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GSM iPhone FAQ

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Last updated by Suzanne Thomas

Now you can bring your GSM iPhone to Ting!

To find out which iPhone devices you can use on the GSM network, SIM card information and more, read on.

Got a Sprint®-branded* iPhone? Head over here for details on bringing that device to Ting.

 

Need a GSM iPhone or SIM card? We can help with that!

If you need a newer GSM iPhone, then there are two recommended options. The first is to swing by our shop page and select the iPhone you are interested in. The second option is that you go straight to the source and you will need to select "Buy without a carrier" in order to activate with Ting:

To get your GSM iPhone up and running with Ting you’ll need our GSM X1 SIM card.

 

FAQ

1. Which GSM iPhones can I bring to Ting?

To check if your device qualifies; follow these three steps:

A.  Check your model number. This can be found in small print on the back of your phone - the model will start with the letter A followed by 4 digits. An example is pictured below. Your model will need to be one of the following to work on Ting:

Full Compatibility
Limited Compatibility (2G data only)

iPhone 7 Plusmodels A1661, A1784 or A1785

iPhone 7models A1660, A1778 or A1779

iPhone 6s Plus - models A1634 or A1687

iPhone 6s - models A1633 or A1688

iPhone 6 Plus - models A1522 and A1524

iPhone 6 - models A1549 and A1586

iPhone SE - models A1662, A1723 or A1724

iPhone 5s - model A1533

iPhone 5c - model A1532

iPhone 5 - model A1428*

iPhone - model A1203

iPhone 4S - model A1387

iPhone 4 - model A1349

iPhone 3GS - model A1303

iPhone 3G - model A1241


 *Some iPhone 5 A1428 models may not be fully compatible with Ting on the GSM network. For more information click here. To be certain of what level of compatibility you'll get with your iPhone 5 model, enter your IMEI in our checker.

 

 

B.  Check which bands your phone supports.

 

2G + voice and text

 

3G

 

4G (LTE)

GSM/EDGE

UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+

LTE

GSM 1900MHz (PCS)

1700/2100MHz (AWS)

1700/2100MHz (AWS)

 

Band IV*

Band 4*

Up to 128Kbps

Up to 21Mbps HSPA

Up to 42Mbps HSPA+

Up to 150Mbps

 

C.  Check your IMEI on our BYOD page. Simply enter your device's IMEI and we'll let you know, on the spot, if your iPhone can make the move to Ting, as well as what level of service you can expect to get.

 

2. How do I find my IMEI?

To find the IMEI of your phone:

Settings > General > About > IMEI

2. How do I find my IMEI?


3. What about other GSM models of the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s?

Not all GSM iPhone devices are created equal. The GSM models below won't get LTE data on our GSM network, so if you're looking to purchase a GSM iPhone to bring over to Ting, pick up one of the models listed above.

iPhone 5s

Models A1457 and A1530

iPhone 5c

Models A1507 and A1529

iPhone 5

Model A1429

There are CDMA versions of some of these models that will work just fine on our CDMA network. For more information on those models, click here.

 

4. I have an iPhone from Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile. Can I bring it to Ting?

Yes. Your iPhone can come to Ting as long as it’s one of the models above. You may need to confirm with your carrier first if it’s unlocked.

 

5. How do I know if there's an Apple Activation Lock on the iPhone I've purchased?

If you've purchased an iPhone directly from Ting or a standard retailer then there won't be an Activation Lock on your phone. However, if you've purchased from a private seller then you'll want to have this confirmed. For more information on checking if there's an Activation Lock on the phone you've purchased (or are planning to purchase), click here.

 

6. Is picture, video and group messaging supported for iOS devices on the GSM network?

Picture, video and group messaging (or mms messaging) will all work on iOS devices on the GSM network. Depending on the version of iOS your are running there will be some limitations. 

If you are running iOS 9 or older it will be limited in the following ways:

  • Picture, video and group messaging cannot be enabled or disabled through the control panel.
  • MMS or group messaging settings may not show up on your device and can't be updated or changed.
  • Group MMS messages may be received as SMS messages.
  • A group message sent to both Android and iOS devices will show up as an individual message for each recipient and responses will come back in separate message threads.

 There should not be any issues with devices that are running iOS 10 and up.

7. What about Wi-Fi calling and visual voicemail?

Wi-Fi calling and visual voicemail are not currently available on GSM iOS devices running iOS 9 or older. These features should work on devies running iOS 10 and up.

The option to enable Wi-Fi calling appears for all GSM devices in the Ting control panel, including ones for which Wi-Fi calling is not actually supported. Enabling this feature in your control panel will not enable Wi-Fi calling on your iOS device.

 

8. Will I be able to use my unlocked iPhone internationally?

Yes. Almost all GSM iPhones can be used internationally with a local carrier’s SIM card. The only exceptions are iPhones previous to the iPhone 4S from Verizon; Verizon iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 devices cannot be unlocked for international use.

If you purchased your device from another carrier, you'll need to make sure your previous carrier has unlocked your device so that you can use it with other SIM cards internationally. Once it's been unlocked, you'll want to back up and reset your device to get it up and running on Ting.

 

9. I did a jailbreak on my iPhone, can I still bring it to Ting?

A jailbroken iPhone may work on Ting, but we can't guarantee that. Of course, jailbreaking an iPhone, much like rooting an Android phone, voids its warranty and limits the support we can provide.

 

10. Do I need a special data plan for my iPhone and if so, what is the pricing?

Good news; our data prices are the same for all devices used on Ting!

 

11. I've brought Android devices to Ting already, is the process different for this device?

Bringing an iPhone to Ting is a lot like bringing an Android device or feature phone. For final activation steps:

Completing activation on iOS 10

iPhone 5, 5c, 5s

iPhone 4 and 4S

iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS

 

 

*Sprint is a trademark of Sprint

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Lisabeth Clark

    Will the unlocked iPhone 6 support tethering on Ting? (Gsm)

  • Avatar
    Samantha C

    Hey  Lisabeth, taking a look at the device capabilities and our network access tethering should work fine on the GSM network. 

  • Avatar
    Jeff Tomerlin

    If my "sprint" A1387" iPhone 4s has a GSM slot, how come I can only get 2G data if I buy the GSM card?

  • Avatar
    Travis LeRoy

    T-mo uses a combination of HSPA 1700 and 2100 MHz together to make their 3G signal. They call it AWS (advanced wireless services).

    Your A1387 only receives 2100mhz.

    See http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone_4s-4212.php and http://www.phonescoop.com/glossary/term.php?gid=324 for more info.

  • Avatar
    Tony Jagodka

    I just looked at the back of my unlocked iphone 6 plus and the model number is A1524. I don't see that on your list of compatible phones. I just want to make sure that my phone will work.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Tony,

    I believe some of those models are locked to Sprint. I think if you have a truly unlocked model, originally purchased without a SIM, it may work.Sprint will not unlock phones for domestic GSM use.

  • Avatar
    Tony Jagodka

    Yeah I bought my phone unlocked directly from Apple and it didn't come with a SIM. Thanks for the info

  • Avatar
    tim tran

    Found this on a web site about the iphone 6, that the A1549 has two version.

    " 2. A1549 (CDMA): This is considered as the world phone version. It supports all the same spectrum frequencies as the A1549 (GSM) and also includes CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B

    The model is compatible with Verizon and Cricket in the US. However, if you buy an unlocked Verizon phone, you will be able to use it on any other GSM networks like T-Mobile and AT&T as well. "

    is that true or would I need to get the unlock gsm only version to use the gsm to work on ting

  • Avatar
    Tony Jagodka

    I found this information about my iPhone 6 plus model A1524. _I don't think there will be a problem with this model because I have the GSM SIM from TIng in the phone and it recognizes it and shows Ting as the carrier. _

    Please note that this A1524 iPhone 6 Plus model -- which is compatible with FDD-LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29 and TD-LTE bands 38, 39, 40, 41 (as well as both CDMA EV-DO and GSM connectivity) -- is sold locked to Sprint in the United States, unlocked and without a SIM in the United States, and unlocked on a variety of carriers in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other global markets.

     

  • Avatar
    Debbie Davenport

    So I was looking to get an unlocked iPhone 5s for the GSM launch and, according to the Apple Store, model A1533 is a CDMA model. Now I'm just totally confused. If I order the SIM free phone from the apple store, are they going to give me the A1533 model, or is that the Sprint phone? What model do I want if I want a GSM phone?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Debbie,

    There are multiple A1533 iPhone versions sold in North America. Some are compatible with CDMA, but all are compatible with GSM, so it should activate fine on our GSM network. You can also read mode on that through this link

  • Avatar
    Josh Sutterfield

    There's another Iphone 5C model not covered in this article, Model 1456 - this is the Sprint Iphone 5C. Which is listed as CDMA but has GSM capabilities (https://www.apple.com/iphone-5c/specs/). Will it be GSM capable? Is it in the GSM-capable but not LTE category?

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Josh,

    Looking at the specs and comparing with step 2 in the first post, it appears that phone should support LTE and be fully compatible, if unlocked for domestic use. I believe Sprint refused to unlock these models for domestic use on GSM, only for International use.

  • Avatar
    Lizzie Goldsmith

    I'm a little confused about the iPhone 6 model number that will be fully compatible with Ting. According to the Apple website, the unlocked iPhone 6 model is A1586. However, Ting is listed as being fully compatible with model A1549, which the Apple site says is the T-Mobile iPhone 6 model, and which comes with a T-Mobile SIM card. Would I get the T-Mobile A1549 one and just not use the SIM card?

  • Avatar
    Isabel M

    Hi Lizzie,

    The A1549 is your best bet if you plan to stick with the GSM network, but if you think you might want to switch between GSM and CDMA then the A1586 is the one to buy.

    In both cases you'll need to pick up a Ting X1 GSM SIM card for it work on the GSM network but if you plan to use the A1586 on the CDMA network as well, you'll also need this Ting CDMA nano-SIM card.

  • Avatar
    Steve Swartz

    I have an iPhone 4 - Model Number A1332.  It is currently on Puretalk.   I have a Ting Sim already and got my private beta invite a few days ago. I see that the Public Beta is getting ready to start and so am I.  I have a few questions: 

    Should I try to port the number now  or just take a new number from Ting and maybe Port later?

    Will the Ting setup make it so that I cannot just switch back and forth to to the Puretalk Sim, while I have both services? or is it no problem to switch the Sims and use the phone on both?

    Should I expect the setup on Ting GSM to be pretty easy or pretty arduous at this point?

    Thanks

    Steve

     

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Steve,

    If you get a new number, you would need another SIM if you chose to port later. The partner requires the number to be locked to the SIM so the SIM cannot receive a different number.

    You should go ahead and port your number. There are many of us in the current beta tests that are using Ting GSM with our main numbers. 

  • Avatar
    Steve Swartz

    Thanks Bruce - I did know that - my question is motivated more by wanting to know if I should expect it to be easy to port the number from Puretalk or difficult and not worth the hassle right now.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    That would be a question for Ting support.

  • Avatar
    Eduardo Sanchez

    Is there any update on when Visual Voicemail will be available? An estimate would be helpful (i.e. more than one year from now, within 6 months, next month, etc.)

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    The public beta discussion thread does not mention Visual Voicemail as not working. See https://help.ting.com/entries/89111288-GSM-public-beta-discussion

    You should be able to call or email ting support for troubleshooting

  • Avatar
    Steve Swartz

    I have an iPhone 4 - Model Number A1332.  It used to be on ATT.  It is currently on Puretalk.  The 4 is listed above but with a different model number - model A1349.

    Will mine work?

  • Avatar
    Eduardo Sanchez

    Hi Bruce,

    Unfortunately, this page (up above) states:

    What about Wi-Fi calling and visual voicemail?

    Wi-Fi calling and visual voicemail are not currently available on GSM iOS devices.

  • Avatar
    Kyra Longford

    Hey Steve, the best way to confirm if your device can be brought to Ting is to enter your IMEI into the ESN checker - you can find the checker at ting.com/byod

     

  • Avatar
    Steve Swartz

    Thanks Kyra - The checker says yes.  It is unlocked and on Purtalk now. 

    Another Question - If i insert my new Ting Sim and do the Ting setup process then decide I want to use Puretalk a bit  longer.  Will  I be able to just switch Sims and go back and forth between the two services? Or will the Ting setup screw up setting in the phone for Puretalk?

    Steve

  • Avatar
    Kyra Longford

    Hey Steve, this isn't something that we've tested with at this time, if you're interested in being a pioneer you're more than welcome to try however we can't confirm it will work for you, you'd also have to have different numbers with each service as well.

     

  • Avatar
    Brittany Driscoll

    Hello,

    I'm looking to bring over my Verizon iPhone 5 Model A1429, which according to the information above will not get  LTE data on your GSM network, However when I did the checker for bringing my device to Ting, it came up that 2G, 3G and 4G LTE would be provided on the GSM network.

    Can someone please clarify, I'm looking to switch to ting in April.

    Thank you,

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    I think there are issues with the GSM part of the checker. The phone is not capable of the LTE band offered by Ting. I have not seen LTE on my wife's Verizon iPhone on Ting.

  • Avatar
    Brittany Driscoll

    Thanks Bruce,

    How much of a difference is there really between 3G and 4G LTE?- Is it noticeable?

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    My wife is not a heavy data user. The data was turned off on her previous phone, so I cannot answer that. 

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