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
  • Comparing GSM vs. CDMA coverage travelling in Western States

    My wife and I just returned from a 2-week driving trip through Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.  One of us had a CDMA phone, the other GSM (both on Ting).  It was interesting to see which worked best in various locations.  Maybe our experience will help someone decide whether to jump to GSM.

    In brief: GSM is fabulous in cities, but in the big in-between spaces there was no useful coverage, while CDMA often worked.

    We followed I-80 from San Francisco straight across to Denver, Colorado.    Both phones worked great, for the most part, across California and up the western slope of the Sierra.  But when we hit the deserts of Nevada, there was no GSM data while CDMA sometimes provided 3G.  And in big-sky-country Wyoming, driving for hours in the company of triple-trailer trucks, nothing worked (not even emergency voice service) on the GSM phone, while the CDMA phone sometimes had voice service.   I don't remember what happened in the Rocky Mountains (sorry), except that both worked fine when we got to Boulder & Denver.  

    From Denver we took I-70 west into Utah, and again lost GSM data service (had only voice roaming), and the CDMA phone was often the only one which could bring up Google Maps.   In frustration, my wife finally bought an old-fashioned paper map at a gas station, which served us well.   There were pockets of GSM LTE coverage even in seemingly-tiny towns along the way (interesting - I wondered about the economics).  From Utah we mainly followed I-15 to Las Vegas (good GSM & CDMA), and from there US-95 to US-395 and up the Owens Valley.  In Mammoth Lakes the GSM phone got usable 3G but nothing there was no GSM data.  Finally we crossed back over the Sierras along Highway 89 via Markleeville, where we did not expect data on either phone (and didn't have any).   When we hit US-50, and then I-80 to return home, both phone worked well again.

    So, if you often travel across the desert, CDMA may be a better choice.

     

    By the way, Arches National Park (near Moab, UT), Bryce Canyon, and Zion were just fabulous.  If you haven't visited them, put them on your Bucket List now! (Zion was very crowded during this Spring Break, but the others were not).

     

     

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  • Just a heads up, I just downloaded and installed Windows 10 on my Lumia 1520.  All the apps have to be re-registered with passwords etc but so far everything seems to work fine.

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  • James A., Great road trip report. FYI for your next one, use the HERE app from Nokia instead of Google Maps. You can download maps for any state and most countries and have local GPS without data. I've used it in France and a couple states here. Way better than Google's offline map feature and no data usage!

    Back on the main topic - I received my Galaxy S5 from Glyde on Friday, activated it Saturday morning via Ting's wizard and my number was ported from my CDMA to my GSM phone in less than an hour. Following the manual steps to set up data and MMS was a bit tricky but everything seems to be working great.

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  • Woohoo!

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  • Hi, I am considering buying a chinese Android 4g phone from here

    https://www.chinavasion.com/search?q=4g+anrdoid

    I was wondering if those phones would work on ting network? Is it as simple as checking if the gsm frequencies ting operates on as listed here: https://help.ting.com/entries/105240696-Can-I-Bring-My-GSM-Device-to-Ting-Compatibility-and-Unlocking-Guide%20

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  • It is that simple as well as buying a Ting X1 SIM.

    Be warned that the US uses different GSM frequencies than the rest of the world.

    You also need to be able to add or change APN settings. Some phones are locked to preloaded APNs

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  • Still looking forward to International Roaming coming "in the near future." Yes, I know I can use a different SIM when traveling abroad. But I want the Ting thing!

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  • I switched from CDMA to GSM about a week and today, when accessing VM (via VM button, dialing 123 and long pressing 1), I get a "Subscriber not in service" message. If I dial my number directly, it works. Has something changed?

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  • I just activated a GSM SIM card with a Sierra Wireless LS300 modem, and it works.  My problem is that the address assigned to the modem appears to be different than the public IP address (my address as it appears to the internet).  I'd like to be able to reach my modem from the internet, but neither the modem address or the public IP address seems to work.  Accessing the device from the internet would be useful for accessing devices such as an IP camera.  Does anybody know if this is possible with the Ting GSM service?

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  • Thomas: I can't imagine you're going to be able to get a public address like that. With as many mobile devices as there are they have to do NATing or they'd eat up a ton of IP space. If possible you may want to see if theres a way to use a dynamic DNS service with the camera. That might be your only option.

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  • Dan, thanks for the response.  My intent was to use a Dynamic DNS, as I expect the modem's IP address to change, but in order for the Dynamic DNS to work, I would think that the modem's WAN address would have to match the public IP address as they change.  Perhaps several devices end up sharing the same public IP address using NAT?  If I understand Dynamic DNS correctly, it would keep track of the IP address of my device, but if that address also corresponds to several other devices, there would be no way to get a message to that device.  On the other hand, it's quite possible that I don't have a full understanding of how Dynamic DNS works.

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  • Just to follow up... After a little research, the term I should have been looking for is "publicly routable".  This is not available on T-Mobile's basic plans, so I will assume it is also not available with Ting's GSM service.  Too bad, because I love dealing with Ting.

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  • Thomas,

    It may be possibly that if you use IPv6 that your address could be publicly routable.

    IPv4 addresses are usually NATed because they are in very short supply. There is a much larger number of IPv6 addresses.

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  • Thanks for the comment, Bruce.  It appears that my Sierra Wireless LS300 modems are not ipv6 capable, so I'll need to see what else is available.

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  • Add me to the list of people with Nexus 5s that won't do data connection sharing (Bluetooth tethering or WiFi hotspot) over 4G/LTE.  It works fine over 3G/HSPA+.  I tried working through it with Ting's tech support for over a month.  It ended with, essentially, "try a factory reset" and them closing the ticket before I responded.  (The factory reset didn't work, unsurprisingly.)

    There's definitely something broken with respect to the Nexus 5 and the LTE network.  I know the provider Ting is using requires their own crappy software for tethering if you're actually one of their customers.  I wonder if the problems we're seeing are a side effect of that requirement.

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  • Don't know where that bit of info came from.  Ting doesn't download any app to your phone.  Tethering is function of your phone software.

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  • Ting doesn't. T-Mobile does. I'm wondering if there's some dumb left over from that on the wholesale network Ting uses.

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  • So far the beta has been mixed.

    Phone: iPhone 5S

    Network; Ting GSM EDGE/2G/3G/LTE

    I'll find I'm in a 3 or 4 dot signal coverage area, with the 3G or LTE lit up, yet no data will flow.

    Starting the Ting app gives a blank blue screen (it would be nice to at least see connection information there).

    Switching the cellular mode to 2G/3G/LTE usually does nothing useful.  Moving to a different area usually fixes it.

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  • Bryce,

    Can you find an IP setting on your phone? Usually there are 3 options.I Pv4, IPv6, & IPv4/IPv6. Try one of the first two. The last one causes issues, especially on LTE for many people.

    I do not have an iPhone 5S, but many users with different phone models have found this tip useful.

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  • Has anyone noticed any worsening reception issues lately??

    I have a OnePlus GSM phone in the Austin TX area, and it seems like my reception has been getting spottier and spottier. Most of the time, my phone is sitting at the "Emergency Calls Only" screen, with only one bar of reception. Forget trying to drive and use hands-free, my coverage comes and goes too quickly. A couple of months ago, I used to get reception in my home, now I do not.

    It seems as though reception at the beginning of the beta was better, or my phone has gone downhill since upgrading to Android 5.0.2. Has anyone had similar issues?

    I tried dialing *#*#4636#*#*  Phone Information and "Set preferred network type" and made sure to select LTE/GSM. Any other pointers?

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  • Melissa,

    Have you tried setting your phone to 3G/GSM?

    A couple of weeks ago, I was testing International roaming for Ting GSM in Canada. My Nexus 5 kept losing signal because I had it set to LTE and the roaming partner does not yet have LTE. Setting my phone to 3G resolved the issue. Apparently, the phone was periodically searching for a non-existent LTE signal.

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  • Hey Bruce,

    Thanks for the quick reply. Wouldn't that mean that I would never get LTE coverage if I flipped it to 3G?? According to the coverage map, I should be getting LTE, no?  Not sure how all that works, but I appreciate the info!

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  • That would stop LTE, yes. In my case, I was losing voice & text capability too.

    Call or chat with Ting support. Perhaps there is a tower issue in your area. They can ether check or submit a request for tower checks in your area.

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  • Hey, FYI - I spoke to super-helpful Russell H, and he had me manually setup an APN and it seemed to make my phone less erratic. Just sharing in case anyone else has the same issue. No more emergency calls only! Here's what he had me do:

    Go to Settings

    Tap Mobile networks

    Access Point Names

    Tap the Add (+ icon) to add a new APN

    Enter APN settings

    Name: Ting Data

    APN: wholesale

    APN type: Enter the following exactly as written without spaces: default,admin,fota,mms,supl,hipri,internet,dun

    If it's not set, enter 310 for MCC

    If it's not set, enter 260 for MNC.

    For APN protocol, enter IPv6

    For APN roaming protocol, enter IPv6

    Tap the Menu key/icon

    Tap Save

    Select Ting Data as your APN

    Restart the device and wait for it to find the Ting network - this may take a minute or so

     

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  • If I buy a prepaid T-Mobile phone will i have to mess with any APN or MMS settings?

    I am thinking about switching from Ting CDMA to GSM, so I don't want to deal with any issues.

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  • Yes, you will have to mess with APN & MMS settings because Tin's settings are not built in to your phone's ROM.

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  • Thanks for the info Bruce, I does not look too difficult to accomplish.

    I am thinking about picking up a T-Mobile Galaxy S6 and trying it on Ting.

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  • Total Loss of Cellular Data on Lumia 635 w/Windows 10 Preview

    First, yes I'm aware that I am using a preview OS on a beta carrier and accept all risks.  Trying to solve a problem so that others may not have to do so in the future.

    For the last couple of months, I've been using a T-Mobile Pre-Paid Lumia 635 with the Windows Insider Preview installed.  Had a few apps that didn't work, but for the most part was a pretty painless experience.  I am on Wi-Fi most of the time, so use very little data (typically easily fit in the Small (<100MB) tier.  I use a Google Voice number for texts, and thus have texts turned off the device level in my Ting account.  I also have voicemail turned off, but have been unable to get unanswered calls to forward to Google Voice for voicemail.  There are probably only 2-3 people who have my Ting number, as I exclusively use the Google Voice number.  Data worked without me having to change anything - I never even went into APN settings upon updating to Windows 10 or the many resets I've performed.

    The last data which I used came through on 4/10 or 4/11 (can't look it up now, as my bill is in limbo between the closing date and the posting date).  An update to Windows Mobile Insider Preview occurred on or around 4/21.  Unfortunately, I did not notice if data services had failed between those times, so now I don't know if Ting failed me or the Windows Update failed me.  I suspect the latter.

    I have manually entered the APN settings recommended by Ting support, save for the fact that nobody can find anywhere for the MMS APN settings in the Windows Preview.  I've tried setting my maximum data speeds to all provided options - LTE, 4G, 2G, and smoke signals.  I have also set the IP Type to each possible value - IPv4, IPv6, and IPv4v6.  For those who like test matrices, I've done each IP Type with each maximum data type, each across a reboot, with no luck.

    Strangely, this morning I checked my freshly restarted billing cycle to find that something - not anything I used intentionally - used 0.02MB of data last night, enough to trigger a charge for data on my dashboard.  (Ting support tells me that anything under 1MB for a month will be waived - Ting is SOOOO COOL).  So, the phone seems to be physically able to make the connection, but I cannot get any app to successfully do anything with a network connection when Wi-Fi is off.  I have tried CyberDust, Internet Explorer, Project Spartan, Twitter, Here Drive+, Store, OneDrive, Accuweather, Words With Friends, etc., with each giving their version of "Cannot connect to network" 

    Has anyone else run into a total eclipse of the [data] part?

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