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GSM Android activation tips and tricks

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Last updated by Jeannette Waud

With so many different Android devices on the market, activating on Ting's GSM network can sometimes be tricky. Not to worry, here are some handy tips that should make it easier.

 

Tip 1: Make sure your device is unlocked

If you're getting any of the following errors: "network lock", "network unlock pin", "unsupported sim" or anything similar, this indicates that your device likely still needs to be unlocked from the original carrier.

  • If your device came from a third party source (Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Swappa, Glyde, a friend, etc.), then it will be up to that source to provide information on where the device originated, which carrier it might have come from, and therefore, if/how it needs to be unlocked. 
  • AT&T devices must be unlocked before they will work on Ting. Request your unlock from AT&T
  • Sprint devices that can work on the GSM network will also need to be unlocked. Check Sprint's unlocking policy for a list of devices that are eligible for a Domestic SIM Unlock.
    • An Important Note about Sprint MSL Unlocking: devices that are eligible for an MSL unlock will have much lower levels of compatibility with our GSM network. If you have a device that can only be MSL unlocked, we recommend you use it on our CDMA network or find a different device to use on our GSM network.

 Check out our compatibility and unlocking guide for more information. 

 

Tip 2:  Ignore the "foreign SIM card" warning 

If you have a Verizon device and you see a "foreign SIM" warning (aka: SIM is from an unknown source), but your phone is functioning normally on the Ting network, you can ignore this warning as this is normal on many devices coming from Verizon. 

 

Tip 3: Make sure your SIM card is installed correctly 

On most phones, the SIM card can only be installed one way, with the gold part facing the guts of the phone and the cut off corner of the sim card matching with the cut off corner of the tray. But on a small number of devices, the SIM card can be installed incorrectly. 

If your device's SIM card can be installed in more than one way, try flipping it. If you're still stuck, check out Youtube, they have some great "how-to" videos for inserting sim cards. 

 

Tip 4: Find your APN settings

APN settings are in a variety of menu locations. Below are some of the examples we've seen so far:

  • Settings > More networks > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > More > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Wireless Controls > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Wireless manager > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Phone information > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Connections tab > More networks > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  • Settings > Mobile Data > GSM/UMTS Options > Access point names

Note: If you have a Nexus 5 or 6 and the APN settings are not in the Mobile Networks menu, the following should work:

  1. Dial * # * # 4636 # * # *
  2. Tap Phone Information
  3. Scroll to Set preferred network type
  4. Tap the arrow icon to the right to open the network type menu
  5. Select LTE/GSM auto (PRL)
  6. Tap the back key until you get back to the home screen

The APN option should now be visible in the Mobile Networks menu.

 

Tip 5: Set two separate APN profiles

If you've set up one APN profile as per our activation directions, reset your APN to defaults and then try setting two separate profiles (mentioned in step 3 and 4 in the above link).

To do this follow the directions below:

 

1. Reset APN to Default

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap the Connections tab if your device has a tab view; if not go to step 3
  3. Tap More networks (or More, Wireless & networks, Wireless Controls, Wireless Manager, Phone Information)
  4. Mobile networks
  5. Access Point Names
  6. Tap the Menu + icon to add a new APN
  7. Tap Reset to default    

 

2. Set Ting Data APN (IPv6)

You should already be in the access point name section if so, skip to step #5.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap the Connections tab if your device has a tab view; if not go to step 3
  3. Tap More networks (or More, Wireless & networks, Wireless Controls, Wireless Manager, Phone Information)
  4. Mobile or Cellular networks
  5. Access Point Names
  6. Tap the Menu + icon to add a new APN
    • Enter APN settings
    • Name: Ting Data
    • APN: wholesale
    • APN type: default,admin,fota,mms,supl,hipri,internet,dun
      • If there is a free-form field, enter the APN type exactly as written above, without spaces 
      • If your device has a series of checkboxes rather than a free-form field, check all the boxes that correspond to the values listed above. For example, your device has checkboxes for default, mms, supl, wap and ia. Check only default, mms and supl
    • MCC: 310 (should already be set)
    • MNC: 260 (should already be set)
    • APN protocol: IPv6
    • APN roaming protocol: IPv6
  7. Tap the Menu key/icon
  8. Tap Save
  9. Select Ting Data as your APN
  10. Restart your device and wait for it to find the Ting network (this may take a minute or so)
  11. Confirm that you're able to access data

 

3. Set Ting MMS APN (IPv4) 

You should already be in the access point name section if so, skip to step #5.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap More networks (under Connections tab, or More, Wireless & networks, Wireless Controls, Wireless Manager, Phone Information)
  3. Mobile or Cellular networks
  4. Access Point Names
  5. Add a new APN (Menu or + icon)
  6. Enter APN settings
    • Name: Ting MMS
    • APN: wholesale
    • APN type: mms (type in field or select box)
    • MMSC: http://wholesale.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc
    • MCC: 310 (should already be set)
    • MNC: 260 (should already be set)
    • APN protocol: IPv4
    • APN roaming protocol: IPv4
  7. Tap the Menu icon
  8. Tap Save
  9. Keep Ting Data selected as your APN (your phone will use the MMS APN settings automatically as it needs to)
  10. Restart your device and wait for it to find the Ting network--this may take a minute or so
  11. Confirm that you're able to send and receive picture, video and group messages

 

Note: If everything is working correctly, you can stop here. If you're still having trouble with data, MMS or tethering, try switching the APN protocol and APN roaming protocol (e.g., Ting Data changes from IPv6 to IPv4 and Ting MMS changes from IPv4 to IPv6).

 

Tip 6: Set only the APN name to start

If you're unable to save the APN settings when you enter all the information, try setting only the name and the APN fields to begin. 

If you are able to save the name and APN fields, then you can go back into the setting and enter the remaining details that are shown above, in either the combined or separated APN profiles. 

When viewing the APN settings you may not see all of the items that you've set but if data, MMS and tethering are all working then the settings are holding.

 

Tip 7: Firmware issues

Some devices coming from other carriers will have some firmware (custom carrier software) issues that cause trouble on our network.

  • Some AT&T devices have trouble with MMS (picture messaging). 
    • Our MMS FAQ has more detailed information and tips. 
  • Some Verizon devices have trouble with voicemail.

If you run into trouble, you can also look for some third party messaging and voicemail apps which are usually available for free on the Play Store.

 

Tip 8: Get in touch

If you're still having trouble, please get in touch. We'll do our best to get your device up and running or at least figure out what's getting in the way.



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Comments

  • Avatar
    Adam Mills

    I fixed my data/mms issue by setting APN Type for the Ting Data APN to the default: "default,hipri" rather than the long string of characters. Works flawlessly now. Hope this helps someone else solve this issue, I had to discover this myself as the ting help desk had no solutions for me.

  • Avatar
    Brian McLellan

    Hi Adam, thanks for letting us know about this! If this fix works for anyone else, please let us know!

  • Avatar
    Robert Allen

    Changing to "default,hipri" like Adam Mills did fixed my issue with not being able to receive texts with videos and pics. I am using a BYOD Samsung Galaxy S4 from AT&T.

  • Avatar
    Anthony Belhumer

    Deleted, Accidentally posted twice sorry.

    Edited by Anthony Belhumer
  • Avatar
    Anthony Belhumer

    I was having trouble send pictures (mms) on my Moto g5 plus and made the change Adam suggested. This fixed the issue. Thanks Adam! It also fixed an issue with WIFI calling and texting. Prior to making this change I would get a message to connect to wifi or turn on data even though I was connected to wifi.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Molenaar

    Adams suggestion FIXED my issues as well(changing Ting DATA's APN Type to "default, hirpi") now MMS (picture/video/group) messages work fine.

    So after the change I have two APN's: Ting DATA, APN Type=default,hirpi and Ting MMS, APN Type=mms

    I'm using a Huawei H1611, was originally a AT&T Go-Phone but I've since installed several custom ROM's(different packages of Android, based on different phone mfg/models) on it.

    This change fixes data/mms on just about all of them, so you might want to append it to the guide above.
    Thanks Adam

  • Avatar
    Mitch Surprenant

    Thanks for the feedback, Andrew. I'll pass it along to the people who create the articles.

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