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« Straight Talk Prepaid Wireless - First Look | Main | Last New TracFone Promo Codes for June 2009 »

June 22, 2009


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Ike Denvers

Hi Keith, been following your excellent report on the exciting new ST plan. It is great to finally see some honest-to-goodness "REAL WORLD" testing. Conjectures, theories and speculation can only go so far. The proof is in the pudding. Keep posting and let us know how it goes. The coverage issue is a big thing for people who are comparing Verizon MVNOs and Verizon Prepaid Wireless itself. Thought hands down, nothing beats Tracfone or Net10 for their multi carrier coverage.
Take care and keep up the good work!

Alexander Kohr

Thanks for posting the coverage info. It made the w385 on straightalk network sound very appealing.

While coverage is very important to me, I unfortunately found a deal breaker to me and my large phonebook. According to their tech support they have disabled the ability to sync your address book with a computer and that you will have to enter the phone numbers manually.

Keith Tyndall

Ike and Alexander - It's good to hear that this info has been useful!

That's an interesting point about the phone book. I still don't know why TracFone has a penchant for disabling stuff like that.


As to Straight Talk, I have the misfortune of living in a "no signal" area of Southern Indiana. Sprint/Cingular/ATT have never had a strong signal here. Surpising, my sister's Verizon phone has always had service. So, my daughter bought a ST phone, and has four bars everywhere. I had always been told that Net10 and Tracfone used the carriers that had the best coverage, yet NONE of the previous Net10 phones have had service here. I called Net10 last night to see if they would change my carrier to Verizon but was told they had to stay with Cingular despite Cingular not having service in my immediate area. Also, are you saying in your post that the ST phones can access a regular web site? I thought it was a limited internet and not a regular internet. Can it be used to access, for instance, email on Yahoo?


Yeah, I entered my Zip Code (49279) in on the ST website the other day and it said I could purchase a phone from them... but today when I tried the same operation, it said I didn't get coverage here. I live in an Alltel coverage area and according to the ST map, I should get coverage here... what am I to think?


I am having coverage issues as well. I was a tracfone user with a full 5 bars of service where I live. Switched to staight talk & got the LG phone. Now am lucky to have 2 bars of service. My husband has a LG tracfone which gets 5 bars of service. Not sure what I'm going to do, but am considering switching back to tracfone because service strength is important to me.


I live in an area that straight talk says isn't covered. I took a gamble and bought the cheapo Straight Talk LG when I was visiting family and used their (officially covered) zip code and address to activate the phone.

Phone works flawlessly at my supposedly non-covered home address. Full bars. Voice, text, and web all work just as well as my old verizon contract phone.

The really interesting part about all this is that I live in an area in rural western Maine where US Cellular owns all the towers. There isn't a verizon owned tower for 50 miles. Supposedly ST phones will NOT roam onto other company's towers. Obviously this isn't the whole truth. Is it possible ST is purposefully lying about the coverage area to restrict the market for ST phones? perhaps to satisfy some contractual obligation with verizon?

Roy Everett

I have seen straight talk phones coverage to be above average, but not as good as my old net10 phone. I have a question for anyone who owns the Samsung r451c straight talk phone: Does the phone allow you to download applications? It is a Java phone, I just wanted to know if the carrier has locked it. thanks!

PA nurse

I'm looking to get a cheapy pre-pay phone since my costly VZW contract just ended (& too disgruntled with customer service to continue). Stumbled on this site while looking for info re. Straight Talk. YOU MAY APPRECIATE THIS... I, too, noticed the "service activation area" vs. "coverage" on their map! Oh, how clever they are-- bet they fooled many! Out of curiosity, I phoned them & asked if I would have coverage in my area. Here's the skinny: 1)No speaky English- had to give my zip code 3 times... slowly. 2)After bringing up the correct town by zipcode, I had to be referred to the rep's manager (there's a quick clue!) and 3)After giving the "manager" my zip code, she said, "Yes, we provide coverage in your state." Wow! So, I told her that was nice, but needed to know specifically for MY AREA. Was placed on hold, and then disconnected from their end. LOL... so I'm still looking for a service provider and wanted to let you know about this. Too funny.

Billy Zimmerman

There has been some confusion on actual Straight Talk Coverage...
It does not include all of the Verizon's Standard Plan Coverage Area. (Click link Below to verify your coverage)

You must select Prepaid, and then click on Refresh Map!
(Map coverage should be shown in Violet and Lavender NOT RED)

Straight Talk Coverage Area is Verizon's Primary Prepaid Coverage Area (shown in Violet) only, and does NOT include the Prepaid Roaming Area (shown in Lavender) on the Verizon coverage map.

The coverage is still quite good, but not all of Verizon's full coverage area as some have indicated on other blogs. So do take the time to do this simple research before buying something that might not work for you. Note: no Alaska, Canada, or San Juan coverage...

--Billy Zimmerman--

Tiffani King

Hey i use to have alltel pre paid but it cost me alot so i went with stright talk.... its one of the best phones i ever been to. i only had it almost a month. i love it..... i hope it will always stay to stright talk.... i love it... i can txt and send pic talk any time and get on the internet.... its good for a teen age girl to use...

Phillip Stallings

I purchased a Straight Talk phone in Dec. and have found the coverage in Eastern NC to be below par. I had Verizon service before which I was pleased with except for the price. The cell tower is less than 1/2 mile from my house and the signal varies from 5 bars to no signal in just a few minutes on my ST phone. My wife still has the Virizon plan and has 5 bars all the time. I have talked to ST tech support several times and they keep telling me to try a new phone. This is my 3rd phone and I get the same results. I also checked the Verizon pre paid coverage map down to my street address and it shows that I have coverage. I travel all over Eastern NC and have found the ST coverage to be only about 50% of what I had with Verizon. Where I use to have 5 bars I will only get 2 with the ST phone. Has anyone experienced this problem?

Timmo Brains

I travel alot and dont have any problems with signal, the phone works 99% of the time, i dont struggle to receive texts, dont drop calls ether. I am mainly based in NY and i use this as a work phone because its simple affordable and allows you to travel with no extra charges for distance and you can find signal everywhere.


I have had straight talk for 9 months now and have had no problems here in Colorado with signal. If anyone notices, the voicemail lady is the same as Verizons. If you ever call into their customer service center your bill, add a phone....plan on it taking an hour, that's many times you have to repeat yourself so that they understand you...oh yeah, and for them to repeat themselves over and over so you understand them...I purchaced a ringtone, doesn't work. Spent an hour on the phone trying to get it through their little foreign heads what the problem was and they said I would have to call back from another phone so they could troubleshoot it. I said not gonna go up to a payphone to do that, give me a refund or send it again. Well, said they would send it again but they didn't. Just a way to get free money I guess.


Had ATT for 2.5 years in Tallahassee, FL. Had some dead spots and bad coverage at my school. To get unlimited call at cheap I switched to ST. Better coverage. I traveled to Portland,OR and Minneapolis. No trouble. Also drove from Tallahassee to JAX( ATT has dead spots along I-10) but ST worked well. There was only one time when some tried to call me when I was talking with someone else and he got a "this number do not exist message" I charge on demand online. So far I am satisfied with the service. I don't need to worry about overage( I charge for $45), text as much as I need. I use browser only if I am away from laptop. But browser worked well for basic stuff. I didn't port number. I never had to call so can't comment on that


HELP! I recently bought ST phones for me and my daughter. They work great and have way better coverage than AT&T did. However, we are moving from AL to IL in a few weeks. I checked ST shop phone tab and entered our new zip code in IL. The ST site said "ST does not offer service in the zip code you entered." However, when I checked verizons prepaid map, it shows coverage at our new zip code. Will we be able to keep our ST phone service?!

Patrick Vittori

Their coverage map really needs updating. My GF and her cousin are currently chatting on their ST phones and her cousin is in northwest Montana, approximately 48 miles south of the US/Canada border. The map shows her cousin to be living in the "non service activation" area. Since we both have recently purchased ST phones, its really good to know that we didn't invest in something we'd have to throw away in 4 weeks when we move back home. :)


Been with ST about a month. Have had no problems unless I travel to Washinton Co MD there with Virezon I was extended network, with ST I have no service and the towers are US cellular. Also the person sajking about the SCH 451 by Samsung. It will not do jave because ST had it disabled on phone and no you can not download any apps. Seems that not all towers operate the same being Verizon or not. Other than that one area I have had no problems but once I cross that line service goes bi - bi


All of the reviews of Straight Talk, and all of the chat about it, say that Straight Talk runs off of Verizon's towers. However: I did ask at Wal-Mart about the coverage - they should know a little, since it is a Wal-Mart brand. I was told that the phones run primarily off of TracPhone towers (I was also showed a mention of tracphone in a brochure), but that the phones will also use other company's (AT&T, Verizon, etc) towers to expand the service area. It's nice to see that this information is (probably) correct.

For those of you who have low bars in an area with great Verizon service: check the service area for tracphone. It's possible that you're connecting to Tracphone towers in an area with a low number of Tracphone towers.

I'm definitely considering Straight Talk for myself - I'm thinking the r451c would be perfect for me.


yes i agree with the too much delay in ST phone activation.
you have to repeat yourself atleast 4 times before they get what you are saying. even a zip code, city, and state you have to say it over abd over.
i just got one but i havent travelled anywhere with it yet. so i dont know if it has good coverage or not.
but my big question is, do my friends with verizon have unlimited calling or texting to my new ST phone? someone please tell me.

Jim Friend

Straight Talk has no signal in Southeast Oklahoma McCurtain County, I had a vehicle accident on hwy3 going south and could not make a 911 call for help. After all thing I drove the vehicle to the Idabel hospital and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol came there. My phone works great in my home area but it is times like this you need dependability.

R Hinsley

i drive a truck for a living and the only place i have ever had trouble getting a signal is in Madill OK and in the general area i could go to the Walmart on the south side of town and get a signal it shows to be in the coverage area but if you live there it might not be a good idea to purchase one however at&t has great service there





Gloria Kelley

I have a tracpone and not cray about it get good service here at home in Maine, but we were lost for 3 hrs down in Pa couple yrs ago late at night had no service anywhere in that area,but my grandson had a tracpone in pa and talked all the time on it ,what gives

I have an R451C Straight Talk phone. I live in Austin Tx, zip code 78705. I have the CDMA, which I am not even sure what that really means. I have great coverage. But the coverage map doesn't really show good coverage. I used to have the iphone and AT&T showed great coverage and I had nothing but dropped calls and problems. You can't beat this service for what you pay. I just wish they had more phones available for the zip codes. I want an E71, but too costly. Compared to every other service, it is great. The other gadgets on the phone will do, but they are not the greatest. The camera is ok, the voice recorder is ok, etc. But every month, when I have to pay $51.36 ($45.+tax) I AM HAPPY.


I bought a ST phone and when I called to activate it I told them my zip code and they give me a telephone number with a 662 area code. The problem is I don't live in the the 662 area code (Northern half of MS.) I live in the 601 area code (southern half of MS. They never could resolve this issue so I took it back to wal mart.

L. Carr

Alex Kohr, if your phones are bluetooth capable(your old & new phones), you can send your addresses that way from one phone to another w/o having to do them 1 by 1. I feel your pain, I have lots of addresses, emails, pictures, and numbers in my phones, and it would take me days to transfer them one by one.

El Magnifico

My ST web site says my zip has no service, but it is for sale in the Walmart 2 miles away???
Live in North suburban Atlanta.


L.carr is right.We've been w/Alltel/VW for 8+ yrs, and LOVE the coverage, but tired of the high contract price. Any 1 of our 5 VW refurb phones die in some way every couple 3-4 months and when they send us ANOTHER refurb one, then they want to charge us $10 to transfer my 400+ contacts and pics we use the bluetooth to transfer them ;).3 of my 5 VW phones are up and i do not want to renew. I still have a Alltel plan that VW cant touch, 5 phones w/2200 shared min unlimited text and pics for $280-300 a month. none of us have internet tho.they want another 2yrs and $30 more ea to have internet? no thx. My GF has ST in Roxboro,nc where the map says its thin, well she has a good sig, not great but good enough.I ordered a ST phone last night, gona try it everywhere we can for 2-3 wks and if it works out, then im porting my # and GOODBYE VW!! ill be buying 4 more ST phones soon.Ill let ya know:)

wendy payne

I live in alta california and have no cell service. I had to go with auburn california zip code. not very happy about it after all the money I paid for the droid.

john lee wilson

I want to get the 3g in my area. when will it come?


I believe it depends on the phone you get. I had a samsung slider from straight talk and walked around the house with 5 bars then i upgraded to a samsung smart phone and barley get to. I have researched and tried to find a tower update code but have come up empty handed.

William Asbury

Well I live in Vero Beach, Florida on the coast. 138 miles from Straight Talk Headquaters and have NO, zippo, nada Signal in this area. WHEN I do get a call we have to run outside our house, Never mind the rain, to talk. Smoke Signals Make Better Service. I guess Androids are afraid of the water

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