Last updated by Suzanne Thomas
1. What do the terms CDMA and GSM mean?
CDMA and GSM are two types of cellular phone networks and, generally, if you have a device made for one, then 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.
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?
4. How do I know if my GSM device is locked and if it's not, can Ting unlock it for me?
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. Also, Ting is not able to unlock your device; you'll need to contact your current carrier to do that. For more information on unlocking, click here.
5. I'm on Ting's CDMA network and am interested in the GSM network, can I switch my phone over?
Maybe, depending on your device. There are a lot of phones that are dual network and can be used on either. Most of the newer iPhones and Nexus devices are dual network devices that can be used on either CDMA or GSM. Contact us and we can check out your device's IMEI/MEID for you!
6. How does this impact my Ting coverage?
7. 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.
8. Can I use Wi-Fi calling on my GSM device?
Wi-Fi calling is supported for select iPhone, Android, Windows and BlackBerry 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.
9. What about visual voicemail?
If you have an iPhone 5 or later and are able to update to iOS 10, you can get visual voicemail, though it can take up to 24 hours to enable once you've updated.
Visual voicemail is not directly supported on GSM Android, but there are a number of third party Apps in the Google Play store. At this time there is not a specific app that Ting recommends.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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 mobile 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.
15. 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
- 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.
16. 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 has 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.
17. What does invalid SIM card mean?
If you insert your Ting SIM card in your device and you are getting an invalid SIM error, such as "Invalid SIM" or "No SIM Card installed" or "SIM Card Not Recognized" or "Invalid Sim Detected" or "SIM from unknown source", you will need to contact your previous carrier and make sure the device is not locked to their network. If it is locked, your previous carrier will need to provide you with an unlock code or steps to unlock the device.
If you have verified with your previous carrier that the device is unlocked, please ensure the SIM card has been trimmed down to the correct size by using the adapter pieces provided and ensure the SIM card is inserted properly. Make sure it is inserted into the SIM card slot as opposed to the SD card slot.
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.
Need to know which GSM devices you can bring to Ting?
Want to know about GSM iPhones on Ting?
Have questions about bringing your GSM device to Ting?
Need help getting your GSM device activated on Ting?
Having trouble getting activated?
*Sprint is a trademark of Sprint