Switching a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 to Straight Talk Wireless

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A reader, Julie, asks..

Hello. We need to switch our phones from Verizon to a prepaid plan. I currently have a Verizon Samsung Galaxy s4 that I would like to switch to Straight Talk. I have read that I can do this with an ATT sim card. My question is once I do this, will it only work on the ATT network? Where we live there is only Verizon service, so I need to find a way to use a smartphone with Verizon’s networks. I would appreciate any thoughts you have as to how to do this.
Thank you!

Hi Julie,

Straight Talk Wireless uses the AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint networks.  You want to check with Verizon to see if you can register your phone with Straight Talk using the Verizon network.   Just go to the Straight Talk Wireless web site.

http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/byop/registration

You’ll enter your phone’s serial number and your location and check if it is possible to transfer your phone to Straight Talk.  I have never used a Verizon phone on Straight Talk.  They also use the Sprint network.  You might want to confirm with Straight Talk support that they won’t register your phone on the Sprint network.  I looked it up, your phone should be a SCH-I545 model, which I doesn’t look like its compatible with Sprint. You can call them and ask.

I’ll also mention that as far as I know the Straight Talk’s Verizon network is 3G only, not 4G LTE. Supposedly, Verizon doesn’t allow any of the prepaid cellular services to use their LTE network. If you get 4G LTE service where you live on Verizon, you may notice a difference in data speeds.  If your S4 is still active on Verizon, install the SpeedTest app, and see what types of data speeds you are getting on Verizon.

You don’t need a SIM card to use your phone on Straight Talk. In the US, we use two different cellular technologies: CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA.  AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM.  Since there is not AT&T service where you live it doesn’t matter but If you want to use a Verizon phone on the AT&T or T-Mobile network your phone model needs to be compatible with the network you want to use it on and the phone needs to be SIM unlocked.

You might want to take a look at Verizon prepaid  as well.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/prepay/processPrePayRequest.do?type=ppmonthBASIC

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions or need more help.  I’d also love to hear how it works out for you.

Regards
Bob

30 comments on “Switching a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 to Straight Talk Wireless
  1. Karissa Dehnhoff says:

    I was just wondering how much would it be monthly for straight talk with unlimited talk text and Internet.I have a galaxy s4 through Verizon but want to switch to straight talk

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Karissa,
      The rates are on the straight talk web site. http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/shop/serviceplans
      most people choose the $45 plan. The will give you a $2.50 discount if you use the auto refill using your credit card. You’ll pay state sales tax plus some other fees. For me, it breaks down as.

      Subtotal $42.50
      Discounts and Credits $2.50
      Tax $2.66
      9-1-1 Service Charge $0.64
      Federal Universal Service $0.64
      Regulatory Cost Recovery $0.09
      ===============================
      Purchase Amount $46.53

      Straight Talk uses both the Verizon and ATT networks. I am not sure your S4 can be activated on their Verizon network. You’ll need to check. Do you know if ATT works well in your area?

      Regards
      Bob

  2. Want to switch my galaxy S4 from Verizon network to a straight talk provider, is it at all possible?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Joseph,
      It may be possible. Straight Talk doesn’t own their own cell network, they lease time from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

      You can check to see if your S4 is eligible for use on Straight Talk’s verizon network, on there website.

      If it is, be advised that Straight Talk’s verizon network is only 3G. If you are getting 4G LTE service on Verizon now, expect Straight Talk to be slower.

      Your S4 should be SIM unlocked, meaning you also have the choice of using your phone on Straight Talk’s att or tmobile networks. Depending where you live, you should get 4G LTE service using either Straight Talk’s ATT or Tmobile networks. Do you know if ATT and TMobile work well in your area? Or does everyone use Verizon?
      Regards
      Bob

    • Steve N says:

      Yes, it will work. You will want an AT&T SIM for it as the phone supports the necessasary frequnecies for AT&T’s network. It would also work with a TMO SIM but you wouldn’t have 4G. Verizon does NOT locked their phones. (Phone’s are locked, not the SIMs) You can have LTE speeds on Straight Talk with an AT&T SIM. Not when you use a CDMA phone. Also to set the record straight from the incorrect info in this article, Verizon and Sprint BOTH operate GSM networks. LTE is a GSM technology which is why all their current phones have SIMs in them.

      - Cell Network Technician

      • Bob Thompson says:

        Hi Steve,
        Verizon does lock phones. Verizon is legally required to make sure their LTE phones are unlocked so you can use a SIM in it. For example, Verizon’s iPhone 5 models are unlocked because the support LTE. Their iPhone 4 models are not unlocked. This is what I meant by SIM unlocked. So many times you can use Verizon LTE phones on GSM networks with a SIM, you often can’t activate them on prepaid services that use the Verizon network.

        By the way, it is possible to lock a SIM to a phone, its not commonly done anymore.

        If we want to be accurate. Both Sprint and Verizon operate CDMA and LTE networks. And yes, LTE is a GSM technology. However, Verizon only lets prepaid wireless companies use their CDMA network, so Straight Talk’s verizon network is CDMA.

        All of Verizon’s LTE phones use SIM cards, if you get an iPhone 4s from Verizon it won’t. Remember to that LTE is used only for data, the voice calls still use CDMA. My understanding is that Verizon is just beginning to start using Voice over LTE.

        Regards
        Bob

  3. Ray barberio says:

    I’m currently with verizon, modelSCH1545can I switch to straight talk. IF not witch company I compatible as straight talk .I’M A DISABLED VETERAN IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK TO A PERSON WITH MY SMART PHONE MAKES It easy to make appointments order med.ect. i live in country in North carolina. On a low veteran please find me the best deal. Need unlimited data.Thanks.Ray

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Ray,
      You mentioned you live out in the country in North Carolina. Do you know if Verizon is the only company that works well in your area. Do people use ATT or TMobile where you live? Also how far to you live from the nearest Verizon or ATT store? And would you be able to get one of these stores if you needed help with your phone?
      Regards
      Bob

    • Terri says:

      Hi Ray, I am also on a fixed income. I have the same model samsung s4 you have, and I switched to straighttalk. The voice service was good, I even got around the voicemail issue by using you mail, and for texting I used hangouts by google. However, (Hi Bob) I switched back to Verizon because I could not download attachments from text messages I received, the data service was atrocious (at least on the at&a sim I used). I used wi-fi for most of my data such as checking email, updating my apps, downloading documents so when I needed to use the phone’s mobile data and got e or 2g or no mobile data at all that should have been a red flag. However when the cell service began dropping infrequently I switched back to verizon. I conclude by saying if you want straighttalk service with 3G or 4g lte bite the bulletin and purchase the phone from straightalk. If you can’t layout the money in one lump sum consumer cellular and credo offer plans where the cost of your phone is broken down in 24 monthly payments to your cellphone bill. Straightalk may have a similar plan. Verizon does but it’s expensive. I am on Verizon’s loyalty plan $60.00 a month, 2gb, unlimited everything else. Straighttalk’s data is unlimited but after you use 2gb data decreases to128mg until your next billing cycle.

      Best,

      Terri

      • Bob Thompson says:

        Hi Teri,
        thanks for sharing your experience. In this case, your phone may not have been compatible with the Straight Talk’s ATT network or the ATT network may not have great coverage in your area. If you bought a Straight Talk BYOP kit, its also possible you where using Straight Talk’s tmobile network.(they had the sims mixed up for a while)

        Some verizon phones can be registered on Straight Talk’s verizon network. This is useful if you live in an area where only Verizon has decent cell coverage. The ST Verizon network is only 3G though.

        I am not familar with the loyalty plan? Is this prepaid service? Do you get 4G LTE? What happens if you use more than 2GB of data?

        Regards
        Bob

        • Terri says:

          Hi Bob, sorry for the late reply. Verizon’s loyalty plan is not a prepaid service. It’s for existing verizon customers and you have to ask for it specifically. The taxes and fees are 10.95, so my bill after taxes and fess is 70.95 per month. You are charged 10.00 for each additional gig over the 2gb you use. Hope this helps.

          Best,

          Terri

  4. Chris says:

    Oh and also both AT&T and Verizon work here as far as dropping from 4g to 3g not a big deal

  5. Chris says:

    Hi Bob,
    Well after getting hit with a 350.00 bill for my 3 Verizon phones 12 GB plan I have decided that if it is possible to switch to straight talk We have 2 Galaxy s4 phones and 1 droid Razor.
    My question is can they be simply switched over? I figure that with a straight talk hotspot $50 5 GB seasonally used for my up north motel and the 3 phones on an unlimited plan cost would be about $200 and of course being prepaid disconnect in off season on the hotspot.
    Also I use my G4 with PayPal here, any problems you know of with straight talk and card readers?
    we are on a 2 year contract up in June 2015 so I still think that paying the early termination fees of about $720 could be made up pretty quick, That is if we can reuse the current phones without additional cost.

    Any advice would be most appreciated

    Chris

  6. Terri says:

    Hello Bob, I purchased a straighttalk activation kit with the SIM card and access code, and 30 day service for my samsung galaxy s4. I read your above posts and will test the SIM card with my brother’s samsung galaxy s4 which has tmobile service. I suspect it may work based on your earlier postings. now how do port over my number from verizon? I called st before I purchased the card and was told it could be done, however after my purchase a diff st rep didn’t know I was talking about, and still another said I couldn’t use the phone at all. Thank in advance for your help

    Best Terri

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Terri,
      When you activate your Straight Talk SIM, you’ll have the option to transfer your phone number from Verizon. Make sure you know your account number and your account PIN. Call Verizon and check if your account has a PIN. You’ll need this to transfer your number.

      When you do the activation, you might want to call them and do it over the phone. I did two number transfers from the web site, both failed and I had to call customer service to complete them. When this happens, you’ll be on the phone for at least an hour. Also, when I did this online, my SIM was assigned a new phone number and they will no longer transfer your number to that SIM. They will mail you a replacement SIM for free, then you will need to contact them to finish the transfer.

      If you find your S4 is compatible with TMobile, don’t ever tell customer service you are trying to activate a Verizon S4 on Straight Talk. There support script says you can’t use the phone. This is because Straight Talk also uses the Veriozn network but isn’t allowed to activate the newer model Verizon phones on their verizon network.

      Let me know if you have more questions.
      Regards
      Bob

      • Terri says:

        Thanks Bob; it turns out that it did work with a t-mobile SIM card. I took the plunge today and made the switch to st today. I can make calls, and will try texting and the data next. So far so good.

        Best,

        Terrea

        • Bob Thompson says:

          Hi Terri,
          Glad to hear that.
          That is great news. Thanks for taking the time to comment. If you use social media, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. In addition to keeping up with latest updates at smartphonematters you would be helping us launch social media efforts. click here
          Regards
          Bob

  7. chris says:

    i have a verizon galaxy s4 model sch 1545. If i unlock the phone from what i can gather here i can use it on at&t network. I live in an area where all major carriers are supported. When I tried the check your phone it said that it was unsupported. I dont care if I only get 3g speeds I just dont want to loose my phone altogether.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Chris,
      You Samsung Galaxy S4 may already be SIM unlocked. Find a friend with an AT&T or TMobile SIM and try putting their SIM in your phone and seeing if it works. Verizon is legally regarded to keep some of their LTE phones unlocked. (for example, all their iPhone 5 models are). when you go the the Straight Talk website and enter your phones IMEI it says it is unsupported because the phone can’t be registered on Straight Talk’s Verizon or Sprint compatible networks.

      In your case, you’ll be transferring your service to a Straight Talk SIM, and then using the SIM in the phone.

      Let me know if you have more questions.
      Regards
      Bob

  8. aldo says:

    can i use my verizon s3 on att.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I’m trying to switch my Samsung Galaxy S4 that i singed w/ Verizon a 2yr. contract smartphone to straight talk network. I read the article above went to the website and entered the IMEI# & zip code & the page just keeps refreshing. Does this mean something? The phone was new so do I need to get the sim unlocked? If so how?
    THX Jon

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Jonathan,
      Straight Talk buys airtime from ATT, TMobile, Verizon, and Sprint. My understanding is that Straight Talk will not register your Verizon s4 on ST’s verizon network due to a contractual agreement with Verizon, which states no Bring Your Own Phone for Verizon phones. The SIM slot on your phone should be unlocked, which means you could use Straight talk’s ATT or TMobile network. What is the model number of your phone? We would have to check the specs to see if it will work on those networks and whether or not you’ll get 4G LTE or not.

      If you have a friend with an ATT or TMobile SIM, see if you can try it in your phone to see if it works.
      Regards
      Bob

  10. apryll Thompson says:

    Can you let me know if its possible to switch my families verizon smart phones and hotspot to straight talk. I have galaxy s4 sch- 1545 my mom has tge note II and my dad has the casio

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi April,
      Yes. You can activate your Verizon CDMA phones on Straight Talk. With the two Samsung phones you’ll need to decide if you want to activate them as CDMA phones on Straight Talk’s Verizon network or try to use them with Straight Talk’s AT&T or T-Mobile network.

      If you use the Straight Talk Verizon network, you will get 3G data speeds not 4G LTE. Verizon doesn’t let Straight Talk use their 4G LTE network. if you use their AT&T network you may get 4G LTE data. We will need to check the specs on your phones to see if they are compatible with the ATT LTE network. This might be possible with the S4 and the Note II. I didn’t look at the casio,

      Straight Talk recently started selling their own hotspot. I am not sure if you can bring your own hotspot to Straight Talk.

      You may also want to look at Net10 to see if you can get a better family plan. (Straight Talk and Net10 are owned by the same company. But offer some different pricing plans.)

      Do you know if the AT&T network coverage is any good where you live? We can work up a migration plan to help you out.
      Let me know.
      Regards
      Bob

  11. Julie says:

    Hello. We need to switch our phones from Verizon to a prepaid plan. I currently have a Verizon Samsung Galaxy s4 that I would like to switch to Straight Talk. I have read that I can do this with an ATT sim card. My question is once I do this, will it only work on the ATT network? Where we live there is only Verizon service, so I need to find a way to use a smartphone with Verizon’s networks. I would appreciate any thoughts you have as to how to do this.
    Thank you!

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