Moving Three Phones from Verizon to Straight Talk Wireless

A reader, Chris, writes,

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.

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

Any advice would be most appreciated

Hi Chris,

Yes it sounds like you could save some serious money switching from Verizon to a prepaid wireless service. Take the time to plan your move and you’ll simplify the process. Let’s start by taking a look at your phones and discussing which network you might want to use.

Straight Talk uses all four major networks,:ATT, TMobile, Verzion and Sprint. Your phone is activated on one of these four networks when sign up. You can start by checking to see if your phones can be activated on Straight Talk’s Verizon network. Go to the Straight Talk website to check

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

I assume your Galaxy S4 phones are the SCH-I545 model and that you are getting 4G LTE data with these phones.  Download the Ookla SpeedTest app from the Play store and run some tests to see what data speeds you are getting. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.zwanoo.android.speedtest. If you move to any prepaid service using the Verizon network (Straight Talk, Net10, even Verizon prepaid) you won’t get 4G LTE speeds. Verizon does not let any prepaid wireless company use their LTE network.

Your Galaxy S4 phones have a SIM slot any it should be unlocked. (Verizon is legally required to SIM unlock it’s LTE phones).  I looked at the specs for the SCH-I545, and it looks like it only supports 4G LTE on the Verizon network, not the ATT or T-Mobile network. So if you plan to use Straight Talk’s ATT or TMobile network you should get 4G HSPA+ data speeds, which are fast, but not as fast as LTE. See the videos on my YouTube channel to see the difference between 4G and 4G LTE speeds.

The Droid Razor **should** get 3G speeds on the att and tmobile networks.  I looked at the specs and I couldn’t tell.

Check your phones to see if they can be used on the Straight Talk’s Verizon network. Run the speedtests and let me know the results and we can go from there. You can leave a comments on this article.

Regards

Bob

 

 

22 Comments

  1. Jeff | | Reply

    Can I move a Samsung Galaxy s4 and a Motorola DROID Razr M to Sprint or ATT?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jeff,
      If these phones are using / were used with Sprint you can check by http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/byop/registration

      If the Motorola DROID Razr M, is a verizon phone, Straight Talk would register it on their Verizon network.

      As for the ATT network, the S4 should be pretty compatible. what is the model number of the phone. The Razor M might get 3G with Straight Talk. It won’t get 4G LTE.

      If possible, try borrowing an ATT SIM from a friend and try it in the phone. You’ll get a sense if it works and what speed data connection you get.
      Regards
      Bob

      • Jeff | | Reply

        Bob,
        Thanks. What about moving these phones to Sprint?

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Jeff,
          As far as I know Straight Talk uses the MEID of your CDMA phone to determine if they register it on their Verizon or their Sprint network. I have never heard of a way to choose between the Sprint of Verizon network with Straight Talk. Your Verizon phone would also need to be compatible with the Sprint network and vice versa for that to work which isn’t always the case.

  2. austin | | Reply

    its a tmobile variant but its cheep you could try simple mobile they have unlimited talk and text for 25 and then unlmited talk text and data at 40 with 1gb of 4g speed but will go to 3g after the first 1gb is used each month i was going to use it but tmobile towers in my area were strictly 2g

    • austin | | Reply

      also did you check your apn settings when you used it on tmobile

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Austin,
      Thanks for sharing. That is the issue with T-Mobile and TMobile based prepaid networks for many people. I used to use T-Mobile myself and found the 2G too slow. Recently, I tried out Straight Talk tmobile with my Nexus 5 and I got very fast LTE. Unfortunately, my iPhone only got very slow 3G with that SIM.
      Regards
      Bob

  3. aleisha wigginton | | Reply

    I have 2 galaxy s4 on verizon and we wanna switch to straight talk but we r still on contract please help

  4. aleisha | | Reply

    I have 2 verizon galaxy s4 and our bill is 450 a month for only 2 phones which is crazy and we wanna switch to straight talk please help! I was told our phones came factory unlocked and we cud use any carrier and at&t is the best service where I live!

  5. Richard | | Reply

    Hi Bob,
    Quick question; I currently have two iPhones on Net10 paying $85 a month. I need to add another line for my daughter, but see that on Net10 my price increase by $40 with the extra line. What plan can you recommend for a family plan of 3 lines? I would prefer an MVNO that runs on AT&T. I tried t-mobile and it was really bad, so that is not an option. Thanks

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Richard,
      Does your daughter need unlimited talk,text, and 2.5 GB of data? Can she use a plan with less data? I’ll take a look around. It’s hard to get below $42 a person for 2-3GB of data.

      What type of phone does she have?

      Regards
      Bob

      • Richard | | Reply

        Thanks Bob,

        Probably not 2.5GB, but 1GB, few minutes -500 or 1000- and some texts as she will communicate with her friends mainly by text. I also need to buy her a phone. She wants an iPhone 5 or 5s (either running on AT&T or unlocked) Any particular place that you also recommend for getting the phone? Thanks again.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Richard,
          Cricket Wireless might be an option. Cricket is owned by ATT. They bought Cricket a few years ago. They recently merged AIO wireless into Cricket and shut down AIO wireless, at least as a brand.
          See https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans

          If I read the Group Save Discounts correctly, It would be $45 for the first line, $35 for the second line, and $25 for the third line for a total of $105 (with the Auto Pay Credit). The site also claims tax and fees are included. If that is the case its a good deal. I haven’t verified it is 4G LTE and that that MMS gets set up automatically.

          Cricket does sell the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, but they are the same price as the Apple store. It’s hard to find a good deal on a new unlocked iPhone 5c or 5s. You can get an education discount from Apple if she is a student. If you have a Discover card, I think you get 5% cash back from the Apple store when you use the link on the Discover web site. Would you consider a used phone?

          • Richard | |

            Thanks for your valuable input. Cricket doesn’t apply both discounts at the same time, so I have to pick between family discount of $20 or $5 for each line with auto pay.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Hi Richard,
            I spoke with Cricket Wireless via today via online chat. The rep told me 3 lines would be $50 + $40 + $30. The total is $120. He said you would also get a $5 discount for auto pay for a total of $115. He also told me that that sales tax and the other fees were already included.

            That would be $38.84 per month. Not bad, I think. I wonder if we can find a cheaper alternative.

  6. jason | | Reply

    My phone is only getting .10-1.3 mbps but I went to a different city today (72 miles away) 4G lit up and I did test and was getting 10mbps.! My city has great coverage however, service seems off , & data is almost worthless. Could it be a setting? Phon is Galaxy S4 Verizon with a straight talk for att. Lady said phone is a global phone , & just changed my APN. Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jason,
      I don’t have a fix for you. I have heard about this problem from other people, although usually with iPhones. I have had very slow data a couple of times on my iPhone. Sometimes restarting the phone helped. Is you data always slow where you lived? What is the model number of your phone?

      You can check your APN settings. If you have an APN proxy, try removing it(leave the mms proxy). Do you have your APN type set? Try setting it to. default,mms,wap and test. repeat with default,mms,supl

      Let me know
      Regards
      Bob

      • jason | | Reply

        SCH I545 galS4lte verizon.
        Put an Att based (I guess)straight talk sim in it.
        Coverage has always been good -great on regular Verizon plan at home . I would’ve been skeptical about the service being able to work period until I drove to the next city (monroe La.) & 4 g pinged at 10 plus mbps. Gonna try things you said . APN gas been set though.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Jason,
          I’d try to borrow an ATT SIM from a friend and see if the phone is slow on the ATT network where you live, or just the Straight talk’s att network. I’d also go to the Straight talk web site and enter your phone’s MEID to see if can use the phone on Straight Talks verizon network. Note that Straight Talk’s veriuzon network is only 3G though, not 4G LTE.

          Regards
          Bob

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