AT&T is introducing a new $65 per month prepaid plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 1 GB of data. To someone who wouldn’t know any better, that sounds like a steal, but in reality it’s just a scam. First of all, you can’t use this “cheaper” plan with any device you want. You have to go with a “GoPhone” from AT&T. In other words, they’ll gladly give you 1 GB of data per month, because they know no human in their right mind would transfer that much information using a low end smartphone. Second, there’s a better solution out there, one that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s called Straight Talk.

When you pay your AT&T or Verizon bill every month, you’re paying the salaries of the people who work in their retail stores, the construction workers who build those stores, the developers who make horrible ROMs that get flashed on operator branded devices, and the list just goes on and on. Enter Straight Talk, which is what we in the industry call a mobile virtual network operator. MVNO for short. They piggy back off AT&T’s network, buying access to it at a wholesale rate, and then reselling that access to you with razor thin margins.

Straight Talk gives you a SIM card you can shove inside any phone, and they charge $45 per month for unlimited everything. So do the math: $350 for a Galaxy Nexus, $45 per month for 12 months, that’s $890. Compare to that to someone who pays $200 smartphone and then locks themselves into a plan for two years that costs $90 per month. In the first year alone that adds up to $1280. That’s two Nexus 7 tablets right there!

Are there any downsides? Sure. Customer service is abysmal, there’s no roaming, and if your phone breaks you’re shit out of luck, but hey, $45 per month is hard to pass.

  • thanks for the great info Stefan!

  • StraightTalk doesn’t work in my area, but AT&T works just fine…..

    • duplissi

      straight talk gsm runs off att or tmobile, what you are refering to is most likely those cheap pos phones that you can buy at walmart, most of those run off verizon.

      • Straight talk runs off of ATT, but it doesnt get to use ALL of ATT. They purposefully limit the amount of towers to keep it “subpar” to using ATT directly.
        Walmart has multiple plans. Family Mobile at walmart uses Tmobile.

        Just get TMobile prepaid
        $30 for 100 mins w/ unl text and 5 gig of web before throttle,
        $50 for unl talk/text and unl slow internet
        $60 for same but with 2gig 4g web b4 throttle
        $70 for same but with 5 gig web
        And tmobile lets you get insurance on prepaid plans as well as you use the entire network, not just parts of it.

        Staying out of contract is way better. If you do the math you save tons of money. You pay more for the phone but the over all 2 year cost is up to THOUSANDS less than being on contract with any of the big 4 carriers. The taxes are less (standard sales tax vs cell phone plan taxes) and the plans are less. People are just duped into thinking contracts are the better deal.

        • duplissi

          would be great except…. tmobile is almost non existant where i live.

          also thats the first i heard of the limited towers thing, in my experience i have identical coverage as someone who has att.

  • wickets

    for some reason, maybe marketing overload, i always thought that the ‘mvno’s’ were second rate or inferior viz. store brand supermarket stuff. Good to know its all the same thing just a different name

  • Also, only Walmart can refill the product, which sucks. I wholesale prepaid to stores, at least the other MVNO’s – AirVoice, PagePlus, Red Pocket, just to name 3 of the almost 50 I have, allow sales in any convenience store. I would avoid Strait Talk just for this reason alone.

  • Cheerful Charlie

    Hmm! Well, if this included truly unlimited, untethered EVERYTHING, then I would give it some consideration.

  • Yea except it is not unlimited everything really….they call you when you get around 2gb of data, in a months time, and tell you to not use as much data or they will discontinue your service with them. Also with the data you are not allowed to upload, download, or stream any audo or video programming or games…It says in their contract.

  • American Wireless

    There is a better option out there from Unlocked Sim ( ) It provides unlimited talk, text and web for just $49.99 a month all with no contracts and runs on the AT&T network. You can even use iPhone and Android phones on it.