posted this on March 5, 2012, 18:27
For those who haven't heard yet, BYO(S)D (Bring Your Own (Sprint) Device) is now in an Open Beta stage, which means that anybody can join in (presuming you have an eligible Sprint phone, of course).
You can read the details about how and which phones on our blog at https://ting.com/blog/bring-a-sprint-device-to-ting-you-know-you-wanna/ and then sign up at our https://ting.com/byod page.
If I bought a phone from Ting, could I then activate one of my own phones?
In order for a device to function on the cellular network, the serial number of the device must be "known" by the network. So the only way to get an existing phone of yours working on our network is to root the device and then have it register on the network using an ESN/MEID of one of our registered devices. It's possible, since other Ting customers have done it... with varying degrees of success based on their devices. Check out our Hacks section in help for more information.
If you're not interested, or uncomfortable hacking your phone (and buying a Ting phone), then the answer to your question is no (sorry about that).
My Sprint contract is up in a couple of months. I plan to switch to Ting. Since Ting uses Sprint's network, will my Sprint Evo work on Ting without the suggested hack?
That's essentially my question. I think Ting needs to understand that most people looking to make this change are going to be early adopters that understand how telecoms work. You must already if people are hacking their phones just to get them to work with Ting. Phone has an ESN, only certain (CDMA) phones will work with Sprint.
Our question that has yet to be answered, can we bring a Sprint compatible phone to use with Ting if we follow the rules and buy a Ting phone first?
Here is an example if that will help:
I have AT&T now, I pay around $110 after taxes in Washington State "unlimited" data, 450 minutes, and unlimited night and weekend, mobile to mobile, unlimited text, and $5.99 phone insurance. I talk about 6 minutes a month, send/receive about 1000 messages per month, and use about 1GB of data. I have a Samsung Galaxy S II. I could sell this phone for around $350 on eBay, and buy LG Optimus S from Ting ($155 + taxes), then activate (By giving Ting the ESN number) my already acquired Sprint Nexus S 4G. I could then use the remaining money to cancel my AT&T contract and start saving about $50 per month.
Does this help you say yes, you can do this? I've had all four carriers before, and taking out the GSM (SIM) carriers T-Mobile and AT&T, both Verizon and Sprint had just as easy a time to activate other phones. Bought a new phone from Sprint or Verizon, broke it after two weeks, borrowed a phone from a friend and called the carrier to switch the ESN so this backup phone could activate. Theoretically, Ting would be able to do the same.
Sorry, I thought I was clear up above, but perhaps not.
We have had some customers purchase lower end devices for the serial number, then use rooting software (such CDMA Workshop) to use a "non-supported" device on the network. It's worked well for a few customers, but what we've noticed is that features are also tied to the serial number.
So, taking a Sanyo Vero ESN and putting it on a 4G device like the HTC Detail will mean that you be able to get 4G services working.
No, you aren't answering the question we have. What you are saying is that we could find a non-supported device and make it work. We are not asking about non-supported devices. We are asking about making a Sprint device (Which is the network you are using) work with Ting. Because you have a limited sample of phones, what if we wanted to use a Sprint-branded phone like the Nexus S 4G work?
Although I wasn't being explicit, my examples assumed Sprint-branded phones, whether we offer them for sale, or not.
Sorry if this seems to beat a dead horse but I would be new to this and want to be sure I am correct in my strategy -
1a - Could I bring a used Sprint Android phone to this network? 1b - If yes, without any flashing or rooting geek tricks?
2 - If yes to #1, What about a used Sprint phone with bad ESN? (a friend actually bought a bad ESN Android Sprint phone from eBay)
3 -You said "have it register on the network using an ESN/MEID of one of our registered devices". Does this mean you would have to have the phone mailed to you or me go to a Sprint dealer or what exactly?
4 - Is there a list that could be posted of compatible 'outside' phones that are known to work or would be recommended to be purchased?
PS - Loving TING so far. pretty much guaranteed I am going to be a customer! REALLY! I soooooo hate the big providers and their contracts!
1a) Right now, the only way to do this is by rooting the device and having it take over a serial number (ESN/MEID) of a Ting device.
1b) You'd need the rooting/geek tricks.
2) Same thing as #1
3) You'd need to buy a phone from us, then choose NOT to use it, opting instead for taking the serial number and cloning it on a device you want to use. So, you could by an HTC Detail from us, and take the serial number and put it on another CDMA phone. (yes, kind of an expensive trick, I know)
4) That's a good idea. We'll look into tracking a list of known hacked phones. The thing is that sometimes, certain features on partially work. You're best bet would be to do a bit of research on the subject. We're also trying to get the conversations started in our 'Hacks' section here.
Thanks for the kind words Brian! We hope that one day, all the silliness around device rooting, etc., will be unnecessary. Customers will just buy a mobile device and use it on any network they like. Until then we'll keep doing what we can to keep mobile simple. :)
1B) No. Unless you buy the phone from Ting, you have to hack it to make it work.
2) I'm sure Ben will answer better than I, but I believe good ESN or bad ESN doesn't matter. The hacking portion will take care of it.
3) I believe this means, you have to use a Ting-approved phone's ESN and hack the phone you want to use that ESN. I take this to mean that the agreement between Ting and Sprint is such that Sprint will only allow certain phones. Ting must get the phone approved through Sprint first. Once they do, the phone is mailed to you from Ting. In order to get a phone to work with Ting, you must use an approved ESN. This is why you must buy a phone from Ting. And this is where the hacking comes into play.
4) I'm sure there is in the forums. Ben said earlier there are forum posts on hacking.
As much as I questioned and bitched above, the idea Ting has is sound. And if they keep getting ideal phones like the Galaxy S II, they will have me as a solid customer for sure. The only downside is the coverage Sprint has.
I knew you'd beat me to it Ben. Thanks for clarifying.
THANKS! Both to Ben and Michael! Very clear to me now.
You said "We hope that one day, all the silliness around device rooting, etc., will be unnecessary. Customers will just buy a mobile device and use it on any network they like. Until then we'll keep doing what we can to keep mobile simple. :)"
I have been writing and complaining to the US Congress and signing petitions for the past 2 years trying to raise awareness. Just on principle it really T's me off that phones cannot be brought along. I have clients that LOVE their old phones and do NOT want to learn a new phones, transfer their details, etc. or just simply don't want buy or cannot afford to buy another phone.
Again, thanks for the fast response and details and effort.
I have to tell you Michael, your comment made my weekend. Thanks for chiming in and the helpfulness! :D
Brian: Glad we can help... would love to have you as a customer one day... thanks for the kind words and checking out Ting!
Are there plans to offer the iPhone? This is the make or break issue for me.
As I am not a Ting employee, I can't answer that question. But as a soon-to-be Ting customer, I hope they do not get the iPhone. iPhone users generally do not understand the nuances of the cell phone business, and when they see the true cost of an iPhone, they turn back to the normal way of business. Subsidize and lock you in for years.
As a former iPhone user (I've used every great phone of the last five years, Nokia N-Series, Sony K-Series, Apple, HTC, etc) I will no go back to using one. And services like Ting would suffer because of that device.
I'm sure if Ting did get some version of the iPhone, doubtful they would be able to get the 4S or iPhone 5 (In October), and doubtful again that you would plop down $500-$600 for the previous version.
To make this comment even longer, and speak even more out of place, I'm sure Ting would love to offer a range of phones, from Android to iPhone to Windows Phone 7. But a lot of decisions aren't up for Ting to make, it's Apple that chooses who they want the phone to be with, not the carrier.
For your sake Karen, I hope you learn the iPhone is for sheep, and there are so many better phones out there.
All the best,
Now now... iPhone is a great device. Lots of non-sheep people are using them... it probably isn't really fair to classify an entire group of people based on their choice of mobile device.
Blackberry, Apple, Research in Motion, and Microsoft have all worked really hard on their user interfaces and other OS capabilities... and each of us appreciates their capabilities in different ways.
Michael, try not to start any mobile class wars on my weekends, ok? ;)
Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by. We don't currently offer the iPhone, but we think it's a great device and we would like to one of these days.
I take back my iPhone comment.
OK. I signed up. I am officially a customer...or will be once phone arrives. I bought the LG Optimus S as an affordable way to test the waters. If things workout, my girlfriend and her son will be joining and some other family members I have will be waiting for my Yea/Neigh.
Michael. A bit harsh on the iPhone comment BUT I know what you mean and agree! Let me try to be more polite and gentle about it.
As an IT guy, I find Apple, in general, to be VERY uncooperative, borderline snobbish and outright rude. They claim to be about freedom but will not play nice with others and definitely do not want to share the sandbox. Their one track mind on trying to holdout and stay proprietary is slowing hurting them. It is the Apple way or the highway. How is that cool, progressive, or cutting edge as they so often claim to be? I meet tons of people that have happily converted back to PC and are enjoying freedom and choice again. Have an old Mac book? Great but Apple no longer supports the older OS. Remember the days or defective iPods and Apple's refusal to acknowledge or correct the problems or offer refunds? Geniuses at the Genius Bar? Hardly. To this day, do anything outside of Apple's rules and you void your warranty. Everything is iCloud, iTunes, i-this, i-that and no other choice but to be homogenous and to conform. Goes completely against the old Apple 'Orwellian' commercial of the girl throwing the hammer at the screen, doesn't it? I can take old or new PC components, cell phones, and other non-Apple devices/products and in some simple, affordable way recycle them and get them back into working condition for clients or for donation to the many charities I donate time and equipment to. To be clear, I am no fanboy of M$. As much as I believe Android is the way to go, I have very deep concerns about Google and it's behavior too. That said, almost any company/product besides Apple is guaranteed freedom and choice for the end user.
I think iPhones would be trouble for TING. Obviously I cannot be certain as I do not know anything about this business or industry. My impression is that Apple would be such a tremendous tangled mess of rules and restrictions and frustration for TING and customers seeking resolutions to problems that it would hurt the TING profit model and that cost would eventually effect the customer bank account.
In short, love or hate the iPhone...remain open minded. Do not pledge blind allegiance to any one product. Always be ready to explore and try something new. I have walked the walked because here I am...dumping the safety of Verizon for the opens seas of TING. Here's to smooth sailing!
Would Ting at least sell the devices through Bestbuy, so as to buy them on credit?
Hi Noel. When you buy a Ting device, you're buying on credit... sorry, but I don't understand the difference, unless you're referring to a Best Buy credit card?
Just checking out Ting, I didn't really expect to be able to use a Spring compatible phone (I suspect there are contractual issues with Sprint, not just electronic/network compatibility).
But, to find a Ting employee actually explaining how to hack a different phone to work, how awsome is that!
We hope to do more of that John. Lots of stuff doesn't work the way it should in mobile... and if it means bending the rules a little bit to help change that, then we're all for it. Hope to have you as a customer someday. :D
Let me turn the question around. If I buy a phone from Ting, can I take it to Sprint or some other carrier?
Do you guys not have access to your ESN database? if so you just verify we are who we say we are and then get the ESN from us and add it to your database and our account? am i missing somthing or competly don't understand how it works? seams(keyword) easy enough to do....
Josh, a lot of us reading between the lines gather that all these limitations are entirely imposed by Sprint as part of their contract with Ting. Everything Ting says indicates they would like to be able to sell every possible phone and allow BYO everything, but they can't.
> all these limitations are entirely imposed by Sprint as part of their contract with Ting
Perhaps Ting also makes a markup on the phones?
Makes sense i suppose, maybe its part of how they're able to keep the prices down
Ben, I was waiting for you to respond but I can't wait anymore.
Larry/Josh - Ting makes very little money on the phones, you can see that plainly in their pricing. They leave some markup on the higher-end phones like the Galaxy S II, hoping customers like me would hear of a promotion (Like I just heard) and get a deal.
A general rule of thumb, is to add $200 to the price of the phone you are paying the provider for the phone, and that is closer to the real price of the phone. It's not exact, as the iPhones for instance are about $300 more, but it's a good way to see real pricing.
Looking at Sprints phones right now, the LG Optimus S is Free, which means real cost is $200. Ting sells for $190.00. The Samsung Galaxy S II is $199.99, which would be retail at $399. Ting sells $500. But after the deal I just heard on one of my favorite podcasts, I'll some of that reduced when I buy-in using the code.
My point is that Ting isn't going to become a huge company based on the prices they sell phones for. Sure, a few of the phones they might make a buck on. But what it seems like they are hoping to do is lure people like me who pay twice as much for services, and only use half of it. I'm leaving $60 a month on the table simply because I can't get any cheaper plans with the other carriers.
Hey folks, sorry about the delay, I missed this thread until I saw Michael's reply.
Michael: as usual, thanks for the 3rd party support. :) The only thing I would add is that we're not making any money on the phones. We actually sell them slightly below our cost.
Larry: we don't do anything special to lock our devices. We've had one customer take his Ting phone to Sprint. When he called an asked for his MSL (master subsidy lock) code we just gave it to him. If you can get another CDMA carrier to take your Ting phone, we won't fight to make it difficult. Our hope is that we'll provide such good service, combined with fair and reasonable pricing, that we don't have to do silly things like lock a device.
> we don't do anything special to lock our devices.
I appreciate that and would hope to be staying around for a long time. Do any of you know of a tutorial Web site or post that explains things like ESN and MSL -- I would like to learn more about what constrains the free movement of phones. It sounds like it is purely up to the discretion of the carrier -- right?
I haven't found a really good website that talks about it plainly. If you find one like that please doo let me know Larry. :)
In order for a device to register itself with the cellular network, it must activate with a serial number. For CDMA phones, the serial number is called an ESN (Electronic Serial Number), or an MEID (Mobile Equipment IDentifier). Wikipedia has some pretty good info about ESN and MEIDs.
GSM phones have an equivalent serial number for the device, called the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity), but unlike CDMA phones, GSM carriers don't link this number to an individual subscriber. To link a subscriber to a device, GSM phones use a number called the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identify) that's stored on a removable SIM (Subscriber Identity Module). That's why it's easier to take an unlocked GSM phone to another carrier (because you just have to buy a new SIM).
I realize this isn't all the info you're looking for... and if I find a good resource for this stuff, I'll be sure to post it.
I know you guys have covered that you need to buy a phone from ting in order to use the ting service. And you don't mind using the ESN hack to get a different phone to operate on your network, which is really cool. However, isn't there a way you could just work something out with Sprint, where we as a customer can just pay a service fee of $150 or something to have our ESN registered for service with you guys. I see you have an Epic 4g Touch aka Samsung Galaxy SII as an offered device. So it is supported. For those of us who would like to switch to your service the value add seems to be diminished when looking at the phone models you have and the price you offer them for. Right now, sprint offers buy back and I have a pretty good contract. I need to analyze it a little further but right now your plan kind of reminds me of they way Car manufactures are offering alternative fuel vehicles. You have to pay alot up front and then there is no guarantee that the "savings" will equal out to the initial investment. I have a pretty good deal w/ sprint now and there's no telling if Sprint will pull the plug on you guys in the future. No offense. I'd like to get the word out and let people know about you guys, but right now I'm concerned about your longevity and the buy in cost vs. savings realization. Or amortization for those financial nerds out there :) Do you guys offer free nights and weekends or is what you see what you get? Sorry to be a rain cloud on what is looking to be a promising option to some of the high cell phone service being offered by other carriers. But I need to be smart with my money. Also, Sprint looks to be rolling out LTE sometime late this summer (fingers crossed). Will your service be able to support LTE devices soon?
You can look at your way, or you could look at it my way. Here is how I am justifying it.
Doing the math using Ting's calculators; for how I use my phone (And have for three years, from iPhone 3G to Samsung Galaxy S II), I would save $60 per month from what I pay AT&T. $60 per month, times twelve months, is $720. I have a current contract with AT&T which I will break. $175. But I have a Samsung Galaxy S II that I can sell ($300). I have to buy a phone from Ting, Samsung Galaxy S II = $500.
According to that math, I am going to get $300, pay out $175. Leaves $125. $500 for Ting phone, minus $125 that I have leftover = $375. I'm going to save $720 at the end of the year, and subtracting that from the $375 I had to pay = I am still saving $345 for the year. Hell, even starting Ting right now and only having it for six months, I still come out ahead from what I pay AT&T.
You just need to input your numbers for your devices and service, and see if it computes the same. Check Craigslist for going rate of your phone (eBay is skewed), run Ting calculator to check savings against what you currently pay Sprint, and calculate for what phone you want from Ting. What I just thought of that I didn't think of before, is that because of the lack of contract with Ting, potentially I could buy a Ting phone, use it until they get a phone I want more, sell it, and buy the new one. I'd be out a couple hundred bucks (Roughly), but if I do it two times a year, I'd still again, come out ahead from AT&T.
WIN - WIN - WIN
Does Ting support GSM phones?
As Ben is on vacation, I'll go ahead an answer your question: No. Sprint and Verizon run off CDMA, AT&T and T-Mobile run off GSM. As everyone moves to LTE, hopefully in the next five years all US-based carriers will be running the same. That means for you, no GSM, no SIM cards.
Hey Ben, when you get back, can you tell me (Us) what policy is on announcing phones. I just read the blog post about getting LTE, so my question would be when if/ever you could get HTC EVO 4G LTE.
Vacation? I wish! Was your comment a dig at the 3 hour delay in response on the forums? Tough crowd. ;)
Seriously though... regarding phone announcements, there's generally a really small window when we make a decision to carry a phone and when we announce it. It's kind of our nature to communicate on most things like this quickly. We're still working out the details on LTE, and hope to have lots more to share soon.
Have a great weekend all,-Ben
It was only a dig at your lack of response to the message on the 11th. A message you probably didn't need to answer. A joke. Nothing.
Your comment leads me to think about what I feel Ting could do with the concept and practice of your business. Your best customer is and will be someone like me, who wants the latest and greatest, and only wants to pay for what he/she uses. I basically just want access to a pipe, someone's, anyones. But no extra charges. You are offering that; great. The other half is getting the latest and greatest. As long as you can continue to do that (You have so far carrying the Galaxy S II, and I hope to see the Nexus 4G LTE and HTC EVO 4G LTE come soon) you will get and keep customers like me. I've done the math for someone like my father, and he is already paying AT&T only like $30-40 a month. Saving half of that isn't really a concern for someone like him, and most people I know like him would feel likewise.
Market to the users like me, and see this thing grow. Carry the phones we want, and you will continue to grow the brand.
Happy Friday the 13th,
@ Larry Press -
Hi Larry. I found this article was truly excellent at explaining the BS involved with how the major carriers (not 3rd parties like TING) play games with cell phones and making you think you own it when you do not.
I have been writing Congress members for a long time and now I always include a link to this article because I know they are mostly ignorant to technology and reality inside the 'Washington' bubble.
Well. That's why I never went with AT&T. Ugly contracts. Who can you sell your phone to for $300? Is that a company buying it for that? For me, I say $200 tops. Which leaves $300. I'm not sure how much I'm going to save, because no one answered if there are free nights and weekends. I do most of my talking then anyway. My plan is pretty affordable right now. They way I'm looking at is for a year period for amortization cause no telling what will happen in a year. So even at 300 (excluding any activation fees, if there are any), that's $25 dollars a month on top of whatever I end up paying ting a month. So if there are free nights and weekends, then I could see a competative price point and a case to make the switch. Also, how do you handle a defective phone? Does ting offer insurance, etc? Right now, I can go into my store and have my phone swapped out same day. And honestly, these phones aren't exactly the greatest with the continuous rush to market. So yah, there's a little more homework to do. But if someone could answer those questions for me, I'd appreciate it. Like I said. I'd love to get the word out, especially if it helps to grow a real rival to the current cost of contracts. But to paraphrase Futurama, there's no point if all that math is just razamataz! :)
And honestly, for individuals like me who just want to make the switch, I still think just offering a relatively reasonable fee to turn on the ESN is a good option. I know since you ride on Sprint, you have to work with them, but they already got the money for the phone purchase I have made with them, plus accessories. That's essentially free money for you guys and less inventory you have to keep on hand. That's what I call a WIn / Win.
AT&T and every other carrier has two-year contracts with high costs to break those contracts. In that way, all four companies are exactly the same. I can sell my phone for $300 to anyone who wants my phone. Currently in my area on Craigslist, about 11 of my phones are for sale ranging between $300 and $375, and there are plenty going on eBay for that amount as well. I recommend looking up what your phone is selling for on both those sites.
Keep in mind, I am not affiliated with Ting at all. Just a potential customer, once I get my ducks in a row. I believe I am right in saying, there is nothing free from Ting. No free nights and weekends, because you only pay for what you use. The difference being, right now you pay for how many daytime minutes you want, and they give you night and weekends for free. With Ting, you would not be paying for any minutes you don't use during the day, but pay for the minutes you use at night. This may not work for you, but for me it would because I have to pay for 450 daytime minutes, and last month I used only 6 total minutes day and night. Ting has a calculator that you can use you type in the minutes you talk, messages you send, and data you use to see if you would save anything.
I would assume Ting would offer the same insurance every other carrier offers - Assurion. You pay monthly, and if you lose/break your phone, you pay a deductible. I've paid $6 a month for three years, finally had to use it from a broken phone, deductible for $175 added to my next bill. That's over $400 I've paid out.
And to your last point, I don't see Sprint allowing that to happen until you've paid two years of monthly dues to pay back for the subsidized phone you bought. Then when your contract ends, you would be free to take your phone where you want.
[Moderator note]: Incorrect statements made about Ting were ruled out to avoid confusion. Also, Ting does not offer insurance from Assurion, or any other insurance carriers, although we're sure they're all nice companies to deal with.
Ben and Michael:
Man, I wish I would have heard about ting a few weeks ago. I hate the offensive cell phone plans that assume money grows from my butt and that I should be happy to give them larges sums of it. As such, I've always used a Tmo pay as you go plan and purchased whatever phone I wanted to use with said sim card.
I just purchased a GSM galaxy nexus and I'm very fond of it. My cell use is so little that $15 per month for 100mins text and data seems very resonable to me, finally.
Here is my plan: I'm willing and able to purchase a CDMA galaxy nexus and use whatever mods, tweaks and rooting (I've done it plenty of times on GSM devices) to make it work. Do you think I'd be able to use something like CDMA shop (never messed with CDMA phones before) and make it work if I were to purchase a Ting Sanyo Vero? I only care about having enough data (both in speed and allowance) so I can have emails pushed to the phone and do some quick searches on the intertubes when away from wifi.
Ting is the first company to offer what I perceive to be resonable plans for people that don't use much cell services. I really like how you allow folks to share mins/texts/data as a single resouce across multiple devices rather than the usual big cell crap.
Related note: I know a sprint branded version of the galaxy nexus is coming really soon; if there is even a chance of that coming to ting, I'd even be willing to wait for it and pay ting directly for the phone.
Ben, just for clarification -- in your original answer to the original question on this thread, you state the only way to get a non-Ting phone to work is to "...root the device and then have it register on the network using an ESN/MEID of one of our registered devices." Can you please define "one of our registered devices?" For example, is any CDMA Galaxy SII a registered device that the Ting network recognizes, or are only the Galzxy SII's in your inventory registered to work on your network?
I understand this question may have been answered earlier in the thread, but I didn't find it upon scanning the response.
Thanks for your excellent support.
I'm not going to answer many questions, because I need to make sure people know I am not a Ting employee, just a valuable servent. Ben knows everything, he will answer when he gets to it.
As far as I understand things Tom Walker, Ting must get approval from Sprint for phones before they are activated. That is why you must have a phone purchased from Ting, as Sprint won't activate a non-Ting phone. What is recommended is that you purchase a phone from Ting, and then with a bit of hacking, you can get the phone you want to use that Tint purchased ESN.
With all the phones I've used though, the only phone that Ting doesn't have that I want, is a phone not yet out. And I assume they are going to get it. For now, I must persist that if you want Ting, just go buy the Samsung Galaxy S II like I will. I'll upgrade to the HTC EVO 4G LTE like I mentioned above, if they get it.
Don't whine to me Sagi! I'm with you. The Galaxy Nexus is a great phone. And once Ting is allowed to carry it, things will be much better. For now, you might be better off just buying a cheap Ting phone and doing the hack. It makes sense for you and ... (Thinking of other good phones) ... that's about it. There isn't another phone I would buy that is currently out other than the Galaxy Nexus.
Michael's correct... it has to be a phone from us. The cellular network has a master list of ESN/MEIDs registered to us... so if you tried to use a CDMA phone that isn't in our database, it wouldn't work.
I could not have said it better than what Michael said above (dated April 13, 2012 17:42). The Galaxy nexus and/or the HTC Hero 4g LTE (Hero one X) are two phones I'd buy from you. I know I really like the GN because I have GSM version. Easy enough to sell and switch to Ting when you get those boss phones I'm after. I'm sure that is easier said than done but since they are both coming to sprint, I don't see any technical reason for sprint to deny adding those two phones to your registered ESN/MEID list.
Once I am able to get one of those phones with Ting, I'll finally feel like I can dump my land line (xfer it to Ting as main) without feeling like I've just been asked to bend over by big cell.
MVNOs like Ting and republic wireless have the right idea and I hope they stick around long enough to finally change the mobile market in this country for the better. Orange mobile has had HD calling since 2010 and I hear the difference is as striking as going from SD to 1080P blu-ray. I know the new EVO will support HD voice when it rolls out later, I wonder if the sprint galalxy nexus will as well.
Update: Just wanted to let everyone know I've changed my tune a little bit. Instead of waiting to sell my Galaxy S II and then buy a phone and pay to get out of my contract when I'm less than a year away. I've decide to buy one of Ting's hotspot devices, the Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot, and see how good my coverage is.
Sprint has just announced the Galaxy Nexus will be available the 22nd of this month. Hopefully the coming months some truly great phones will land on Ting. But until then, this seems to be a great way for me to get my feet wet.
Last update: done. Purchased device. See Ben, told you I'd sign up for something.
Best of luck everyone.
We'll take you any way we can get you, Michael. :)
Sagi: Looking forward to having you as a customer one of these days too!
I am almost ready to jump the Sprint ship! I love Sprints service and coverage. It's the best there is in my area of northern California, and the sound quality is the best there is! The problem is I am on a plan ($30 SERO plan) that does not allow me to get a good Android phone without upgrading my plan to $50 a month. I only use around 100 min. a month and around 100 texts a month and very low data usage even though I do use the internet a lot and other data apps with my Windows 6.5 phone. So when the new HTC EVO X or Samsung S3 or Samsung Note hits Ting I'm in! ...thanks
Can you expand on your lack of iPhone support? For me that's a deal breaker. I've had 2 of them so far and will be upgrading when the 5 comes out. Based on your pricing I can just about buy 2 phones, the wife has one too, for cash and make up the cost over the course of twelve months in cheaper monthly bills. I'm currently on AT&T and have jailbroken my phones and iPad. If all it takes is that, and getting the ESN/MEID that seems doable. I'm also fairly certain that the MEID is printed on the box for Sprint iPhones. I spearheaded a project at work to convert all of our Sprint Blackberrys to iPhones and when activating them have had to email that number to our Spring rep. Is there some other reason why this can't be done? And if so do you have a timeline for when this may be possible? I am very interested based on the pricing and the recommendation from Hak5. I will also be out of contract before the 5 comes out, but no iPhone means no Ting for me.
I understand how much your iPhone means to you. Currently, we don't offer iPhones ourselves and if we don't have a device's serial number loaded into the network, it means it won't activate. Sorry about that.
How about allowing us to send in supported devices to Ting to be ported onto the network for our accounts?? I am an existing Sprint customer. My contract is up in June. I use a Motorola Photon 4G (a Ting device) and I have no intention of spending $500 again to get the same device (or any device). I would be totally happy sending my phone into Ting along with a nominal "processing fee" and have it programmed to work properly on a Ting account. This may help with customer acquisition as well.
Just a thought - especially for those masses not ready to re program phones with software like CDMA Workshop.
I just learned about Ting from the Critical Path podcast. http://5by5.tv/criticalpath/34. I'm glad you guys sponsored the show, Ting seems to have a very disruptive business model.
I want to encourage Ting to do whatever you can to get the iPhone. Like most 5by5 listeners, I feel very strongly about iOS and won't accept any replacement. If someone else manages to create a better mobile/family/multimedia ecosystem I'll consider switching, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
I've been shopping around for cheaper monthly smartphone plans, and the best deal I had found was T-Mobile's prepaid 4G Monthly stuff. Even T-Mobile's prepaid pricing costs more than I think it should, but it is less than the alternatives. That was until I found Ting! Ting is exactly what I've been looking for! I pay full price for the phone, and actually pay a reasonable price for what I use each month. The only catch ... no iPhone. :(
One question. I know the Sprint iPhone has an unlocked SIM card (or Sprint will unlock the SIM for you, whatever). This allows you to use any GSM SIM card while traveling. If Ting did offer the iPhone, would the unlocked GSM thing work the same way?
Is what Chad suggested possible from a technical perspective? If you guys were to receive a Sprint phone, would it be as simple as adding code do your database or would it involve much more work?
Chad is suggesting that we do the rooting/hacking of the device for users who might not inclined to do so (for technical reasons or otherwise).
Chad: It's an interesting idea although there's just too much involved. We're happy to promote hacking a device to those who are capable and willing to invest the time and effort. That's quite a bit different from ACTUALLY doing it ourselves and then having to support it after the fact.
I can't comment on that question since your asking about how something would would on a device we don't offer. But I can tell you that with the Motorola Photon, it does work this way. The Photon is a world phone and supports both CDMA and GSM. If you were to travel outside of the US, you could pop in another carrier's SIM card and the phone would work just fine. However, you would not be able to do this with another carrier in the US (the phone won't use another domestic carrier's GSM network).
"Chad: It's an interesting idea although there's just too much involved. We're happy to promote hacking a device to those who are capable and willing to invest the time and effort. That's quite a bit different from ACTUALLY doing it ourselves and then having to support it after the fact."
Well, since a Sprint phone already works on the network, is it not as simple as getting my ESN (MSID, whatever) into your billing system? I'm not totally sure how the MVNO process works but since I can change devices at will with Sprint by simply entering a new MSID through the web portal, is that not technically possible with Ting?
A couple follow up questions:
There's more to it that just adding it to our billing system, yes. The ESN/MEID (aka the serial number) must be injected to the network. This happens when we purchase our devices and we're not setup to add new devices that weren't purchased from Ting. So there are technical reasons and business reasons for why we don't support this today. Believe me... we'd really like to do this someday and we're working towards it.
Regarding your questions:
We don't charge anything extra for tethering and I'm not sure what you would have to do differently with your 4G device to get it to work. You may want to ask this question in our Hacks section.
Yes, you can port your number after the fact. That's called a 'port swap'. You'd have to call Customer Service to get that started for you though (we don't have the capability built into ting.com yet).
Have a great weekend!-Ben
Ben, thanks for the clear answer and that makes sense. It looks like the MVNOs have their hands tied in this regard by Sprint more than anything else. Maybe someone will do a very nice step by step "hack" using CDMA Workshop with screen grabs to show us new users how to get a Sprint phone onto the Ting network. I suppose it is different for each phone but we can start the how-to after the root is complete. There are a whole lot of screens full of numbers when you look at the CDMA software. Makes one a little nervous without a good step by step!
Perhaps I'll play with an old HTC Evo 4G and try it out.
Does Ting have access to the new Sprint LTE network if you were to "hack" a LTE phone over?? I'd really like to use the Galaxy Nexus as my primary phone when I move to Ting.
I'm confused. It seems that other people are able to get your their serial numbers and you can activate them. Does that not work the same for iPhones? I am able to get the IMEI from the phone. I also have several available that I can jailbreak and test if we need additional info.
Nobody has given us a serial number to activate... what you're probably reading about is customers hacking a CDMA phone they already own, and using the serial number from a *Ting* device to get it activated it on the network.
I'm not sure if there's any customers our there with an iPhone working on Ting. You could always ask that question in our Hacks section though!
I have a rooted Sprint HTC EVO 4g I really like the phone and after reading all the questions and comments on if it could be on your network I would just like to say i hope by the time i am ready to switch down the road that you will be able to add the information from my rooted EVO and add me to the network. Yes i do realize that probably by the time i am ready that I will be ready for a new phone but then again maybe not. Thanks for providing all the info in this forum.
On April 9, Ben said: " The only thing I would add is that we're not making any money on the phones. We actually sell them slightly below our cost." How is it that Virgin Mobile can sell the LG Optimus V at $130? Note that Sprint lists the no contract price for the Optimus S at $300. The two devices are essentially the same. Please understand that given your rate structure, I wouldn't mind paying a few dollars more for the same device in order to avoid one of the major carrier's oppressive long term contracts. However, if Ting is selling their devices at a loss, they should try to drive a better bargain on their purchase.
Good question, I will try and provide some possible answers!
Ting sells the Optimus S for $170, which depending on your perspective, might be considered "a few dollars more" than $130 @ Virgin.
Virgin may be subsidizing their devices more than we are based on their service pricing, or as part of their marketing spend.
The $130 price is lower than it was in the past (at some point it was $150), and it may be the case that they were liquidating the last of their inventory. Their site is currently showing that is is not currently available.
You might be able to find a Ting promotion (like our refer a friend promotion, see https://ting.com/blog/ting-refer-a-friend-program-goes-live/ ) that helps bridge the gap as well.
I hope that helps!
Ben - your participation in this thread, and seeing how open and customer-friendly Ting is compared to others (an official "Hacks" forum, selling phones contract-free and below cost?) just made me a customer. I have to shake this Verizon ball'n chain first, but Ting is getting my money before any other carrier.
I've been a long-time Hover user - finding a carrier that's run the same way as Hover is a dream come true :)
Benjamin: Thanks for your kind words!
Ben would have thanked you himself, but he is on (a well-deserved) vacation at the moment. Can't wait to have you onboard, and thanks again for your support in general.
Do you guys have phones w/ SIM cards?
No SIM Cards on any of the Ting phones.
They're CDMA not GSM.
BUT.... technically you can "use your own phone with the TING SIM" by simply going through the process with another CDMA phone like a sprint, metropcs or verizon phone:https://help.ting.com/entries/21256192-nexus-s-on-ting-working
Thought I'd update Ting folks on my path to Ting here. I'm an avid IOS user (because Android is out of the question) but didn't want to keep paying $95 to Sprint every month. So I moved my phone numbers to Line2 / Toktumi and plan on making mobile calls through an LTE iPad. I'm not thrilled about this situation because I like to go on long distance cycling trips and will not be carrying my iPad around like that, but alas, I'm really tired of paying through the nose for a phone that I barely use.
It's possible that I will buy the Kyocera for bicycle emergencies or drinking adventures because I can forward calls to it from Line2 and it will be transparent for others that need to reach me. At $6 a month, it's a pretty good backup.
It's going to be an interesting experiment!
Brian: You can use Line2 on the iPod Touch (4th Gen). It would be a little easier to carry on those bicycle trips. Better yet, get an AT&T iPhone 3GS or 4 that has been unlocked. Get a T-Mobile pay as your go sim card and add $100 which will get you a little over 1100 minutes and last for a full year (and make you one of their Gold members) As a Gold member, you minutes will last for one full year (unless you use them first), and can carry over for another full year so long as you add a minimum amount before the expiration date. Add the Line2 app and voila! Look over both plans carefully. You will find that you can have virtually unlimited phone as well as T-Mobile for a backup for about $11 per month. Of course, your 3g data service will be nonexistent. However, there is something on the horizon to cover that as well.
I have been a Toktumi customer for over 3 years. I initially subscribed to their service to acquire a relateively inexpensive toll free number for incoming calls. That service includes the Line2 service, so shortly after Toktumi released the Line2 app, I added it to my iPhone. I have been very satisfied with their service.
David: That's an awesome suggestion and exactly what I needed, thank you!
As it turns out, I had a lonely first gen iPhone flopping around and had already done the AT&T liberation. Never knew why it wouldn't give me the a-ok from iTunes, but did as soon as I fed it the T-Mobile SIM. (It's amazing how slow the old phone is!)
Anyway, this combination works absolutely as desired -- Routing through Line2, I can have calls forwarded to me, the correct Caller ID to the recipient if I have to make a call, and the phone in my pocket is synced for calendar and contacts. Because it's a really old phone, I don't have most of my apps, but because there's no data anyway, it hardly matters.
Thank you kindly for this suggestion!!
Brian: Remember, there is something on the horizon for relatively inexpensive date. However, it may require an iPhone 4 (or 4S). So, keep an eye out for a good used iPhone 4 to replace your antique. Line2 uses very little data. I make almost all my calls over my Line2 app, even on nights and weekends when AT&T minutes are free. I have never even come close to using 2GB of data in any month. Of course, my iPhone 3S automatically switches to wifi when I am in range of an accessible signal.
Yes, it's great advice. I'll be using my LTE iPad for everything, and when I'm carrying it, won't be carrying the old iPhone. The iPad also acts as a wifi hotspot for my laptop, which is also very helpful.
Who knows what's coming next week with regard to Apple devices. Should be interesting. (LTE iPod Touch would be cool, but I'm not holding my breath).
Like all revolutions, Ting is at the forefront of one, but devices are key. I'm eager to support them as soon as possible!
Just one quick question. I am not sure if its been answered earlier in this thread or in the "Hacks" forum. is cloning the ESN a federal crime? I've been reading on different forums and there appears to be some confusion over this. I would love to pick up something like the Samsun Galaxy SIII and hack it and bring it over to Ting, but I'd rather not get into trouble over this. I know Ben stated that customers have done this, that does not clarify whether its legal however. Any answers would be appreciated.
Straight Talk allows one to bring an AT&T phone to their service and will replace the SIM with their SIM for $15. Then for $45/month one gets Unlimited Calls, Messages and Data. So, if you're out of contract with AT&T, you're all set. There's good news and bad news: the good news is it's the AT&T network. The bad news is it's the AT&T network. If you have good service w/ AT&T, and likely bad connections w/ Sprint, it might be a good choice.
Ting needs to figure out how to allow phones now on Sprint to access Ting's service. There's competition out there.
I would be much more likely to sign up if I could save money by buying a used device elsewhere!
I think it's been answered already, the reason we can't right now is because Sprint is not allowing Ting to import ESN/MEID's other than the ones given/sold to them by Sprint, correct?
Also, I noticed there's a new slider available now but the midrange non-slider is gone - will there be another midrange non-slider coming? Preferably an HTC or Samsung?
Ben, I just saw a friend's Ting phone and it has "Sprint" written on it. I have a Galaxy 4SII from Sprint. Shouldn't I be able to use this phone with Ting since they are already the same network?
A phone needs to already be in Ting's database to be used with Ting.
Your phone would be in Sprint's database. Many users here think Sprint may be restricting Ting to only be able to use phones sold by Ting.
Melissa, if I've understood the flow of conversation correctly then all you would need is to purchase a cheap Ting handset and then hack your Sprint phone to match the ESD/MEID from your Ting handset.
I'm sorry everyone, but I need to beat the dead horse......as a VERY cell phone illiterate person, the way I understand everything, I MUST buy a phone from Ting in order to use the service, correct? So, if I was to find a phone on EBay, (or some other similar website) would I, or would I not be able to purchase and activate it?
Second, would Ting ever consider a plan where you pay extra the first 2-6 months for that bitchin phone that is just too much money to hand over all at one time? Obviously, there would have to be a credit card involved so that if the account were to be canceled the phone would automatically be paid for.
My last question, is about said bitchin phones......If I called and asked would customer service be able to tell me if you are getting new phones in within a couple of weeks of my call? The big prepaid company I am with now, wouldn't tell me and I ended up with a phone I don't care for, 2 weeks before they released one I would have loved to have had. VERY frustrating!
you MUST buy a Ting phone, yes. There are ways to hack a phone but I think this is outside of your expertise - it's also risky.
Ting doesn't seem to offer any payment plan currently, but you could get a 0% intro APR credit card. Check SlickDeals or another deal site for those.
Bitchin' upcoming phones? Check the blog. There is also the used Photon and the just-back-in-stock HTC Detail. https://ting.com/blog/
Ting's stock of phones seems to be very variable and unpredictable. They have not offered the HTC Detail phone for many weeks and many people here assumed it was discontinued. They now offer it again, but I was told they have less than 20 units in stock.
I decided to but two instead of risking them being out of stock again if I delayed ordering the second phone.
I doubt Ting could give advance notice on when phones are expected in stock.
When are you going to have the galaxy s3? My company is switching to ting in august, will you have it by then? and any idea on the price?
If I recall correctly. in the comments on the device update entry at https://ting.com/blog/device-update Scott estimated that they may have the Galaxy S3 by October.
Unfortunately, Ting's blog comment system has been broken for several days so we cannot currently access those comments.
Hey Bruce, you're correct... we're hoping to have the S3 by October... nothing firm yet though.
As for the blog comments: We're using Disqus and from what I understand they released a new version that's broken our implementation. We're working with their support team to get everything sorted out. Sorry about that.
Is there any chance that you will be getting the Samsung Galaxy S III 64GB? I would definitely be interested is having the larger internal drive (even though that all of the S III's can be expanded with up to an additional 64GB via the MicroSD slot). Right now I am waiting for Ting to offer an LTE device.
Any chance that you guys might also be able to bring the HTC One to the party? I think thats actually the best Android phone in the market today.
The One X is an AT&T product. The One S is a T-Mobile product. The EVO 4G LTE (Sprint) is similar to the One's, but it has a MicroSD slot.
I understand that and also understand that its a fairly silly name thing that Sprints forced on HTC. The HTC One series is a global thing and only on Sprint does it have a different name - anyways if Ting can get the EVO 4g LTE then that would be awesome. WIth both the Samsung S3 and the EVO they'd have a winning lineup.
Actually, Ting would also need to add a high end slider to create a fully winning lineup.
Wow. I just checked to see how much I would save by switching and I was blown away. Currently I'm with Sprint. I would absolutely JUMP to Ting if I could bring my EVO 3D with me or if Ting had a current device or two (EVO 4G LTE, One X, etc...). Hopefully something will change in this regard soon. Good job, on the service TuCows (I'm also a Hover customer and have been a fan of/follower of TuCows from way back).
Ting has had the Motorola Photon and the HTC Detail (EVO Shift 4G) If you are patient, they may reappear. I just activated my HTC Detail on Ting.
Perhaps Ting support can govre you some idea of which of those phones they have on order.
It would be really sweet if I could buy a Razr Maxx and bring it here ....
So Ben, are there any plans in the works for Ting to carry any ruggedized phones? I don't need my phone to do a whole lot, or very often. But given the work I do, I don't much want to buy a phone that can't handle getting stepped on, or nibbled by a critter, or dropped in the stock tank. And while my husband is quite a computer geek, I'm not sure he could root a feature phone. I've signed up for your device updates, so I'll be looking for a ruggedized option! (I don't have a cell phone at all right now, because other than Ting the plans are all crap, and I can't see paying good money for a phone I'll just have to leave in the house most of the time anyhow.)
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