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Mobile Coverage Area - Ting Coverage and Roaming Coverage

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Last updated by Suzanne Thomas

1. Which areas are available for service?

Ting offers coverage across the United States. Please check our coverage maps to see your coverage, we suggest using an exact address for the most accurate results:

CDMA coverage map

GSM coverage map

If you don't know which network your device operates on, please use our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) checker:

BYOD Checker

2. I've been told I'm in a "fair" or "satisfactory" coverage area; what does that mean?

This means you're in an area where we have fewer towers and you may experience weaker reception at times.

If you're in a fair coverage area using a CDMA device, and experience frequent reception issues, a signal booster like an Airave may be a good solution for getting good, solid signal.

3. Does my device type affect my coverage?

Yes. Certain phones and devices will have a stronger antenna than others, which will definitely play a role in the signal strength you receive.

4. I'm with a carrier on another network; will my coverage be the same if I make the move to Ting?

Not necessarily. You should definitely check our coverage maps and/or these third party coverage maps: Sensorly, RootMetrics, and Open Signal.

5. I'm in an area with no coverage. Can I sign up for Ting?

Unfortunately, there are some areas in the USA where we're unable to provide service. If your address falls outside of our coverage area, you will be unable to sign up for Ting.  If you are in a roaming area it is possible to get service, but the device will need to connect to a Ting tower in a coverage area in order to activate.

6. What does "roaming" mean?

"Roaming" is the word that's used when you're not using our towers to access the cellular network. When you're roaming, you're using another carrier's towers.  You can check where you would generally be roaming here.

7. How will I know that I'm roaming?

A roaming notification will generally appear at the top of your phone (in the same area that shows your signal strength and battery life). This is often triangle, the letter "R" or just the word Roaming.

8. Am I charged for domestic roaming?

No! With Ting, domestic voice roaming is free, so if you're in a roaming area, your calls and regular SMS texts will work as usual. At the moment we don't offer domestic data roaming.

9. How do I make sure my phone will roam?

To ensure that your CDMA device will roam, you can update certain settings in your phone. In Android, Windows and Feature phones you'll need to check the phone's Roaming Mode/Network and the Roaming Settings:

Android

  • Roaming Mode/Network
    • Settings > More / More Network > Roaming > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
  • Roaming Settings
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice

iPhones

  • Roaming Mode/Network & Settings
    • Settings > Cellular > Roaming > Voice Roaming - enable

Windows Phones

  • Roaming Mode/Network & Settings
    • Settings > Cellular > Voice roaming - set to Domestic

Feature Phones

  • Roaming Mode/Network
    • Settings > Others > Roaming > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
  • Roaming Settings
    • Settings > Others > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice

Your GSM device will roam for voice/text services automatically. We recommend disabling data roaming as it can cause extra battery drain, but if you're traveling internationally you'll want to enable it:

Android

  • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Data Roaming - Enable

iPhones

  • Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming - Enable

Windows Devices

  • Settings > Cellular + SIM > Data roaming options - Set to Roam

BlackBerry Devices

  • Settings > Networks and Connections > Mobile Network > Data services while roaming - Set to On or Prompt (in which case you'll be asked if you want to enable data roaming)

Feature Phones

  • Menu > Settings > Network Settings > Data Roaming - Enable

10. What about international roaming?

Ting supports international roaming for GSM, but not CDMA devices. If you have a CDMA device, however, there are other options.

11. I get annoying alerts whenever I'm roaming. How do I stop these?

These alerts appear on CDMA devices and are called "roaming guards." They are enabled by default on most phones so that customers don't unknowingly rack up huge roaming charges. Since that's not an issue with Ting, it's safe to disable those roaming guards. Some common pathways to your roaming guards are below.

  • Settings > More > Roaming
  • Settings > More > Mobile networks
  • Settings > Others > Roaming

Most GSM devices will give you one warning but not continue to do so. Roaming guards are not found on most GSM devices.

12. My usage isn't showing up on my Ting account dashboard when I'm roaming.

This is normal. When you're roaming it takes longer for your usage information to be relayed back to us. It can take 24 hours or more for your usage information to show up on your account.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    J M Barrett

    Coverage in my area looks good on the map. But if that turns out not to be the case, can I send everything back for a refund?

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi J,

    The map coverage area has been fairly accurate to data, so I don't think there will be much concern there. But it wouldn't be very neighborly of us if it turned out to be inaccurate. :) You can order service with confidence, we'll do our best to take care of you, even it that means issuing a refund if you have no coverage.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    -Ben

  • Avatar
    Jeff Epler

    the coverage map link is presently broken.

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Thanks Jeff! I just fixed it.

  • Avatar
    Chris Smith

    Does Ting allow roaming on Verizon for voice?  

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Yes Chris, we do and there are no charges for voice roaming anywhere in the U.S. 

  • Avatar
    Paul Shafer

    Even though data roaming isn't supported, can I turn off the data roaming guard so I stop getting the warnings?

  • Avatar
    Holly Bentley

    The data coverage map looks great in my area, too, but it is not at all accurate. I am lucky if I have one bar. My phone is pretty useless. I'm not at all satisfied and wish I could return the phone and get refunded for the phone and the activation fee.

  • Avatar
    Jeremy Legasse

    So I live in Maine... We have a small business that has 8 Android phones using U.S. Cellular.  The coverage in Maine is GREAT with U.S. Cellular.  I see on Sprint's web page that the roaming appears to use U.S. Cellulars network.  Could I expect to get the same coverage using a Ting phone?  Using the Ting coverage map I don't see that it shows data in the areas that we travel.  

    I would love to swap over all 10+ phones to Ting but I can't sacrifice our coverage.  Can you confirm that we will have the same coverage specifically for data using Ting ... but roaming on U.S. Cellular?

     

    Thanks!  Heard from Leo Laporte about you guys!  Love the idea!

  • Avatar
    Timothy Frye

    I too would like to know if U.S. Cellular is a roaming partner.  I live in a primarily U.S. Cellular area in New Hampshire and if so, I am sure to make the move.

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi folks. Yes US Cellular is on of the roaming partners.

  • Avatar
    Wayne Claus

    I am presently on the Sprint and their weak signal in my area required me to get an Airave access point for coverage inside my house. Does Ting offer this type of device?

  • Avatar
    Robert Larsen

    Is it possible to force roaming?  For example, if a Ting user is getting a Sprint signal, but it is not good enough to be usable, can he/she manually force the phone to roam?

  • Avatar
    Andrew M-C

    Wayne: Sorry. Not sure how your message slipped through. We don't offer Airave or other APs at present. Sorry!

    Robert: If you're on an Android handset you can go to Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Network operators and force selection there.

  • Avatar
    Trevor McDaniel

    The service map shows that I should have service (for voice, not data) in my home town.  I'm normally near WiFi so I'm ok with not having data.  However, when I tried to purchase a phone, the service address screen gives me this message, "There is no voice coverage in the new service area entered."  Does this indicate that I would not even be able to make phone calls from home with a Ting phone even though the map shows I should have voice coverage?

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    There's a difference between the coverage map on our website, which indicates options around voice ROAMING and the checks we do when you actually order a device Trevor. If you're getting that error message, it means our network provider doesn't have any network presence in your home location.

    If you continue to sign-up, you probably won't be able to port a number in that's in your service area. I hate to say it, but since you're not in an area with good coverage, you probably wouldn't be a super-satisfied customer of Ting. 

    -Ben

  • Avatar
    David Six

    I'm currently in New Mexico, where coverage is good, but I'm considering signing up w/the catch that I may move to Missoula, Montana.  If I keep my New Mexico phone number, can I keep using Ting in Montana, or will I get booted for full time roaming?  BTW service looks great, I'm currently on Virgin (old $25/mo unlimited data plan), but seriously looking at moving over.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Ben,

    i must disagree with your last comment. I have been a direct Sprint customer for years, with phones bought direct from Sprint. I am now a Ting customer.

    Your system says you do not have service in my area. Apparently your system uses Sprint's network code to determine the wireless area coed. our area code changed over 10 years ago, but Sprint kept the old one in their network code. Your representative "lied" to your system so I could port my 2 numbers.

    Just because Ting's systems say there is not service in your area does not necessarily mean that is actually the case.

  • Avatar
    Bertel King

    I'm switching over from Verizon, which is the only service that provides good signal where my parents live. I just graduated from college and will be soon taking over my own plan. I don't live where my parents live and currently reside near DC, which shows great coverage. However,  when I visit my parents, who live in an area that is shown on the Spring site as roaming-only, should I expect to be able to use my phone?

    I'm not familiar with what roaming actually means, since Verizon has generally had signal wherever I went. I just want the phone to be able to hold a connection long enough for me to say, "Hey Mom, I'm on my way over now. See you soon." Since Sprint lists Verizon has a roaming partner, should I expect signal wherever I'm used to, just with a weaker connection?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Newton

    Bertel: the voice coverage will be identical when you go back to your parents' home, but data will not work. Roaming means it can use Verizon towers when a Sprint one is not in range. If Sprint doesn't have towers near your parents' home, your phone will use the Verizon ones. You shouldn't notice a difference for voice calls.

  • Avatar
    Bertel King

    Thanks for such a fast reply! This raises a second question for me. Are text messages considered data?

  • Avatar
    Bill R

    I'm not sure that it's safe to say that "coverage", in the broadest sense, for voice will be at least as good as Verizon and I'm even more doubtful that it's guaranteed that "you won't notice a difference for voice calls".

    I had Verizon and, of course, at home my phone picked Verizon cells and I had pretty high voice quality at home.

    Now, with Ting, at home my phone almost always picks Sprint  (it occasionally roams to Verizon when the Sprint signal is just too weak but I'm not sure that I've ever actually been in a call when I was on a Verizon cell at home so I can't compare the quality of the two with the identical phone).

    Unfortunately, voice quality is pretty poor w/Sprint at my home -- I need to seek out windows etc and listen very carefully and sometimes need to ask people to repeat what they said. I didn't have this problem with Verizon. True, it's a different phone and maybe the phone is just crap :(

    So, since the PRL will prefer Verizon w/a Verizon plan and Sprint with a Ting plan, I think it's possible you will get a poor signal (but "good enough" not to roam) w/Ting where you would have gotten a better signal w/Verizon. Of course, the inverse could also be true if the Sprint signal was actually better than the Verizon signal (although, my impression is that this is probably a rarer situation statistically).

    I don't use the phone much, and very little at home (and less than I did with Verizon just because of this voice quality issue - now I usually call people back from GV + landline when they call my cell and I'm at home - sometimes I just reject the call if I recognize the caller id and call the person back immediately if I know they have my GV number in their contact for me), so it's worth it for the major cost savings I'm getting.

  • Avatar
    Robert Larsen

    @Bill R:  I was told:  " If you're on an Android handset you can go to Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Network operators and force selection there."  Possibly that would be an option that would help you in your home.

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    @Robert / @Bill: The Airave device would be helpful here. We don't currently offer it, but we're working on it and it would provide a strong CDMA signal within your house, and use your Internet connect (VoIP) to connect to our providers network.

  • Avatar
    Bill R

    @Robert/@Bill@Ben/Awesome. A femtocell option would make Ting more awesome. It obviously depends on the cost, but a one time charge for the hardware might be quite attractive if the price was right. I'm glad to hear you're looking on into it. I've, over time, figured out how to work around it but I''m a geek who is happy to tell someone that I'll call them back so I can talk w/o garbled voice transmission because I picked the cheap solution for incoming calls.

    Love Ting!

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    @Ben

    When I asked Sprint about an Airave, they said my only had them in certain areas and my area was not eligible. Would Ting's device have the same restrictions as Sprint?

    You can check Sprint;s Airave coverage areas at  http://www.sprint.com/landings/airave_eligibility/index.html?id12=MA:LP:20111019:AIR:findstore

  • Avatar
    Robert Shacklock

    I'm currently a Verizon customer so I assume I will get descent voice coverage either through Sprint or Verizon where I live. When using Ting and I am on the Sprint network will I receive service as if I was a Sprint customer or will I get dropped to a lower tier on the tower?

  • Avatar
    karen robinson

    When I look on the map, I have coverage.  When I type in my address to order a phone, I am alerted that there is no coverage.  Sprint, Verizon and US cellular work at my house.  What is the deal?

     

  • Avatar
    Bertel King

    @Karen, The coverage map includes roaming (to Verizon and US cellular, as you mentioned). The phone order page only measures locations with Ting/Sprint signal. If you are already aware of this, then you can ignore the warning and order your phone with the expectation of having to roam where you live.

     

    I asked a question in this thread back on July 18 about roaming, and I have since received my phone and found that I was able to talk and text just fine, like Ryan said.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    @karen,

    Do you have an existing phone number to port or do you need a new number?  I recently moved from Sprint to Ting.  I got the same warning. When I ordered my phone, I clicked Skip. I needed to call ting to activate the phone. Since IO was porting an existing number, they just chose a location the system recognized, and the phone was activated. They probably could not do that if I had needed a new phone number, since the area code would have been different.

    Ting has been told that this check should be improved after the move to LTE.  Apparently this check is part of the system supplied by Sprint to Ting.

    If you need a new phone number, call Ting support and ask what your options are.

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