The history of the promo codes that Straight Talk allows you to use is very interesting. Back in 2001, there were no coupon codes available for usage. You simply bought a pre-paid plan and hope that you were able to use your monthly allotted time before it expired. For many years this was a profitable, and viable business model for Straight Talk Wireless. However, as the “carrier wars” heated up between the cell phone companies, the executives realized that they needed to be competitive to stay relevant and to stay profitable.
In 2007 they came out with the $45 unlimited talk and text plan. This was revolutionary due to the fact that cell phone bills from such companies as Verizon, AT&T and Tmobile were costing the average consumer upwards of $100 per month, per line. The only hindrance to this plan was the fact that you weren’t allowed much bandwidth usage per month. At this point in time, the clamshell “flip phones” were very popular, and the mobile web wasn’t quite what it is today. So for the time being, and despite the lack of monthly bandwidth (they only offered 500mb per month and if you went over, the charges were astronomical) the companies still were able to gain millions of new customers every month. With these Straight Talk coupons the customers were finally able to realize huge savings every time they made a purchase.
In 2010, the mobile internet as we know it really came into play. For the first time, cell phone searches on Google had surpassed desktop computer searches. Mobile tablets also took up a portion of the searches. The MVNO companies realized they had to adapt to stay relevant. Straight Talk Wireless was the first company to offer 3gigs of monthly bandwidth per month. If you browsed the web a few times each week, answered emails and only streamed a few videos or music you were able to keep well within the limits. But as time marched on, more and more video and audio content was being consumed by cell phone users due to the various companies making it easy and efficient to watch on the smaller cell phone screens. At this point in time, most cell phone users were going over their monthly allotment of bandwidth. Straight Talk executives came up with a perfect solution: pre-optimize the data being streamed into the cell phone. Using new and innovative compression technologies, they were able to stream at near HD quality videos but using the bare minimum of bandwidth.
Flash forward to 2015 and Straight Talk Wireless upgraded their monthly bandwidth (for the $45 unlimited pre-paid plans) to 5gigs per month. This was more than AT&T, Sprint and Verizon offered for their customers. As the months and years go on, I predict that the companies will eventually allow unlimited bandwidth to gain a foothold in the multi-billion dollar a year cell phone market. What was once a huge source of profits for these companies (charging extra for bandwidth and giving the consumer very little every month so that they would almost always go over and rack up tremendous charges), has now turned into a key selling point to retain subscribers every single year.