Poor Coverage with a Straight Talk Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3

A reader, Meadowwin asks,

I had an LG L96G on straight talk, with the ATT sim. This past weekend I replaced the LG with a Samsung S3, still on ST, but this one uses the Verizon towers. Problem: Where I work, I had no problems with connecting at my desk, with ATT, but Verizon is another story. Everyone using Verizon has issues, this not a ST issue. My question is: Can I place the sim from the LG in the Samsung S3 sim slot while at work and then remove it when not at work?

Hi Meadowwin,
Sorry to hear your new Galaxy S3 phone doesn’t get service at your workplace. My first rule here at Smartphonematters is to advise readers looking to make the switch to prepaid to make sure they are using a network that has adequate coverage where they live, work, or use their phone most.

Unfortunately, moving the SIM from your old phone to the S3 isn’t going to work. I assume when your switched phones you transferred your number and existing service to the S3. The old LG is now deactivated.

Here are some options.

1. Return the phone
Return the S3 to Straight Talk or Walmart. Tell them it doesn’t have coverage where you need it. If you have a Straight talk account, you should be able to transfer your service back to the LG phone before you return it.

2. Sell The phone
If you can’t return your phone, you might consider selling it. It’s new in very good condition. You’ll get a good price for it on eBay.

3. Buy a new Stright Talk smartphone
You can check to see which Straight Talk smartphones are using the ATT network. Unfortunately, their S3 doesn’t. I can help you identify a phone that uses the ATT network if you like.

4. Buy a used smartphone and switch to BYOP
Buy a used ATT S3 on ebay or craigslist and get a Straight Talk AT&T BYOP SIM. You can bring your own smartphone to Straight Talk and use it on their ATT network. Just order a SIM from their website. You can find a good deal on a new or used phone.

5. Buy a new smartphone and switch to BYOP
You also buy some great new smartphones for under $250 dollars. Both the new Moto G and the older models are excellent choices. Their is an older model that supports 4G LTE. Another company call BLU makes some very nice inexpensive phones. Many readers of this site use and love their BLU phones.

6. Switch to the Straight Talk ATT SIM and use it in your current S3
It would be possible to transfer your service to a Straight Talk ATT SIM and then use it in the current S3. I don’t recommend it. This model S3 has limited compatibility with ATT. voice calls will work but you will only get 2G, slow data. I only mention it in case you were thinking about trying it.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. I’d also like to hear what you ultimately decide to do.


  1. Daniel McFarland | |

    I sent the following letter to Straight Talk tonight. I thought you might have some more useful feedback or input–and in a more grammatically correct format. 🙂

    “Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me if I should be getting speeds faster than slow DSL on my new Galaxy S3 CDMA phone (a Wal-Mart, Straight Talk version, not a BYOP). The pic below shows data speeds of 0.69 to 1.12 DL and barely 0.25 average uploads. As compared to about 40! DL and 10! Upload using my Comcast cable internet and the 5GHz frequency available from my Belkin Wi-Fi router.

    The second picture is from my iPhone 4s using AT&T’s network as well as my internet, but the internet is on the 2.4GHz antenna and is noticeably slower, but still very fast. What’s really interesting, is the data speeds can run from 2 to 8 DL and stay around 1 for uploading when on a 3G signal.
    Two different phones, two different carriers, both from Straight Talk. What gives? Westmont, IL (60559) is NOT in a poor coverage area for AT&T OR Verizon. If I can’t download on an S3 with Verizon’s towers faster than 1MBps, then something is REALLY not right.
    Please, help.
    Thank you.
    Daniel McFarland”

    The pictures were Ookla Speed tests with the above mentioned abysmal speed test results.
    P.S. If I could find a way to get my S3 up to a reasonable speed, I would be interested in Meadowwin’s if she wants to get rid of it! The screen on a iPhone 4s is WAY too small now, and my wife is the one with the S3! 😀

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I am not able not provide a more detailed response at the moment. I see kinda slow Verizon speeds at my home on both ST and Verizon. I recommend running tests in several areas to see if they improve, try to compare a real art and verizonn phone too

      • Daniel McFarland | |

        Thank you, Bob, for that awesome fast response. Their email response amounted to, “Give us a call so we can see if we can help.” so, I’ll see where that leads, as well as trying side by side comparisons wherever possible.

        P.S. I see that there is a SIM card slot, not the microSD card slot, in the Verizon phone–is that a Verizon LTE card kind of thing? I hadn’t heard about VZW using any kind of SIM cards yet, but I may have just been out of “their” loop for too long. 🙂

  2. Meadowlm | |

    Thank you for so many options and a starting point to research.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      You are welcome. Please let me know how it goes.

Comments are closed.