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Updating your CDMA phone Over-the-Air: Profile, PRL and activation updates

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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 an 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.

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