Which Straight Talk Network Will My iPhone Use?

A reader, David asks,

“do all iphones go on the sprint network with straight talk or like like, ie tmobile uses tmobile, verizon verizon etc.”

Hi David,
Generally, you register your on the Straight Talk network on the network it compatible with. So if you have an ATT iPhone, you’d use the Straight Talk ATT-compatible network, a T-Mobile iPhone would use the Straight Talk T-Mobile-compatible network, a Verizon iPhone would use the Straight Talk Verizon-compatible network, and Sprint iPhone would use the Straight Talk Sprint-compatible network.

But its a bit more complicated than that. ATT and TMobile iPhones use GSM technology. You buy either a Straight Talk att-compatible or Straight Talk tmobile-compatible SIM. If your GSM iPhone is locked to the ATT or TMobile network, you can only use network your phone is locked to. If your phone is unlocked you can pick which network to use. All GSM iPhones can be used on at least one of the two networks.

Verizon and Sprint iPhones use CDMA technology. You need to check if your iPhone is eligible for use on Straight Talk by entering your phone’s MEID and zi p code into the Straight Talk web site. IF your phone is eligible, you can use your Sprint iPhone with the Straight Talk Sprint-compatible. Verizon iPhones will use Straight Talk’s Verizon-compatible network if they are eligible. Straight Talk does not say how they determine eligibility. We do know that it is a combination of the area you live in, your phone model, and your MEID.

Currently you can only activate Sprint and Verizon iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s models on the ST Verizon and Sprint networks. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c models can not be used. Most likely this is based on a business relationship between the companies.

Finally, while the Verizon iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s cannot be used on Straight Talk’s verizon network, they can be used with Straight Talk’s att or tmobile network.

10 Comments

  1. Angie | | Reply

    Hi can somebody tell me if I have a unlocked Tmobile iphone 6 can I use it on Straight talk and have it use Verizon towers? I need it to be Verizon towers so I can do my job. Tmobile does not have service so I am wanting to change my tmobile phone to Verizon service through straight talk. is this possible?

  2. Donna | | Reply

    Hi, Bob
    I am a current straight talk customer with android. I was given The iphone 5s Verizon model ( from Apple store). As I understand it the phone is unlocked But with straight talk I can buy the AT&T kit or SIM card for service. Since I have a number I just need to activate the Sim and transfer it over . ? please clear this up for me.
    Thanks you for your time
    Donna

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Donna,
      You understand correctly. You need the straight talk att nano sim. Order it online for $7 dollars. You did not mention which network you are using with straight talk. If you rather be on. The Verizon network, I am telling all Verizon Iphone 5, 5c, and 5s users to check out Verizon’s prepaid network which know offers 4g lte. I don’t use it myself, but in some areas of the country Verizon has the best coverage.

      For reference, see
      Help Using a Verizon iPhone 5 with Straight Talk Wireless
      Verizon Prepaid Now Offers 4G LTE!

      Let me know what you end up doing
      Regards
      Bobee

      • Donna | | Reply

        Woot! I use verizon now . But checking with the coverage map AT&T or Verizon will work. However, when I checked with Verizon I was informed that I could not BYOP. As I understood it this was due to me Not having a past account. The iphone 5s ( Verizon) was purchased at Apple in a local store for under 200.00. So to straight talk I go . Bob as an consumer I have watched this trend for a few years. And I wanted to tell you that this site and your advice response is great and very clear.
        Thank you again.
        Sincerely,
        Donna

  3. Elvis | | Reply

    hello. bill Thompson, I want to jump on the bandwagon of straight talk service, but I’ve a Question for you is MMS setup
    on IPhones KINDA hard due to updates to IOS , on IPhones
    I will have to update APN setting , EVERYTIME a IOS update ,right.
    also there is other issue that pop up from time to time ?
    I will have to just , do reset of APN Setting to solve , & fix.
    I live in New York City , I sure know , I will have no signal issues.
    is it hard ?, to setup MMS. will I have problems not in setup
    only if done right, but other issues , like will I lose APN setup from time to time ?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Elvis,
      There is a long history of issues with MMS issues on the iPhone, especially when using Straight Talk’s ATT network. And yes, many users have had issues with iOS and carrier updates.

      That said, I my MMS has always worked correctly. And since iOS 7.0.3, my iPhone has just worked without any setup.

      I actually use MMS that much. I mostly exchange pics with other iPhone users.

      You can try Straight Talk, and if it works well for you, great your done. If not, you can switch to ATT prepaid or another prepaid service that uses the ATT network. Straight talk in general is the least expensive, the others cost a little more. Once you sign up, you have paid for the month, if you don’t like it you can move to another service immediately with no refund or stick it out for the month.
      Oh. and I usually track iOS updates and write any problems on smartphonematters.

      Regards
      Bob

      • Elvis | | Reply

        Hello , bill ,thanks for reponding back,
        I’ve more questions.cause wondering how would go about! setup.
        since I’m noobie, I would have to jailbreak
        My Iphone 4 right?
        To setup straight talk & MMS service
        I can use MMS or not , if I chose too ! but use it would be in that?
        I’ve read that if I jailbreak the iphone
        it can be reset to factory settings by using itune ?
        is this true?

        bill , I want to try ,
        should I wait for New ios update , To try
        to setup straight talk & MMS service out.
        it would give me sometime to see
        how it would work out & all.

  4. david | | Reply

    Many THANKS. The seller of a Sprint Iphone said it would use whatever towers were nearby. We dont have very good Sprint service here. The phone would have been a waste of money. I will just start looking at Straight Talk phones then. I wish I could run my BB Q10 on ST. I love that phone.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi David,
      I’d suggest picking the network you want to be on, finding a company that uses that network, and then buying a new or used phone to use. What network did your Q10 run on?
      and does that network work well in your area.

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