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GSM phones FAQ

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Last updated by Keith Beegan

Did you know that you can bring your phone to Ting when you create a new account? Well, of course, you can. We want your new service to feel comfortable and familiar. Parting ways with your old carrier is a phenomenal idea, but we don't want you to part ways with your favorite phone as well. How would it survive with you?

Here are some frequently asked questions that customers in your shoes have had.

  1. How do I check if my GSM phone is compatible?
  2. Do I need a new SIM card if I want to use a compatible GSM phone on Ting?
  3. What if my phone is not compatible?
  4. Why is my phone not compatible?
  5. Do I need to unlock my phone?
  6. Can I use my CDMA phone on Ting's GSM network?
  7. Can I bring my phone number to Ting?
  8. Can I use my GSM phone while traveling outside the US?
  9. Can I use Wi-Fi Calling on my GSM phone?
  10. Is visual voicemail available on my GSM phone?
  11. Is caller ID available on my GSM phone?
  12. Can I have CDMA and GSM phones on the same Ting account?
  13. How do I activate my GSM phone on Ting?
  14. Can I use my SIM card in a different phone?
  15. Can I change the phone number on a GSM SIM card?
  16. What is a PUK code and why do I need it?
  17. What does invalid SIM card mean?

1. How do I check if my GSM phone is compatible?

You can check your phone's compatibility on our website.

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

Yes. You need a new GSM X1 SIM card if you're coming from AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon or any other carrier. The SIM card breaks into mini, micro, and nano sizes to suit all phones.

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3. What if my phone is not compatible?

Sorry about that. We've hit a bump in the road. Luckily, we have a couple of options for you:

  1. You can pick up a fully compatible phone from the Ting Shop.
  2. Send a request to the Ting Personal Shopper team, and they will help you find an inexpensive used phone online.

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4. Why is my phone not compatible?

There are a few reasons why a non-Ting phone may not work with Ting. It could be:

  • Marked as lost or stolen.
  • Built for a different carrier, so its bands are not compatible with our network.
  • Tied to an account with an outstanding balance with another carrier.
  • Otherwise locked to another carrier.

We cannot say for sure which category you fall into so contacting your current carrier is the best next step.

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5. Do I need to unlock my phone?

Yes. If you check your phone and it shows as compatible, you still need to request an unlock code from your current carrier before bringing the phone to Ting. Ting cannot unlock non-Ting phones for customers.

Click on your carrier below for info on how to request an unlock code from them.

       Airvoice  Cricket Pageplus Telcel US Mobile 
 AT&T FreedomPop Republic Wireless T-Mobile  Verizon
  Boost Google Project Fi Safelink Wireless T-Mobile Prepaid Virgin
Consumer Cellular Google Voice Sprint TracFone Walmart Family Mobile
Credo Metro PCS Straight Talk US Cellular  

 

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6. Can I use my CDMA phone on Ting's GSM network?

You can check your phone's compatibility on our website.

Just so you know, CDMA and GSM are two types of cellular networks. In the US, Sprint®* and Verizon are CDMA, while AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM. Lots of newer phones, including all iPhone models since the 5S/5C and Nexus models, are dual-network and can be used on either.

Check out the differences between CDMA and GSM to decide which one would work best for you.

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7. Can I bring my phone number to Ting?

Check if your phone number is compatible and then start the transfer process.

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8. Can I use my GSM phone while traveling outside the US?

Lucky you traveling the world. You have two options when going abroad:

  1. Keep your Ting sim in the phone and use roaming services. We don't recommend this option because roaming surcharges apply when using voice, text or data.
  2. Pick up a local sim and pop it into your unlocked GSM phone. You will have a different phone number while traveling but you'll save a lot of money.

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9. Can I use Wi-Fi Calling on my GSM phone?

We offer Wi-Fi Calling on Ting for select iPhone, Android, Windows and BlackBerry models. Wi-Fi Calling allows you to use your Ting phone number and rely on Wi-Fi for enhanced reception.

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

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10. Is Visual Voicemail available on my GSM phone?

If you have an iPhone 5 or later and can 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 some third-party Apps in the Google Play store.

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11. Is Caller ID available on my GSM phone?

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

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

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

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13. How do I activate my GSM phone on Ting?

  1. Pick up a new GSM X1 SIM card.
  2. Set your phone up with a phone number.
  3. Activate your service.

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14. Can I use my SIM card in a different phone?

You can use your active GSM SIM card in any unlocked compatible phone as long as you intend to keep the same number. You cannot deactivate the sim card and reactivate it with a different number. Deactivated SIM cards cannot be used, and you will need a new SIM card.

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15. Can I change the phone number on a GSM SIM card?

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 if you deactivated it recently.

We can't:

  • Transfer an existing number to a SIM card that's already active with another number.
  • Reactivate a SIM card if you've transferred your number away from it.

If you activated your SIM with a new number to test out Ting's GSM service, but you want to transfer your actual number to Ting, you'll need to purchase a new SIM card.

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16. What is a PUK code and why do I need it?

A PUK code is a number associated with your Ting GSM X1 SIM card that unlocks your SIM if it locks after several unsuccessful PIN entries.

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.

puk_code.jpg

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17. What does invalid SIM card mean?

If you insert your Ting SIM card in your phone and get an "Invalid SIM", "No SIM Card installed", "SIM Card Not Recognized", "Invalid Sim Detected" or "SIM from unknown source" error, you will need to contact your previous carrier and make sure the phone 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 it.

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 correctly. Make sure it is inserted into the SIM card slot as opposed to the SD card slot.

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*Sprint is a trademark of Sprint.

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