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FAQ: GSM Devices on Ting

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Last updated by Suzanne Thomas

You can now use GSM devices on Ting!

That means just about any unlocked smartphone made in the last couple years will be able to make the move to Ting, giving you more options while you save.

We've tried to answer all the questions we think you'll have here, but if there's anything that we've missed, please post it in the comments section below. We may not have the answer yet, but we'll do our best to get the information as soon as we can.

 

1. What do the terms CDMA and GSM mean?

CDMA and GSM networks are two types of cellular phone networks and generally if you have a device made for one, it can't be used on the other. In the US, Sprint®* and Verizon run on CDMA networks while AT&T and T-Mobile run on GSM networks.

When someone says “unlocked” in reference to a smartphone, they’re probably talking about a GSM device. It's also easier to move GSM phones from one carrier to another whereas it's much harder (and sometimes impossible) to do that for CDMA devices.

By adding a GSM network, we've made it possible for you to bring both CDMA and GSM devices to Ting.

 

2. Do I need a new SIM card if I want to use a GSM device on Ting?

Yup. No matter where you're coming from (i.e. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, or elsewhere), you need a new Ting GSM X1 SIM card (which can break into mini, micro, and nano sizes).

 

3. How do I check if my device is compatible?

Head over to our BYOD page and enter your device's IMEI. We'll let you know if your device will be able to make the leap to Ting.

If you don't have a device yet, but there's one you're interested in, check its supported bands against the chart here.

 

4. How do I know if my GSM device is locked?

You'll need to check this with your current carrier. While our compatibility checker will let you know if you can bring your device to Ting, it won't tell you if the device is locked or not. For more information on unlocking, click here.

 

5. Is Ting able to unlock my device for me?

No, we aren't able to unlock your device for you; you'll need to contact your current carrier to do that. For more information on unlocking, click here.

 

6. My Nexus 5 or 6 / iPhone 6 or 6 Plus is active with Ting on CDMA. Can I move it to Ting on GSM?

Yes. The Nexus 5 and 6 and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are dual network devices that can be used on either CDMA or GSM. 

 

7. How does this change Ting coverage?

Please check our coverage maps to see your coverage:

CDMA coverage map

GSM coverage map

Like with our CDMA network, while using native coverage, on the GSM network you have access to voice, text, and data (including LTE where available) but only voice and text when roaming.

 

8. What about international roaming?

For international roaming rates, click here. We also recommend simply picking up a local SIM card for your unlocked device when you're traveling.

 

9. Can I use Wi-Fi calling on my GSM device?

Wi-Fi calling is supported for select Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices.

It is not currently available for iOS devices.

The Can use Wi-Fi calling setting appears in the control panel and can be set to Enabled for all GSM devices including ones for which Wi-Fi calling is not actually supported. Refer to our Wi-Fi Calling FAQ and your device to know if your device can make Wi-Fi calls. 

Wi-Fi calling rates are the same as our regular calling rates.

 

10. What about visual voicemail?

Currently visual voicemail is not supported for GSM devices on Ting. Once that changes, we'll make that update here.

 

11. Is caller ID available for GSM devices?

Caller ID isn't currently available for GSM devices, but it will be down the road. This information will be updated as that changes.

 

12. Can I have CDMA and GSM devices on the same Ting account?

Absolutely! On Ting, CDMA and GSM devices will coexist under a single account and will share a single pool of minutes, messages and gigabytes. At the end of the billing cycle, they will appear on a single monthly bill.

 

13. How much does Ting on GSM cost?

On all domestic services, Ting service costs the same whether you're using the CDMA or the GSM network. You'll still pay the same $6 plus taxes for each active line/device on your account, regardless of whether it's a CDMA or a GSM line. And, you'll still share minutes, messages, and gigabytes across all of the devices on your account  again, regardless of whether they're GSM or CDMA.

 

14. Can I transfer my number to a GSM device/SIM card?

Yes. The process for transferring a number to a device (or really a SIM card) on our GSM network is the same as the one for transferring a number to a device on our CDMA network.

 

15. Can I move my phone number from a CDMA device to GSM device and vice versa?

Wherever we have both native Ting GSM and CDMA network coverage, yes. You can switch the number between devices from the control panel in your account. The switch will take 2-24 hours just like transferring a phone number into Ting from another carrier.

 

16. If I activate my Ting GSM SIM with a new phone number, will I be able to change the number on that SIM card later?

Yes and no.

Once you've activated a Ting GSM SIM card with a phone number we can help you:

  • reactivate it with the same number for a brief period of time if it's been deactivated

We can't:

  • transfer or port an existing number to a GSM SIM card that's already active with another number
  • reactivate a SIM card if you've ported your number away from it

If you've activated with a new number to test out GSM services, but you want to port a number to Ting on the GSM network, you'll need to purchase a new SIM card to port your number phone number to.

 

17. What is a PUK code and what do I need it for?

A PUK code is a number associated with your Ting GSM X1 SIM card that unlocks your SIM if it's become locked.

The PUK code associated with your SIM is printed on the credit card sized card that you pop your Ting GSM X1 SIM card out of when you first receive it.

Currently, we cannot retrieve your PUK code for you, so please either hang on to the card or record your PUK code.

18. What else do I need to know?

If you're still not sure if Ting on GSM is right for you, check out this article.

Ting on CDMA or GSM:  Which network is right for me?

Need to know which GSM devices you can bring to Ting?

Can I Bring My GSM Device to Ting? Compatibility and Unlocking Guide

Want to know about GSM iPhones on Ting?

GSM iPhone FAQ

Have questions about bringing your GSM device to Ting?

GSM BYOD:  Supported Devices & FAQ

Need help getting your GSM device activated on Ting?

Completing Your Activation

Having trouble getting activated?

Troubleshooting GSM Android Activation

 

*Sprint is a trademark of Sprint

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Michael Keller

    Regarding #12, will we be able to go back-and-forth between CDMA and GSM at will and will there be a charge for making the switch?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Michael,

    You should be able to use the same device on GSM and CDMA, although not concurrently.  That would require 2 different numbers - one for each technology - and you would have to swap the SIM cards each time you want to change the network. Call forwarding via Ting or Google Voice should help redirect any incoming calls to either number/network so you don't miss any calls. We're still in the process of ironing out all the details and should have more as we approach our launch date.

  • Avatar
    Michael Keller

    Felipe, that wasn't my question. If I have a CDMA device, as I do now, and a separate GSM device, and I knew I would be traveling to an area where the GSM coverage was superior, could I swtich my number to my GSM device, then later upon returning home switch back to my CDMA device without incurring special charges?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Michael,

    Gotcha.  You were thinking about transferring the same number back and forth between two different devices, correct?

    You can transfer the number between two devices, although you would most likely need to port it back and forth between our two network partners for CDMA and GSM. Porting usually takes between 6-24 hours to complete, and that would most likely incur an additional line fee each time you port the number between the different networks. As such, you would most likely need to go through the activation process each time you put it back on the CDMA phone. We're still working out all the details, though, so that might change as we approach our GSM launch date.

    Our recommendation is to port it once if you'd rather keep the number on the GSM device, and then get another new number for CDMA.  You can use call forwarding either on Ting or Google Voice to forward calls back and forth between the two numbers/devices instead of going through that port process each time.  Again, things might change as we approach our launch date so stay tuned for that.

  • Avatar
    William Ward

    I'm thrilled to hear the news, although not sure I'm in a good area... I'm guessing from the coverage map you're using Tmobile GSM towers?  I say this because in Brunswick, ME both VZ and ATT seem to have good coverage, but your maps aligns with TMobile and seems very spotty.  Can you confirm?

  • Avatar
    Samantha C

    Hey there William, part of our agreement with this GSM carrier is that we can not confirm who the network provider is. 

  • Avatar
    Sri Kuntari Wijanarko

    for the GSM phone, will there be limitation/ Waiting period 1 year after launch before we can use with Ting -  like Sprint does for BYOD - I hope not.

  • Avatar
    Shaun Capaldo

    I was wondering this myself.  If not, it seems Sprint will have to remove the blackout to stay competitive.  Which means we are the ones who win, if they do.  I would like a little more clairification on devices though, particularly the One Plus One and the Huawei Honor 6.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    I doubt there would be a waiting period. Generally unlocked GSM phones work on GSM networks if the phone has compatible frequencies and the correct. SIM.

    ATT has said they will lock the SIM on the new iPhone 6 phones to ATT, but you could get a new SIM to move to another network.

  • Avatar
    Samantha C

    Hey there Sri and Shaun, There will be no one year hold on the GSM network. If you have an unlocked compatible phone you will be able to activate it on Ting when ever you like.

  • Avatar
    Shaun Capaldo

    Thank you for the clear answer!  This really opens Ting up.

  • Avatar
    Christopher Clinton

    My wife is thinking about switching to Ting from T-Mobile when her parents go to Verizon. Will she be able to keep her GSM number when she switches to Ting?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Christopher, she should be able to keep the number, although we can't confirm that yet. Reach us out via a support request in a few more weeks and we'll look into that for you.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    The article indicates tat number porting will initially be unavailable, but you can move a number from a Ting CDMA device to a Ting GSM device at launch.

    Does this mean the initial way to port would be to Ting CDMA and then to Ting GSM? I currently have some numbers on T-Mobile, but I have a free Ting CDMA device that could be used to assist with porting.

  • Avatar
    Justen Burdette

    Hi Bruce,

    We'll clarify that answer.  In that first question, we're referring to the initial invite-only beta when we mention that porting may not be available right away.  In the second question, we're referring to the general concept of being able to move from CDMA to GSM (or vice versa).  Both will be supported, it's just the timing around when the self-serve tools for each will become available that we're still finalizing.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Martin Hackle

    We all know Ting uses Sprint for the CDMA coverage; who will be the actual carrier for the GSM?  Most major carriers in my area have strong LTE coverage, but the map shows my GSM coverage would only be 2G on the Ting GSM.  A deal killer for switching, even though I could get way better phones quicker on GSM.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Ting has said they cannot announce that yet. Some people have made guesses based on the GSM coverage map and other information, but those are just guesses.

  • Avatar
    Mike Breaton

    Will the current CDMA SIM work in a GSM phone or will I have to purchase a new one

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    The SIMs are different.

  • Avatar
    Christopher Quicker

    What about devices with "dual SIM" cards?  There is a new company, BLU Products out of Miami, and since 2009, they've been schlepping quality inexpensive smart phones (both Android and Windows Phone 8.1) in Latin American countries, and is now available on Amazon, the one I'm eyeing is called the BLU WIN HD.  Under $200 bucks, and has dual SIM and expandable memory up to 64GB.  

    I currently have an Android device, Samsung Galaxy S4, and while the phone is cool, I don't enjoy the Android ecosystem, I prefer the Windows OS, just a preference.  With the ability to have 2 SIM cards give you the flexibility to make international calls using that particular country's SIM card for their local POP calling......Pretty slick actually ;)

  • Avatar
    Ting Help

    Hey there Christopher!  Lots of Blu models will work when we add our GSM network. An exact match for that name is proving hard to come by though - if you'd like some details, please send us an email with the model number, and we'll be happy to look into it for you!

  • Avatar
    Christopher Quicker

    Hey there Wendy ;)

     

    This is the link to Amazon, the BLU WIN HD is what it's called, and they somehow "cryptically keep the actual model number somehow hidden", but you can check it out here:

     

    http://www.amazon.com/5-Inch-Windows-Camera-Unlocked-Phones/dp/B00NQGFQ7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1421866178&sr=1-1&keywords=blu+win+hd

     

    I got to futz around with one in a Microsoft store a week ago, and it was a pretty cool device.  $179?  I'm THERE  ;)

  • Avatar
    Mike Breaton

    I was looking at the BLU Win HD myself and like what I see for the price. Normally $179, MS store has them for $149 ( http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/BLU-Win-HD---Unlocked/productID.306115600?icid=Windows_Phone_ModC_BLU_Win_HD). It seems to come in two versions - 510L and 510U (unlocked?). I don't think they do LTE, but I think the 510U does HSPA+.

     

     

  • Avatar
    Martin Hackle

    Based on coverage maps, lack of LTE wouldn't be an issue in most of my state. :(

  • Avatar
    Mike Breaton

    Does T-Mobile (Ting GSM) support HSDPA 850/1900?

  • Avatar
    Ting Help

    Hey Christopher and Mike - there's not quite enough information in that Amazon ad to see if it will be compatible.  There's information in this article on compatibility with our GSM network that may help!

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Baumgarten

    Will it matter what GSM carrier a phone was originally designed for, as far as coverage goes? 

  • Avatar
    Kenneth Chomic
  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne
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