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Troubleshooting Data on GSM Devices


Last updated by Christian Robinette

If you're having trouble getting a data connection on your phone, here are a few quick and easy troubleshooting tips that might get you up and running again.

Check that data is available in your area

If you're roaming, data won't be available. To make sure that data is available where you are, plug your address into our coverage map and check your data coverage.

A "no service" area will show up in white. If using an exact address you will also be shown the available bands/frequencies as well as the relative strength of these signals.


Confirm that your phone number is active.

If you're able to make calls and send/receive texts, then it's probably a good indicator that your phone number is active. To confirm this, go to the Device settings page in your account and check that the Status of your device is listed as "active".


Confirm that data is enabled on your account.

To confirm that data is enabled on your account, go to the device settings page for your phone and make sure that "Can use data" is "Enabled". If there is no edit icon at the top of the Megabytes section (i.e. you can't update your data settings) then the number is not active.


Confirm that data is enabled on your phone.

To find the data setting on your phone, the pathways below will work in most cases:

Android:  Settings > More > Mobile networks >  Mobile Data
iOS:  Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data
Windows:  Settings > Cellular > Data

If you've got a feature phone, you can check that data is set to "on" here:

Settings > Others > Data (or Data Settings) > Data

Check your APN settings.

If the APN settings are not properly configured on your phone you may not be able to get data. To check if you have the right APN settings, click here and then choose your device from the list.

Check what kind of data your phone is trying to access.

It is possible that the network mode on your phone is on a setting that won't allow it to pick up data. If you're in the US and you have a 3G or 4G WiMAX phone, your network mode should be set to CDMA or Automatic. If you're in the US and you have an LTE phone, it should be set to LTE/CDMA or Automatic. If you're traveling, it will depend on your location and whether you're using a CDMA or GSM network. If you're in a GSM area (i.e. your phone was unlocked for international use), your network mode should be set to GSM/UTMS.

Power cycle or soft reset your phone.

Shut your phone down by holding and pressing the power button on a smartphone, or the Call End button on a feature phone. If you have a removable battery, remove it for about 30 seconds after you've shut the phone down. Then reinsert the battery and power the phone back up.

Confirm that third-party apps are not interfering with your data connection.

Some third-party apps may interfere with your data connection. You should remove:

  • Any launchers or home screen apps such as Nova or Apex
  • Any apps that you downloaded around the time the problem started.
  • Any downloaded battery saver apps.

Get in touch.

If none of these tips have gotten you up and running, then it's time to get in touch so we can help. Please be sure to let us know what you've done already so we know where to pick up. 


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  • Avatar
    Jose Lefebre

    Got my Sprint Galaxy S4 data to work by changing the network mode to CDMA.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne


    This article is preparing for the roll-out of Ting phone service on a GSM network.

    You are currently using Ting on Sprint's CDMA network. the CDMA mode works for you now, but would not work for a Ting GSM customer once this service is active.

    There are currently a small handful of people testing this service to verify the needed features as they are implemented. There will then be an expanded beta testing phase before this service is widely offered.

  • Avatar
    Reece Johnson

    Have GS3 from tmobile... when coming off wifi the data connection fails to reestablish. Airplane mode doesnt fix it, changing network settings doesn't fix it, but rebooting fixes it every time. i get cell bars, but 4G symbol is gone. Any suggestions?

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Reece,

    Did you already try re-adding the Ting APN settings to your device? Feel free to submit a help request if your issue persists.

  • Avatar
    Kenneth Rubotzky

    My refurbished Ting Samsung Galaxy S3 (04/2015) couldn't get data. This article helped me understand that there was a Ting Account setting to switch on data usage. I guess the default for a new device is Disabled. Logged in, found my device, 'edited' the device, looked for the option and sure enough the switch was disabled. Enabling it got me going.

  • Avatar
    Kathy L. Dalton

    Might add one item to the troubleshooting article for ios: check that "use cellular data for safari" is turned on

  • Avatar
    Brian McLellan

    That's a great idea, Kathy! We'll look into seeing about getting that added!

  • Avatar
    Alexander Rodriguez

    Step 6 fixed it for me. Thanks!