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.
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.
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.
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.