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2G, 3G, 4G and LTE Data

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Last updated by Suzanne Thomas

1. Where can I see what kind of 3G, 4G and LTE coverage Ting offers?

Click here for the available coverage for 3G, 4G and LTE on our CDMA network.

Click here for the available coverage for 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE on our GSM network.

 

2. What is the difference between 3G, 4G and LTE on the CDMA network?

In a word:  speed. 4G LTE is faster than 4G Wimax and both are faster than 3G. Here are the speeds you can generally expect with each:

Data Connection 4G LTE 4G (WiMax) 3G
Upload 2-3 Mbps Up to 1.5 Mbps 350-500 Kbps
Download 6-8 Mbps 3-6 Mbps 600 Kbps - 1.4 Mbps
Peak 25 Mbps More than 10 Mbps 3.1 Mbps

 

 

3. What is the difference between 2G, 3G and 4G LTE on the GSM network?

Like with the CDMA network, the difference is speed. Here are the speeds you can generally expect with each:

 

2G + voice and text

 

3G

 

4G (LTE)

GSM/EDGE

UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+

LTE

GSM 1900MHz (PCS)

1700/2100MHz (AWS)

1700/2100MHz (AWS)

 

Band IV*

Band 4*

Up to 128Kbps

Up to 21Mbps HSPA

Up to 42Mbps HSPA+

Up to 150Mbps

 

 

4. If I have a 3G device, can I access the 4G network?

No. Your ability to access the network depends on your device's capability.

On the CDMA network a 3G device can access the 3G network, a 4G Wimax device can access the regular 4G network and an LTE device can access the 4G LTE network. If you're in area where 4G Wimax is available and your phone is an LTE device then your phone will bump down to access the 3G network instead and the same goes for 3G Wimax phones in an LTE network area. The same principle applies for GSM devices.

 

5. If I have a feature phone, what kind of data am I getting?

This depends on the phone, so you'd need to check the phone's specifications to be sure. However many feature phones support at least 2G data, if not 3G.

 

6. How will I know if LTE coverage comes to my area?

Both our CDMA and GSM coverage maps will be updated as more areas get LTE coverage.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Michael Sweeney

    The coverage map link above appears to be dead. I am curious to know how data and voice roaming works WITHIN the US:

      - Is voice roaming truly free when in a non-Sprint area? Does this include texts?

      - Is US data roaming allowed? And is there a charge for data roaming in the US?

    Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi Michael, I fixed it... thanks. 

    Yes, voice roaming is available outside of our carriers network in CDMA areas across the U.S.

    No, we do not currently support domestic data roaming within the U.S.

    Hope this helps!

    -Ben

  • Avatar
    Jon Steinich

    Are there any plans to add data roaming in the US?

    Thanks

  • Avatar
    Conrad Eggan

    According to the coverage map I would have good voice and data coverage near my home near Minneapolis. My concern is that I travel in South Dakota frequently and that shows no data or data roaming in the state. Does that mean I'll have nothing more than voice - no text, email or other data at all? Or does it mean that I'll have data but pay extra for the roaming? If so where can I find the cost for that?

    Thanks

  • Avatar
    Conrad Eggan

    Given the lack of response I have to assume data is not available in roaming areas even at extra cost. Looks like I'll have no choice but to stay with Verizon...

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi Conrad, sorry for the delay, we missed your earlier question.

    We don't currently offer data roaming, even if you were willing to pay for it. Since data roaming costs are most expensive by a factor of 10, we're unable to absorb the cost of data roaming. We weren't willing to trade billing simplicity for coverage. 

    Sorry about that!

    -Ben 

  • Avatar
    Conrad Eggan

    Thanks Ben, that's what I thought and I understand you cannot absorb the cost. If it were available to me at an extra cost then I would have to consider the overall cost of your plan with normal data plus roaming data costs when I'm in those areas Vs the Verizon plan. Thanks for the response, I'll check back from time to time.

  • Avatar
    Daniel Green

    I flashed a Sprint Epic 4G to Ting using a Sanyo Vero as a donor phone. Whenever I enter a 4G area and open the browser, I'm taken to the Sprint 4G portal where I'm asked to pay for 4G.  Is there a switch on your end that you can flip to give me 4G access? Can you also turn on the wi-fi hotspot? I do not have this option in my device profile (presumably because the Sanyo Vero doesn't support this feature).

    Thanks in advance.

    -Dan

  • Avatar
    Daniel Green

    I wanted to post Ting's response in order to stop someone from making the same mistake I did. Hope this helps somebody.

    Hello Dan,

    The Sanyo Vero only had 3G and does not offer hotspot services so these options can not be enabled. In order to have these services, then you would need a phone with equivalent services.

    If you have additional questions, please let me know.

  • Avatar
    Alex Fielding

    Hi, I was wondering too. I know you do voice & text roaming . BUT, I have the pinger app ( can call and text for free; limited to wifi) on my itouch. Would my phone capabilities count for roaming perposes on the smartphones?!

  • Avatar
    Mike Shepherd

    For those who are worried about the lack of data roaming or data in the areas they travel I found a solution that may help. I can purchase a 4G tablet on Verizon and get a 2GB data plan for $30/month that has great coverage to get emails, internet, etc. Then I can basically use the phone just for calling, texting with some data. The best thing is I know I will have my data covered when traveling outside of the data coverage area. 

    You can also turn off the 4G coverage on the tablet if you know you won't need it. I don't know how often you can turn on/off the coverage but even with an extra $30/month I would still save money going to Ting. This looks like the route I'm going to go here real soon.

  • Avatar
    Mike Shepherd

    I wanted to add something to my last comment. You can always use "wifi spots" to get your data in areas without coverage and not buy a different device and/or data plan with another carrier. I guess it depends on when you need to have your data and how much you are willing to spend.

  • Avatar
    Joe Paparella

    I think you guys are doing a bang-up job, HOWEVER, sometimes when your in the system you cant see the simple problems that others (newbies) will have.  For example. I have been on Ting a couple of months now (3 phones already) and was in the process of ordering another when I ran across these posts.  You should make such issues MUCH clearer than this.  For example, 99.9% of the people with cell phones have come to expect data roaming (save T-Mobile users, and that is one reason why they are suffering).  So, to find out know that you do not offer data roaming is a BIG deal.  No excuses necessary, and yes I get all the reasons why, what I am saying is you uneed to be more/make it more obvious to those that are just comming in, of these issues/limitations so that we can make our minds up, before we purchase $600 phones, to bo so limited.  I suggest that such limitations (known) be made explicit.

  • Avatar
    Trevor Talbot

    I'm curious where you would want that described, as in how Ting could make that more explicit. The coverage map has a checkbox to see the data area, which matches its non-roaming status. For every other carrier and MVNO I've seen, the map is the biggest interface for the coverage and roaming status of their components. (The only other indicator is usually the fine print on roaming charges, or the one that describes how they'll be unhappy if you use too much data while roaming.)

    Customers coming from the prepaid arena are used to no roaming in general, but I understand you're coming from the contract arena, which also seems to be Ting's main target market.

    Or put another way, where would you look for this information as a newbie? (Keeping in mind newbies generally aren't aware of the concept of domestic roaming in the first place.)

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Joe,

    There is no excuse, just the fact that has been stated that data roaming is ten times the cost of local data and permitting that would go against Ting's simple billing philosophy.

    If data roaming is that big of an issue for you, then perhaps Ting is not a good fit for you. I would not want to pay higher rates just so a few other people could have data roaming.

    If you decide you want to move on, call Ting support. They may be able to make the transition smoother for you, although with 3 phones it looks like you committed to Ting without researching these known limitations.

    There are no excuses from Ting and none needed. Somebody (you) just did not do proper research first. I know that back in May & June, I was able to find the information and knew the limitations before I ordered my first Ting phone. I doubt that information is hidden now.

  • Avatar
    Michael Whitman

    Hi Joe,

    Indeed there is no data roaming services available by Ting which helps us keep our costs down for you as a subscriber. Having data roaming services would cost Ting and in turn yourself which would increase prices and raising prices is not something that we're motivated to do.

    With Wifi networks becoming more common in coffee shops, Airports and even some malls it is becoming easier to access data services when you may not have data access available. With using us for a little over a month so far and using data services already, is it that you expect to be in roaming areas while traveling that may not have the data access that you would need? We'll be happy to do what we can for you if you would like to email us at help@ting.com if you think that having no data roaming is going to be a deal breaker for you.

    We'd also like to hear your suggestions because if there is even one person mentioning something, it can help to answer the question for someone else as well. Send us an email, we'd love to hear the suggestions as we want to be as open about our services as possible.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    To add to what Mike says, sometimes relying on Wi-Fi for data can be a good thing.

    I will be leaving shortly to spend the holidays in Canada. I plan on doing just like i did in August. I will depend on voice & text and only use hotel Wi-Fi for data. If I had stayed with Sprint, I would have over 60 cents per minute voice surcharge. Ting's charge is only 15 cents. I choose not to use data because I cannot justify a 50 cent per meg surcharge. There is no surcharge for text messages in Canada on Ting.

  • Avatar
    Kyle Eickhoff

    I am excited to be on Ting now but the lack of data roaming is a concern for me.  There is an area that I travel through occasionally that is 2.5 hours with no Sprint towers.  The only reason why I would need data during those jaunts is to receive MMS messages from work.  That is pretty crucial for me.  Many of my colleagues have iPhones and for some reason their messages usually only come through as MMS.  Also, the MMS don't seem to come over wifi at all.  I only have one bar of Sprint reception at home and usually the MMS come through but sometimes they don't, even with wifi on.

    It would be nice to have an option to use data roaming even if I had to pay something like $.25-$.50 per MB--at least as long as I could control that data roaming which the phone seems to have good controls for built in already.

    As an alternative, it would be really GREAT if Ting could somehow alert me via sms when I have an mms.  At least then I could call and find out what's going on.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    As Ben and Mike have stated in this thread, roaming data is not even being considered. MMS must, by design use data, either cellular or Wi-Fi.  If roaming MMS is an absolute requirement for you, Ting is not youe wireless solution. There are many other carriers that offer data roaming. Of course, they charge more than Ting too.

  • Avatar
    Joe Paparella

    Since you asked:

    1)  I would, either on the home page, or a clear link thereto, a section describing (as you call them) all these "known" issues.  Rather than expecting the customer to search out such issues, just give it to them, up front, clear, and highly visible.  That was the intent of the posting and I must say, you guys seem a bit "protectionistic" in your response (e.g., you stated that "I did not do proper research first",  to that I say - I should have NOT have to research such issues as that makes Ting as bad as ATT/Verizon/Sprint/TMobile (small print).  I have come to expect better from Tucows (On the domain side) and this is the ONLY reason I tried this service.  Maybe I should rethink that???).  I get the issue, all we are saying is that it needs to be more visible/open than it is; 

    2) dont use FULL names on blog postings, it sends a message that your not conecerned with your clients privacy;

    3) Boost is a prepay and they have data roaming (at least that is what they told me)?  So I am not sure about the statement that this is routine in the prepaid arena;

    Thx.

  • Avatar
    Joe Paparella

    One last comment - try to get a link from this site (support), directly, back to the actual Ting site.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Sorry, Joe ( with his full name)

    You must call Ting for official support. I am just a happy Ting customer (since June 2012) who tries to help others by sharing my experience & knowledge.

    Ting support is only open during weekdays although sometimes Ting staff respond tp forum ostings at other times.

  • Avatar
    Rob Lake

    Hi Joe,

    I can assure that in no way have we had any intention of hiding that data roaming is not an option with us, and as Mike said, if the lack of data roaming means that we're not the right option for you, please get in touch with us so we can see how to make that exit as graceful as possible.

    We absolutely appreciate your feedback, and while I think that most of us over here believed that including the coverage map and allowing a potential customer to compare roaming and voice coverage areas was enough, maybe it's not and we need to make that distinction even more visible.

  • Avatar
    Trevor Talbot

    Joe, I'm responding to your points not to argue or defend, just to try to get clarification:

    In regard to posting known issues on the home page, I'm still left wondering how you would want this particular one expressed in simple terms. In my experience, newbies do not understand the concept of roaming in general, and the map would seem the logical place to go for questions about coverage area, which is the underlying reason to talk about roaming. What process did you go through when evaluating Ting? How did you come to understand that Ting supported any kind of roaming in the first place? What series of steps resulted in this unpleasant surprise later?

    I see Kyle's MMS problem being something that should be called out explicitly, as it's not obvious to people that MMS requires data (unlike SMS), but I just don't understand what would better express data coverage than a map.

    In regard to Boost Mobile and data roaming, they probably answered using the doublespeak about "on-network roaming". That basically means you can leave your immediate geographical service area, and you'll still get service as long as you're connecting to Sprint-owned cells. (Back in the day, there used to be restrictions on geographical area, just like landline service has the concept of domestic long distance.) Boost most definitely does not support roaming to any other network (AKA "off-network roaming") for anything, whether voice, text, or data.

    The major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) all offer roaming on their contract service. Their prepaid divisions (Verizon Prepaid, AT&T GoPhone, Boost and Virgin Mobile) are all restricted to the networks they directly own and do not offer roaming, with the exception of T-Mobile Prepaid's limited roaming arrangements. Of the MVNOs that ride on top of these carriers, the only ones I'm aware of that offer any kind of roaming are Tracfone, Straight Talk, NET10, Page Plus, Solavei, Republic Wireless, and Ting. Solavei does data roaming, I believe Tracfone offers data roaming under certain conditions (not that you'd ever want to try to use data on a Tracfone), and I can't verify Republic Wireless's and NET10's stances. None of the others support data roaming, just voice and text.

    If I'm understanding your comment about the site link correctly, I think putting the main site's navbar on this one would help.

  • Avatar
    Kyle Eickhoff

    Bruce,

    Yep. You're correct.  However, as Mike also said, they love hearing customer suggestions.  

    Here's to hoping.

  • Avatar
    Bogdan Szuta

    Ting has been always very clear on the lack of data roaming.  Ting is NOT for a heaving data users, or... average data users, if you live in SF Bay Area and have no WinMax phone. Data coverage simply sucks balls.  Having said that however, this is NOT the reason for being here. This service is fantastic for users that do not use cell phone much. Moving from Verizon to Ting saved me (on average) $65 a month.Yes, I had the "unlimited" data plan that was not so unlimited, as everybody know, and my monthly usage never acceded 100MB... Total waste of money. 

    I don't know how my data usage is going to change when LTE finally arrives in my area, but so far... I do not miss it too much. I do love my Galaxy S3, which runs like a champ on WiFi network, but the smartphone functionality is way under utilized. I spend most of my web browsing on my iPad.  Having LTE phone with no network to supported is a little bit aggravating. If Sprint doesn't move to LTE in most of their markets, they will go down in a hurry. 

    One thing, I am waiting for the Windows 8 phone, and probably will get it when it arrives to Ting. The only wish I have is that Ting moves to ATT network, so the phones would be compatible wit the rest of the world.  Oh well. Maybe in 1-2 years. ?

  • Avatar
    Rob Lake

    Hey Bogdan,

    I hope LTE expands into your area soon and you can start taking full advantage of your new LTE phone :)

    In terms of our plans for where to take the network, we're really happy with our current network provider and all of the improvements they've committed to right now. That includes their focus on growing LTE, network expansion and providing BYOD options to Ting and other MVNOs.

    If anything is set to change with that in the future, be sure that we'll make a great, big announcement of it.

  • Avatar
    Emmett Hoops

    You just can't win in cell phone world.  Nationwide, Verizon has the best coverage overall.  But I hate Verizon and they're expensive.  AT&T has a great 4G network in my state (but not where I live) but they have terrible customer service.  Sprint allows MVNOs like Ting and Virgin to use the network -- but the network is terrible.  Try driving around New York State and you'll see what I mean. 

    So I have this neat-o Galaxy 2 phone, but I sure don't have to worry about going over my data limit: the only place I can connect to the Sprint network in my part of New York is at home.  But at home I have wifi.  At this point, I'm so disheartened at spending 90% of my working day in a place with no data coverage, and I'd think about ditching Ting if I hadn't spent a fortune on my phone.  Live and learn. 

    I just won an iPad (yay for me!) and it has data coverage.  For $20 a month, I can connect to the Verizon data network.  I downloaded Skype on my iPad, and I can easily make Skype calls just about anywhere around here, including at work.  I have to keep my data under 1GB, which I have no problem doing.  If the iPad can have cheap data, why not Ting?  I just don't get it.  When my Galaxy 2 croaks, I might just ditch the cell phone idea altogether and rely on my iPad for mobile communications.  It's not pocket sized, but what the hell: I hate carrying cell phones in my shirt pocket anyway.

  • Avatar
    Rob Lake

    Emmet, there is unquestionably enormous variation in the strengths and weaknesses of different networks across these United States. 

    With that said, I'm sorry you're in an area where our's isn't right for you. I assure you we wish it was.

    As to your question about data costs, it's really no more complicated than that is just what data costs. As you know, we don't own our own network, and there are fees we pay to use it. Our data costs are quite reflective of that.

    I wish I could do more for you, but hey, congratulations on winning that iPad.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Perhaps Zact has a data roaming agreement with Verizon. Notice that Verizon is one of the Zact investors.

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