How Does Straight Talk Work and What Phones Are Eligibile for the Program?


Quick Answer

Straight Talk, a subsidiary of TracFone, is a mobile virtual network operator that does not own the networks it uses, but provides cellular phone services compatible with most cell phones and smartphones. Straight Talk uses the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile networks and offers Bring Your Own Phone plans.

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Full Answer

The Federal Communications Commission ruled in 2013 that cell phone owners had the right to unlock any phone purchased through a carrier without the carrier's consent. Code Division Multiple Access phones are generally from Verizon and Sprint, and they are usually compatible with Straight Talk after unlocking and purchasing an activation kit.

Global System for Mobile Communications phones from AT&T and T-Mobile use a SIM card that can usually be replaced by a Straight Talk SIM card. Straight Talk SIM cards are available for most Android and iPhone models.

New cell phones and smartphones can be purchased from Straight Talk that are compatible out of the box. A complete list of all models available for purchase is on the company's website. Offerings include numerous conventional style flip phones and slider phones from several manufacturers, including LG, Nokia and Samsung. Most smartphones' operating systems are carried by Straight Talk, such as Android, iPhone, Windows and Blackberry with models available from Samsung, Apple, LG, ZTE and Huawei.

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