While big telecommunications companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile compete by using high-cost subscription services and huge data allowances, smaller companies are starting to make a splash by offering cheaper mobile services. Companies like Straight Talk offer access to the infrastructure of a large mobile carrier but at a much cheaper price.
That being said, these smaller companies still have to compete. One of the ways Straight Talk does this is by selling data add-ons for its mobile plans. These plans let you pay extra for data to be included in the plan of your choice.
Here is an overview from Navi of these data add-ons so you can decide if they are worth it for you.
What is Straight Talk?
Straight Talk is an MVNO, which stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. What this basically means is that Straight Talk is a mobile provider that doesn’t actually own the infrastructure it operates on. Instead, they piggyback off of the cell towers of other companies for a fee, and in turn provide services to customers at lower prices.
Straight Talk’s mobile plans start from the $30 basic plan which provides 1500 minutes, unlimited text, and 100MB of data. From here you can go all the way up to $90 per month for two lines with the Unlimited plan, with 10GB of hotspot data and unlimited talk and text.
Straight Talk keeps its prices relatively low, with the flip side being that you will rarely see any perks attached to these plans beyond the basic talk, text, and data.
The Straight Talk Data Add On
For its prepaid plans, Straight Talk offers data add-ons that let you refill your plan with more data that you can use. You can purchase 1GB for five dollars or 2GB for ten dollars. With your prepaid Straight Talk plans, you purchase the amount of data that you want, but if you want an increase then you can use these add-ons to refill. The data will not expire and it can carry over to the next month if it is not used in the month it is purchased. The data bought through these add-ons are not compatible with hotspot use.
Straight Talk Pros
These data add-ons offer the consumer the freedom to choose how much data they want and when they want it. The purpose of a prepaid plan in the first place is to make sure that the consumer knows exactly what they are paying for before getting their service. These add-ons add a further level of customization to your plan, letting you choose exactly how much data you want to pay for.
Another great thing is that these minutes are not tied to any particular month. While the data and minutes you usually get in a mobile plan are active for the month you purchase them, these minutes carry over between pay periods.
You have the option of continuously refilling your card instead of worrying about how much you need to pay on a month-to-month basis.
Straight Talk Cons
The main problem with the data add-ons is that they offer so little data for a price that ends up being more than other plans per GB of data. To put things in perspective, if you were to purchase the Silver Unlimited plan with Straight talk you would be paying $45 per month for unlimited data.
With the data add-on plan, you would only be getting 9GB of data for that amount of money, which is significantly less than the average person uses.
The purpose of these fillups is so that people who don’t use too much data normally can get a little extra for a good price in a pinch. There aren’t many companies offering a single gigabyte of data for sale.
The problem is that the single gigabyte is a lot more expensive than the data offerings per gigabyte you can get with Straight Talk’s other plans or even other companies’ mobile plans.
Straight Talk Competition
What makes the data add-on system special is that there aren’t many mobile carriers doing something like it. Big companies like T-Mobile or Verizon don’t offer small data packages, and that puts Straight Talk in a special niche in which it can appeal to people who only need to top off their data usage.
On the other hand, there are some other small companies that do offer better rates than Straight Talk. Total Wireless offers a deal for 3GB of data for only $10, which is $5 better than what Straight Talk offers. With so few perks to put it ahead of these other small carriers, Straight Talk’s value becomes more questionable.
Conclusion: Straight Talk is a Great, Low-cost Plan
Straight talk is a solid MVNO and a good option for people who are looking for cheaper mobile services. They may not offer the perks of one of the big telecommunications companies, but they offer a wide variety of affordable plans for customers to choose from. For people who want a typical experience, Straight Talk does have normal unlimited postpaid phone plans.
For people who want freedom in choosing their plan and don’t intend to use too much data, the contractless plans with the data add-on are a great way to go. The add-ons let you only pay for as much data as you need without any extra stuff you don’t plan on utilizing.
These add-ons aren’t a viable option for people who use a lot of data as the price per gigabyte is much more than for an unlimited plan. But if all you need is a top off every once and a while for small things like checking your email, consider a contractless Straight Talk plan with data add-ons.
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