GSM public beta discussion

(If you haven't already, head over and purchase your Ting GSM X1 SIM card.  Once it is delivered (expeditiously), you'll be ready to go!)

Thanks for taking part in the public beta for our GSM service!  There are a few things that aren't yet ready, so we wanted to be sure to point those out...

 

  • International long distance.  For now, you'll need to use an alternative service like Google Voice or Skype.  We're working on offering considerably better rates for calling overseas, so we promise it's worth the wait.  You can now enable international long distance for your GSM lines in your account dashboard.  Rates are the same as on GSM, although we're still aiming to lower international long distance rates for both CDMA and GSM later this year.
  • International roaming.  GSM opens up a lot more doors for customers in terms of travelling abroad.  We still think your best bet is to use an unlocked device with a local SIM or a service like KnowRoaming.  But we will offer international roaming in the near future.  (Keep in mind the rates will be different from our CDMA international roaming rates.)
  • Mobile apps.  Our iOS and Android apps do not yet support making settings changes for your GSM lines.  Updates will be pushed to the App Store and the Play Store later today, but it may take a few days for those revisions to get approved.  In the meantime, head over to your web dashboard for any GSM device settings changes.  Our iOS and Android apps have been updated to support making settings changes for your GSM lines.
  • Account dashboard.  We're still working on the best ways to handle GSM device settings on your account dashboard.  Also, MMS cannot currently be disabled from your dashboard.
  • Caller ID. Outgoing Caller ID Name cannot currently be updated. We'll update when the option becomes available.
  • iPhone features.  Certain iPhone features, including visual voicemail, Wi-Fi Calling, and group messaging are not yet supported.  We hope to offer these options later this year, but we don't yet have a definitive timeframe.  (If these features are critical to you, they are supported on our CDMA network.)  For more on using your iPhone with our GSM service, please see here.
  • Wi-Fi Calling.  If you have a device with firmware that supports the Wi-Fi Calling feature provided by our GSM network partner, it should now work once it is enabled on your account dashboard.  It may take up to 24 hours for the feature to fully provision to your device.  Please keep in mind, Wi-Fi Calling minutes and messages still charge at the same normal rate as a tower-based call or minute.  Wi-Fi Calling is still very much a work in progress, but a number of our customers have found it to be helpful for improving coverage indoors.

 

If you're having some issues finding the correct place to update APN settings for your specific device, our activation series covers a wide range.  If you come across one that we haven't documented but you manage to get it working, we'd love it if you could share your steps here for us to kindly borrow.  ;)  If you're wondering about the compatibility of a specific device, take a look at our article here and be sure to use our compatibility checker.

Last but not least, we're here to help.  If you run into issues, please share what's going on here.  Either a Ting team member or one of your fellow customers almost certainly has the answers.  If something is seriously broken and it's getting in the way of what you need to get done, please get in touch with us via the normal channels so we can help right away.  Our first GSM activations were almost three months ago.  Our first beta customers joined over a month ago.  Things are quite stable, but we're still tweaking and perfecting everywhere we can.

Without any further ado, we'd really love to hear how things go for you, both during and after your activation.  Thanks for being a part of our GSM beta!

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Comments

491 comments
  • Here is Justen's comments about Sim cards.  

    "SIMs are, mostly, use once and throw away.  They needn't be, but those are the rules our GSM network partner has set.

    If you deactivate a SIM and its number, we can reactivate it with that same number for a brief period of time.

    If you deactivate a SIM by porting its number away, the SIM can never again be reactivated.

    If you activate a SIM, we can switch that SIM to another randomly-assigned number, but we cannot port in a number to an already-active SIM."

     

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  • So is it still the case that you can't send MMS messages on a Nexus 5 with Ting GSM?

    The phone just tries and tries and tries, but the messages never go through. Regular text messages go through fine, and when the phone was on Go Smart (also TMO) it would send MMS messages fine, so it isn't the phone.  

    I even tried the separate Data and MMS APN's that is suggested, and same thing, just keeps trying to send, but doesn't.

    John

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  • Thank Christopher - how about deactivating and reactivating to a ported number?

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  • Mike,

    Once a SIM has a number, Ting cannot put a different number on the SIM. You need a new SM.

    That's what I did  when I ported my number after testing with a temporary number.

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  • John,

    I have always been able to send MMS with my Nexus 5 on Ting GSM.

    Try the troubleshooting tips here. https://help.ting.com/entries/104696833-Troubleshooting-GSM-Picture-Video-MMS-Messaging

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  • Oh and data roaming doesn't work on the GSM network.

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  • Ting does not do data roaming, only voice & text (SMS).

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  • Several thing I have noticed with the GSM beta: there is no way to know if you are roaming (it says 3G wether or not you are roaming or actually on 3G). Second, there is no visual voicemail or Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone (6). Lastly, I was wondering since the beta is on T-Mobile's network, if there is going to be unlimited, non-data regulated music streaming (spotify, iTunes radio, ect.).

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  • andrew,

    With Ting you do not have data when roaming. I believe there are very few areas in the US where there is roaming.

    Wi-Fi calling is available on phones supported by the partner. Are you sure you have Wi-Fi Calling enabled in the Device Setting on your Ting dashboard? It is disabled by default.

    Be aware that Wi-Fi calling still uses minutes because the call is handled by the partner's network and Ting is charged for the call.

    Carriers with "free" services just hide those charges in higher rates. Ting aims to be as transparent as possible so they do not offer things for free that cost them money. Their partner charges them for all data used.

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  • Andrew - WIFI calling isn't available on the iphone.   

    • iPhone features.  Certain iPhone features, including visual voicemail, Wi-Fi Calling, and group messaging are not yet supported.  We hope to offer these options later this year, but we don't yet have a definitive timeframe.  (If these features are critical to you, they are supported on our CDMA network.)  For more on using your iPhone with our GSM service, please  see here.
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  • So just to be clear, unlimited music streaming will not be allowed on the Ting GSM network?

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  • You will pay for any streaming you use. No "free" streaming.

    There is no free mobile-to-mobile calling either because Ting is charged by their partners for every call.

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  • Well needless to say Ting, if you decide to start building your own towers, you would have my vote :) You guys rock!

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  • Converted to ting a week ago and I have some questions ...

    I'm finding that my coverage is weak compared to what the ting GSM map tells me.  I'm mainly testing in the strong LTE areas but my iPhone 4s can only do 2G.

    I thinking that t-moblie has repurposed its 2G transceivers to LTE and in reality the 2G coverage map is much poorer then shown.  If so then maybe I should up grade to an LTE phone.

    Or am I totally off the mark and it would not matter.  What are your thoughts.

     

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  • Richard,

    That may be true in your area. I was told by a T-Mobile technician in my area that they are re-purposing 3G to LTE.

    I know AT&T & Verizon have the best frequencies for building penetration. That means Sprint, T-Mobile, and other networks settle for the remaining frequencies.

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  • Bruce, Thanks ...

    I'm getting about a bar less then what I got on ATT outside (Boston suburbs).  Inside it's a lot worse.  I'm searching for how to improve this to convince my wife to switch.  I'm looking to cancel the expensive ATT plan now that my kids are starting to need phones too.  If LTE phones will help then I will switch to those ... guess I may have to get one to find out.

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  • Richard,

    If you have at least one bar near a window, for instance, a Cel-Fi booster could help you indoors.

    LTE phones just allow faster data access, but ideally you would use Wi-Fi as much as possible to keep your data usage down.

    For best compatibility with Ting GSM, T-Mobile locked or unlocked phones are the best. 

    It may be possible to bring your AT& T phones if they are unlocked. See https://help.ting.com/entries/105240696-Can-I-Bring-My-GSM-Device-to-Ting-Compatibility-and-Unlocking-Guide

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  • Any chance of a GSM signal booster anytime soon?

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  • Andrew,

    The Cel-Fi I mentioned is a GSM signal booster.

    See http://www.amazon.com/T-Mobile-RS1-Nextivity-Extender-Wireless/dp/B00JKR32OA

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  • That would require a 'bar of 3G service'. I have a bar of edge (2G) at my house.

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  • Bruce:

    I've already have two ATT phones on Ting ... no problem there ... it's just that I can't get that last phone over due to the signal being so-so compared to ATTs signal.  So here's the deal ... t-mobile only can use GSM on the bands it shares with ATT for the iPhone 4s ... these are limited and as I'm discovering have poor signal even in the "strong" signal areas of the GSM Ting map ... I think that the 4G LTE bands that the newer phones use have much better signal (note:I also think voice uses the LTE bands).  So even though I'm not concerned that much with the data speed I'm guessing that switching to phones that use those bands might get me the connection signal I need ... unless the Ting coverage map is ... ah, overstated

    Note I'm more concern about buildings other then my house!!  So getting a Cel-Fi is not going to help me.

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  • The GSM SIM card in the store is still marked as "beta" - is there any possibility that the SIM will change by the time the beta ends or is it safe to order one now and have it work post-beta?

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  • Mike,

    The SIM will not change. It is marked beta because Ting GSM is still in beta. Ting GSM is still in beta until Ting is comfortable their support team can handle GSM call.

    See https://ting.com/blog/an-update-from-the-frontlines/

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  • Bruce,

    Thanks! That's what I figured, just wanted some confirmation.

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  • Does Ting offer the same cellular data exemptions as their unnamed carrier offered me before I switched? I am wondering if it is a bad idea for me to be listening to Pandora One nonstop for the duration of my AT&T U-verse down time, until at least tomorrow when they roll a line truck that can fix my line.

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  • No, Ting doesn't offer any data exceptions. From what I understand, Ting is charged by T-mobile per MB no matter what the source so they couldn't really do anything like "free" Pandora, etc.

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  • Thanks for telling me. I don't expect to drain a whole lot of data in this way, in any case.

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  • Sorry to bump this, but it seems I have already hit 520MB from my regular use. I'm not sure if the traffic monitor even updated in real time or not, since it seemed to go up over 100MB, since the time where I disabled my iPhone's personal hotspot feature for the night. Perhaps it is a bad idea to be using the Vivaldi browser as well, since the Mac version doesn't support any ad blockers yet.

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  • The alerts in your device settings will not stop an active process meaning a block only takes effect at the end of a session.

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