Skip navigation

Updating your CDMA Phone Over-the-Air: Profile, PRL and Activation Updates

Follow

Last updated by Isabel M

Why do I need to be concerned about Over the Air updates?

Over the air updates are important because they synchronize your phone with the network.

If you've ever had an issue where your phone isn't successfully connecting to the network even though you're in a good coverage area, there's a strong chance that an over the air update will get your phone working again.

What are over-the-air updates?

Every time your phone reaches out to the cellular network and downloads information related to your phone’s access to voice, text and data services, you’re completing an over-the-air update.

This information can include your phone number, or be related to the roaming network, the sign in credentials that are needed for you to access the internet, and more.

What are the most common over-the-air updates?

Hands free activation, profile and PRL updates are the most common forms of over-the-air update, and all of these updates are initiated from your phone with either a restart or by selecting the appropriate option in the settings menu.

What is a Profile Update?

A profile update synchronizes your phone with the network by updating its network access info.

If you’re ever having a problem with your phone that’s related to how it accesses the Ting network, updating your phone’s profile is the best place to start.

What is a PRL Update?

A PRL update provides your phone with the most up-to-date info regarding roaming and the roaming network.

If your phone’s PRL is up to date, your phone will be in the best possible position for roaming networks.

What is a Hands Free Activation?

A Hands Free Activation encompasses both a Profile and a PRL update, as well as a Firmware check on most phones.

Any phone that’s newly purchased from Ting will attempt to complete a Hands Free Activation the first time you boot it up, as well as on each subsequent restart until the activation has completed.

Can I update a Profile, a PRL, or complete a Hands Free Activation over Wi-Fi?

This will depend on your device. Some newer LTE devices can perform these updates over Wi-Fi. If you do not have an LTE device or the updates are failing while you're connected to Wi-Fi, then you'll need to perform these updates with Wi-Fi disabled and data enabled.

Why am I unable to Update a Profile, a PRL or complete a Hands Free Activation?

If you don't have an LTE device then each of these updates requires a cellular data connection. As a result, you won’t be able to update your phone’s Profile, PRL, or complete a Hands Free Activation if you’re in a poor coverage area or are roaming, have disabled network data on either your phone or from your online Ting account, or if you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Another possible reason why you may receive errors during some of these updates would be if your phone is identified with an old, out of date phone number. If it is, you’ll need to erase that number from your phone, and then you'll be able to update it.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Richard Lee

    Nice explanation!

  • Avatar
    Geo Pertea

    Regarding the requirement for a cellular data connection in order to Update a Profile and/or PRL, it seems that this does not apply to some smartphones. I have successfully updated PRL and Profile on my LG Mach phone while I am just connected to Wi-Fi and having Mobile Data disabled (on both the phone and the online Ting device settings). On the other hand, if on the same phone I also disable Wi-Fi, I get a "Network error. Please try again later" if I try to update PRL or profile. 

     

  • Avatar
    J Young

    i cant get anything past 1x on any of our phones

  • Avatar
    Paraic O

    Hi Darcy,

    I can see that you have 2 open help requests in our system right now. I will be following up with you through those requests.

  • Avatar
    cassandra gelacek

    Every time I try to update the PRL or Profile Update on my husbands phone (Kona) it just goes on & on w/out updating. How long does it usually take? He is experiencing trouble receiving calls when roaming. We just switched to Ting w/in the last few weeks, my smartphone works fine, but having problems w/his.

  • Avatar
    cassandra gelacek

    Plus, just wanted to add to my last question, why is the address on my husbands phone in Michigan, when we live in Ohio? My phone

    has the correct home address.

  • Avatar
    Paraic O

    Hi Cassandra,

    A profile update should only take anywhere from 15-30 seconds to complete. Any longer than that and it won't complete in most cases. Make sure that you have data enabled for the device as this is required for the update to complete. Look for an email with troubleshooting steps from a member of our support team who will be glad to get your husbands phone working! They will also be able to address the location issue.

  • Avatar
    C. C.

    If I do not want data on my phone at all, just voice do I still need to activate with Data and allow data on my phone?

    If so, can I mark it allowed, set it up and then turn it off?

    Will that affect the ability of the phone to update itself, PRL or otherwise as necessary?

     

    I ask because I just got a new phone through TIng and am trying to activate it...it's failing because it says there's no data. But I never wanted data anyway. It's a Kona.

  • Avatar
    C. C.

    Also, I'd like my name removed from these two posts, I wish there was a way to choose a user name, I'd rather not have my full name show for all to see.

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hi Charles. You'll need data turned on to first activate your device. That's why you're not charged for up to 20MB of data during your first month. You can then disable data completely as soon as the phone has been fully activated.

    I'm also contacting you by email regarding your profile name.

  • Avatar
    C. C.

    Thank You.

  • Avatar
    C. C.

    By the way this is not my first month with Ting, does the free Data apply anytime you activate a new phone?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey C.C.. Those 20MB of data are only granted during your first month with Ting, not any time you activate a phone . I'm contacting you again by email to check on your specific situation.

Powered by Zendesk