Straight Talk is a telecommunication company owned by Verizon. It offers no-contract flexible and affordable plans and high-quality mobile devices from the top brands. It also offers a convenient Keep Your Own Device program that enables customers to keep their own devices that they have purchased from another provider, frequent special deals on devices and services, and a responsive customer support service. The provider’s services come with unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text messages, and unlimited data on the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
Does Straight Talk Have its Own Network Towers?
Let’s talk a bit more about Straight Talk’s network. Does the company have its own network infrastructure? The answer is no.
Straight Talk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that instead of owning its own infrastructure and towers, the company partners with other larger carriers and pays them to use their network.
This is a common practice. In fact, most wireless providers are MVNOs that use a large carrier’s network. Most MVNOs partner with one of the ‘big three’ carriers – Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. As such, it is safe to assume that Straight Talk also uses the network of one of these carriers. Partnering with a carrier enables the MVNO’s customers to access the carrier’s nationwide network and enjoy the large coverage.
Does Straight Talk Use Verizon Towers?
We have learned that Straight Talk is an MVNO that does not have its own network infrastructure and that the brand is owned by Verizon. Is it then safe to assume that Straight Talk uses Verizon towers?
Indeed! Straight Talk does use Verizon towers and thus provides its customers access to Verizon’s huge nationwide network.
Verizon is not only one of the three largest carriers in the U.S., but it’s also the single-largest 4G LTE network provider in the country. As such, the fact that Straight Talk uses Verizon towers is a great advantage for the MVNO.
Why is it Relevant What Network Straight Talk Uses?
There are several reasons why it’s not only relevant but also very important to figure out what network tower Straight Talk uses before you commit to Straight Talk’s services, including:
- You must know if the coverage is good in your area. Affordable plans, special deals, and other service perks are all great. However, none of it is important if you are unable to make or take a simple phone call due to the bad network coverage in your area. As such, checking the coverage of the original network provider is of utmost importance.
- Knowing which network Straight Talk uses helps you choose a compatible phone to bring to Straight Talk’s services (if you want to join the Keep Your Own Device Program). Verizon’s (and therefore Straight Talk’s) network uses CDMA technology. As such, the device you bring must support CDMA technology as well. Your best bet is to bring a device from Verizon or any of the other Verizon MVNOs.
- If, on the other hand, you decide to purchase a phone from Straight Talk and you are planning to take that device to another carrier after a while, you must also know which carrier the phone is compatible with. Straight Talk’s devices are compatible with Verizon and Verizon’s MVNOs.
How Large Straight Talk Coverage Area
Straight Talk uses Verizon’s network, as such, it definitely has a large coverage area. In fact, Verizon offers the single largest 4G LTE coverage area in the country, covering 70% of the U.S. territory and reaching over 99% of the entire population.
Nevertheless, as all carriers have unevenly distributed network towers, it’s important to check the coverage in your area before committing to Straight Talk’s services.
You can check Straight Talk’s network coverage in your area at straighttalk.com/coverage-map or directly at verizon.com/coverage-map. The two maps should cover the same area.
How Does Straight Talk’s Network Compare to Others Network?
As most MVNOs use the network of one (or more) of the three largest carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile), it’s only reasonable to compare the three largest carriers’ networks.
4G LTE Network
When it comes to 4G networks, Verizon is the clear winner. Its network covers 70% of the territory. AT&T comes in second with a network that covers 68% of the land area. T-Mobile is third with 62% coverage.
In terms of 5G networks, however, the order is reversed. T-Mobile has the largest 5G coverage – it covers 41% of the U.S. land. AT&T’s 5G network spans over 18% of the territory. Verizon’s 5G coverage stretches over 11% of the territory, which may not sound like a lot, however, it includes all the large metropolitan areas.
Pros and Cons of Straight Talk’s Verizon Network
The fact that Straight Talk uses Verizon’s network comes with a list of advantages and disadvantages, including:
- Straight Talk’s customers can enjoy the single largest 4G network and the third-largest 5G network in the country. Verizon’s network is huge and reliable.
- While Verizon’s customers get access to Verizon’s network at considerably high prices (Verizon’s plans are packed with great features and bonuses, but they are also relatively pricey), Straight Talk’s customers get to access the same network at lower prices.
- Instead of wasting time and money on network infrastructure maintenance, Straight Talk can focus on providing its customers with the best services and support.
- Just like all other MVNOs, Straight Talk has very little control over its network. As such, it is unable to assist customers in times of outages or other issues.
- In times of congestion, network owners tend to prioritize their own customers over their MVNOs’ customers. As such, in times of network congestion, Straight Talk customers may experience weaker network signals, slower data speeds, and patchy coverage.
How to Find Out More About Straight Talk’s Network or Other Services?
To learn more about Straight Talk’s Verizon network, you can visit the company’s website or contact its customer support service. See the contact details at straighttalk.com/support/contact.