I live in Sioux City, Iowa, area code (712), zip code 51101. I have had 4-5 cell phone lines here for the last 10+ years. After several years with Sprint in Sioux City, I ported the numbers to Alltel for 2 years, then to Iwireless (Tmobile affiliate) for 2 years. My commitment to Iwireless(Tmobile) runs out in the next month. I am very excited about the idea of Ting as a reasonably priced alternative. Before I bought a Ting phone, I emailed Ting to ask if I could port a local number because I noticed that during the device ordering process that it said Ting didn't have voice service in my area. That didn't make any sense to me as I had Sprint wireless here for several years, and Ting's data coverage map shows 3G data coverage here. I received a prompt email back that stated that there was only voice roaming locally, but there was 3g data and I could still activate phone and port my current numbers but I would need to do so over the phone rather than over the automated internet activation. I ordered a refurb to test out the coverage and received it yesterday. I called Ting and was initially told that I couldn't set up the phone as it wasn't in the Ting coverage area. I explained that there is Sprint coverage locally, including 3g data, and that I was already told by Ting that I could activate here. The rep was able to manually activate phone by setting it up in a different area code in a town about 60 miles away. I asked if there was any way if I could get a local number and he said no. He said that I wouldn't be able to get any data coverage and my phone would always be roaming. After activation, I said that my phone showed that it was on the Sprint network and that it had the 3g data symbol that meant there was 3g data. He said that was impossible and he was surprised that Ting would even let me set up the phone because it was in a roaming only area. The Ting phone has had consistent 3g data and has had voice coverage solely on Sprint (I disabled roaming just to check).
It's clear to me that Ting's coverage information is inconsistent with Sprint's voice footprint for this area. Sprint has had wireless stores in this area for 10+ years, and likely wouldn't offer data coverage in an area that didn't have voice coverage. I would still really like a local number in my area code as it is currently a long distance call from a land line to call my new Ting phone number. If I port one of my current local cell phone numbers to Ting, would it be treated as a local number for land line purposes, or will it still be considered a long distance call from a land line? I find this situation very ironic as the cell numbers I want to port originally came from Sprint cell phones in Sioux City.