesales Tmobile service. TMobile may have a better deal than att for mvnos. That would be a reason. not because of phone unlocking laws.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse

Hmm I am confused. You make statements, which I agree with, but I never said anything about IMEI numbers.

Let me try again, people claim they managed to do this

1) New iPhone with a new 2 year contract with AT&T
2) a few month later decides to switch to ST willing to pay the ETF
3) Put in the ST (AT&T) SIM, activate the SIM with number port etc
4) iPhone works, voice mail was already configured (old password work) and no ETF fee was billed.



Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

said by Hagar:

Hmm I am confused. You make statements, which I agree with, but I never said anything about IMEI numbers.

Let me try again, people claim they managed to do this

1) New iPhone with a new 2 year contract with AT&T
2) a few month later decides to switch to ST willing to pay the ETF
3) Put in the ST (AT&T) SIM, activate the SIM with number port etc
4) iPhone works, voice mail was already configured (old password work) and no ETF fee was billed.

I don't think that is likely. As soon as the phone number transferred away from AT&T (even to an AT&T MVNO), an ETF would be incurred.
--
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Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA

Several people reported it, I did not do it myself I was out of contract.

But my voice mail worked without setup (old password work) and the "transfer" of the number took less than 2 minutes before the new SIM worked.