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
  • That is correct, Anthony

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  • I'm having a new problem.  Wife texting from Verizon network to me.  I get the previous text instead of the current one.  This started just this afternoon.  I got a doubled text, and then every text since has been the one she actually sent prior.  I was under the impression she wasn't answering a question I had while shopping until I called instead and we discovered the 1 text behind issue.

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  • Anthony:

     

    I haven't gotten a reply yet, but if/when I do I'll post it here.

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  • Ryan,

    Test messaging issues are a good symptom of spotty cellular coverage. I experienced strange issues due to that when I had my main phones on Ting CDMA.

    Sometimes texts would not get delivered. Other times, they would get sent multiple times. I have had texts arrive slightly out of order. One time, I had a text session where sometimes a message would arrive with the correct time stamp and at other rimes it would have a time stamp hours earlier.

    I have been texting with my son on Verizon fine, so It may not be a network issue. Call, email, or chat with Ting support for other troubleshooting tips.

     

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  • Ryan: Did you port your number from Verizon?  If so, it's likely that they haven't finished everything on their side related to your port out.  If you're still not receiving texts (promptly or at all) from Verizon customers 24 to 48 hours after your port, we'll need to get someone from there on the phone with us to investigate.

    Erik: I'm sorry for not responding sooner, I've been investigating the problems you've mentioned in similar coverage situations to see if we can figure out what's going on.  The "beta" label has nothing to do with the network or coverage — what you see now is what you get.  And it is the same as what you would get on the postpaid offering from the carrier who shall not be named (with the exception of data roaming).  If you'd be willing to try something for me and sacrifice LTE for a day or two, I'd like to see if you continue to experience the same problems and, if not, potentially narrow down the issue...

    Settings, then More under Wireless & networks, then Cellular networks, then change Preferred network type to 3G.

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  • Justen,

     

    I'm a little discouraged then that the phone support reps would make something like that up out of whole cloth. Not what I've come to expect from Ting.

     

    I'm willing to do whatever you need to help troubleshoot this. I've changed the preferred network to 3G and, so far, do not notice any network flapping. So it does indeed appear to be isolated to the LTE network.

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  • To whom it may concern,

     

    I want to start off in saying that I am very disappointed in what I just learned about Ting C_harged For Wifi Calling_.  But, before I do that, 

     

    I want to Thank You Ting for giving us a scale-able billing option. Other than that, I am a little PO after spending $600 on 2 smart phones. Not your fault, however, there is a language barrier that CDMA and GSM has created issue with and I need to point it out. 

     

    Free wifi calling Google Voice Sprint CDMA not TMobile GSM free wifi calling. 

    Which I am going to reinterate that TMobile has free wifi calling?????????????

     

    When I started looking into this service from cnet download reviews about 6 months ago. I was somewhat favorable but not with being you are a new service. So to try to make this story as short as possible to cut to the chase, The CDMA talks about wifi calling over google voice. I then learned that GSM service through TMobile was going to be open beta. This is where things get hairy. Either there is misrepresentation through your call center or they misunderstood my question before I purchased my phones. They told me that wifi calling on TMobile network is free and in fact it is. If you go to TMobile's website, wifi calling is free. So where does the language barrier come in you ask? Well when talking to a customer, they should automatically assume that you are referring to Ting's service and not TMobile. This is where I become PO big time. I specifically asked if wifi calling was free through the GSM TMobile network and the answer was yes. But, I think where the problem comes up was that we were referencing TMobile and not Ting as free wifi calling. This is where language barrier issue occurred.

    So now, I am going to be using your service under the impression that wifi calling was free or was as I thought I was told, but it is not. And you get charged per minute. I just signed up yesterday. And I ported one of my phone numbers about 2 hours ago. It is my fault. I should have dug in deeper. But, there is a language metropolis of information to defragement the confusion with your CDMA language about wifi calling. Very upset that I have took the plunge.

     

    Well, now I am in it so I am going to ask customer service if there is anything that they are willing to do. I was really looking forward to this service of being of value but now that I have learned this, I may have took a wrong turn. And will be leaving as fast as I come. And I will be a disgruntled customer due to this as I don't think that it is fair to be charged per minute for wifi calling when TMobile, the service that you are using is also offering free wifi calling.

     

    I done a little more digging before I even commented and I found somebody had made a statement that you should have wifi calling a seperate fee, like $5.00 for handling the SIP number. This is something that I highly recommend if you are going to be recommended by me. I have already told a lot of friends and family about your service. And now, I feel that I am going to look like the duck in the room. Anyway, I am not trying to make fun of you, I just want you to fully understand the reprecussions of what is going on. And I will admit it, it is not your fault but, you should have that in BOLD and you should have it in your call service messageing because I guarantee you there is a lot of people signing up for this service thinking the same thing and it is going to backfire on you. This will be your undoing. I have been with at&t for 10 years and I was with verizon for about 5 years before that. I was really looking forward to being a long hauler. I pay my bills. It will be your lost because if I leave, I won't come back. 

     

    Thanks

     

    Chad

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  • @Chad: Not to pour gasoline on things, but I think there's even more of a terminology barrier than you realize:

    CDMA vs GSM is not really the issue. Some phones on Ting GSM currently support WiFi Calling as a built-in carrier feature (your same phone number, the same phone network, etc). No phones on Ting CDMA currently do.

    Google Voice over WiFi is (with limitations) free, no matter which service or carrier you're using, or even whether you have a cell phone at all. It does, however, use its own number. It does not use your phone's. It is not built in. Ting and Google Voice have nothing to do with each other; you only see all the talk about it because many Ting customers also like to use Google Voice.

    T-Mobile does not have free WiFi Calling. They do not charge extra for the service, but if you are using a plan with a set number of minutes, WiFi Calling will use those minutes. If you cross international borders, some of the long distance surcharges also apply. If you use a plan with unlimited minutes, then you are not charged per-minute of WiFi calling, but since you aren't charged per-minute on the cell network either WiFi Calling is not saving you anything. The details are on the support side of their site.

    I'm sorry to hear you ended up in a bad situation because of this mess. I agree it's ridiculously confusing.

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  • Really looking forward to iPhone's visual voicemail...can't go back to calling in. 

    Thanks!

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  • Chad,

    T-Mobile has unlimited calling and other free services too, like unlimited data. They just bury their costs in their high rates. Ting means to be as transparent as possibly in their rates.

    This means if you call another phone on your account, the minutes count double because Sprint (and, I assume, T-Mobile) charges for minutes sent & received. This means Ting will charge minutes for Wi-Fi calling because T-Mobile charges Ting for those minutes.

    IF you insist on free services, pay the higher rates from the carriers offering that. Even with the apparent extra costs, the vast majority of users save money with Ting.

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  • Chad,

    I also think you are a little confused. Google Voice lets you use Google Hangouts for fee Wi-Fi calling on either CDMA or GSM. Ting Wi-Fi calling on GSM is a separate service, using T-Mobile's new system.

    Many people are upset that T-Mobile had WiFi calling on the iPhone 5 during their beta testing but dropped support when Wi-Fi calling was released. Many phones, like the Nexus 5 & 6 hope to get Wi-Fi calling later this year. None of this is under Ting's control. All they can do is either offer Wi-Fi calling or not offer it.

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  • In brief, Google Voice for free Wi-Fi calling will work on GSM just the same as it does on CDMA. If you do not with to use the other GSM WiFi calling do not enable it in the device settings on your Ting dashboard.

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  • Bruce: I think the Nexus 5 got Wi-Fi calling in the lmy47d build released on or around the 9th. I have not verified this, however.

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  • I will agree with the confusing part.  Toward that end, I don't believe that calls via Google are really free since I believe that they go via data and therefore would be changed the appropriate data rate.  Likewise, calls via more business oriented VOIP systems would also use data minutes.  I'm sure if I'm wrong here, y'all will correct me.  One of the complications of moving to Ting is to figure out what services are actually being used at the all in one carriers and correctly calculating the pay as you go charges at Ting.  In my case for two phones on Sprint, the bill dropped from $140 to $60/month but I had buy phones.

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  • @Joshua, I see a new version has been released, but I have nor yet received it on my Nexus 5.

    @Ken, calls via Google are free if done over Wi-Fi.

    Now with Ting GSM, many more phones can be BYOD, including many recent Verizon phones. That makes the cost of moving to Ting much less than it was years ago.

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  • @Bruce Hey I think this is another point were some tact was needed when responding to @Chad. 

    The fact of the matter is that WIFI calling should NOT be charged at the same rate as normal voice due to it not using the mobile network for half of the call. I have the same problem with charges for WiFi calling as i do with the Airwaves/femtocells. these devices and services use OUR bandwidth to supplement a network we are paying for but the carrier doesn't want to upgrade and increase coverage. I find it ridiculous that carriers charge for us allowing them to piggyback on our internet. 

     

    The only hope is when Title 2 gets pushed down some of the nonsense will be stopped. But i would say Ting Needs to get better and clearer documentation on items like this. Many people don't realize that calling from a ting GSM line to a CDMA line on the same account will charge them twice. As i have said to many people at Ting; "Ting is no longer just for the Technologically savvy and now will need to change to be able to serve the dumb masses of normal customers. After working for ATT for 8 years I can tell you that most Ting customers are not the norm and are much more in tune with how things work. But if Ting does not get its message together and improve its documentation it will FAIL to break out of just being a niche carrier.

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  • Robert,

    I am just a Ting user and do not represent Ting although I have helped with testing and have discussed some of these issues with Justen. Of course, I wish things were different, but my only alternative is to leave Ting.

    Last year, I moved most of my usage from Ting CDMA to T-Mobile and paid over twice as much. My main usage is now back on Ting GSM for the same coverage at a much lower cost.

    Do not forget Ting GSM is still in beta and Wi-Fi calling is not yet officially part of the beta, if I recall correctly. It has been tested in private beta since before the invitation only beta, but there are still a few rough edges, I think.

    you are free to leave Ting just as I did. They are having an impact on the industry and they do not pretend to be the solution for everybody. T-Mobile's new priving anf Virgin Mobile Custom are a couple of examples of carriers trying to compete with Ting.

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  • Is anybody using a Ting SIM in a Sony Xperia Z3? In the dual SIM variant (D6633) I am seeing a weird effect whereby if the phone is sitting there with full bars LTE coverage and I simply restart the phone it will then reset the RF/SIM a few times and eventually it will attach to the network but with no data active. If I then tell it to use GSM only with the Ting SIM it will find EDGE data. If I then tell it to use LTE/WCDAM/GSM it will again find LTE data. It also shows this issue when it moves in and out of WiFi coverage. I am wondering if the same symptoms appear on the single SIM variants. Any info appreciated.

    Another "odd" feature is that all networks show as "Ting" during network search - even Verizon, AT&T and a local carrier. A Galaxy S4 in the same location only shows magenta as "Ting".

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  • Try disabling IPv6. People have had issues, especially on LTE. Many phones have it enabled by default.

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  • OK - will try disabling IPv6. Is that a known issue which will be resolved? I do actually use IPv6.

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  • I do not know what the partner agreement is. Justen would likely best answer that.

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  • @Bruce Sorry I didnt mean to lash out at you. Its really early where i am and I mixed you and @Justen.

    Also We are Ting Partners but nothing I say represents Ting. Also I will be with Ting for the long haul. I think what they are doing is great and have defended them in the past but what i was getting at is there will be a paradigm shift in their customer base and they will need to prepare for it.

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  • Like any company, we'd love to offer unlimited WiFi Calling for the $6 a month you pay for the device fee.  The reality is, however, that we pay our GSM network partner the same rate for every minute, whether it is being carried on a tower or over WiFi Calling.  They still have origination and termination costs that are separate from the fixed costs associated with a call being carried over a tower versus a hotspot.  It is possible that we will have better rates for WiFi Calling in the future, but that isn't something I can promise you today.  It is something we've worked to be as transparent and clear about as possible from the first day we made WiFi Calling available as part of the early private beta.

    If you have been charged two device fees after switching from CDMA to GSM, please let us know so we can credit you the $6 back.  You shouldn't see two device fees when switching going forward, unless you switch back and forth more than once in a given billing period.

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  • Justen,

    Is this a recent change? Historically, Ting has prorated the new device, but charged full for the old one. this is the same as I am experiencing now on T-Mobile, FWIW.

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  • "T-Mobile has free Wi-Fi calling". Setting aside the fact that you cannot seem to get a metered minutes plan from T-mobile anymore, you are correct.

    Free Wi-Fi calling is a very powerful marketing tool for T-Mobile. It allows them to distract people from the fact that their signal cannot penetrate the walls of your house. It allows them to offload voice and messaging from their towers, freeing up bandwidth which can then be allocated to data hogs or sold to MVNOs like Ting.

    T-Mobile doesn't do this out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it because it benefits them. Allowing Ting to use such a powerful tool does not benefit them.

    There are a lot of things that Ting does not seem to be allowed to say openly. Things like, "sprint has declared war on us because they suddenly see us more as a threat than an asset". Or, "T-Mobile is our GSM carrier". Would anyone really be surprised if "we don't offer free Wi-Fi calling because T-Mobile won't let us" was one of those things that Ting is not allowed to say?

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  • Bruce Osborne/Justen Burdette:

    I disabled IPv6 in the APN and I'm still occasionally seeing the network flapping (ie it briefly displays "Emergency calls only"). I will try switching from LTE to 3G per Justen's comment on March 10, 2015, 11:04:

    "Settings, then More under Wireless & networks, then Cellular networks, then change Preferred network type to 3G."

    and see if the flapping continues.

    Thanks for your continued help with the issue!

     

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  • I want to apologize to Ting for any miss guided attention. I understand that GSM is open beta and I am ok with that. And for a lack of better word, it was my fault for not doing my due diligence when it come to the wifi calling. The only real point that I was trying to make is that your terminology needs to be more stream lined to the masses. I thank you for allowing us to use wifi calling and that was one of the main reasons why I decided to go with Ting. I just feel that this needs to be focused on in the near future, that way when I am at home on my wifi, I am not to concerned about talking on my phone. I just don't see how it would be any other benefit to wifi calling other than if you don't have reception where you are located..

    which I read on your FAQ that you would not enable service to a non serviceable area so it kind of contradicts the whole concept of what Ting means in the sense of using it for wifi calling. It just doesn't make any sense why I should have to pay full rate for you using my internet. Maybe you guys can come up with a solution with some type of app that we can install on our phones to overcome this problem and you integrate google voice setup to work properly without a bunch of mumbo jumbo. In other words, it should work like making a phone call over wifi. The only thing required is a Ting app installed. Just thought I would give you that extra input. Something needs to be done. The keyword here is stream line your service. I am trying to help you be the best by giving you the view from the outside looking in. I hope that I am being as straight forward as I can be and clearly understandable. 

    But in the meantime: 

    Bottom line is that you should announce to all of your new customers coming on board if they are getting GSM in hopes of having wifi calling, that they don't get it confused with TMobiles sales gimmick.. after others have commented after my first comment that this is the case. This was my mistake. I don't know how else to put it. I am not going to try and back pedel my way out of this. I am going to be a man and own up to it. But, I feel that I stepped in a trap and for your company sake, you need to try to avoid those misguided steps by just being open and straight forward no matter if it is a deal or deal breaker for your company. Like the old saying is, a happy camper is a paying camper. 

     

    I hope that this service is of value to me and I don't mean to stir anybody up or get off on the wrong foot but I am giving you a customers point of view. This may be a deal breaker for a lot of new customers coming on board.

     

    And again, I am going to reiterate. You seriously need to take a good look at what I am saying and make sure that customers coming from other carriers do not get the sense of free wifi calling due to terminology from CDMA and GSM through google voice wifi calling. Which I know is not the same just to clear that up. It was clearly my fault. I read into something that was not there. But, again, I guarantee that a lot of other new customers coming from other carriers could fall in this same pattern. We need to clear that up. You need to make it clear cut that you don't get free wifi calling through our service.

     

    I hope my comments are of value without disturbing or discouraging you and causing more frustration than what should be your moral obligation. I know you are in the business to make money, however, I am in the business to save money, which I think is in a sense what the goal is. I want nothing more than this service to work. But please address my issues.

    And I am going to make a suggestion again that you need a very simple way to get around the wifi calling issue by simply creating an app that would setup all of the configurations automatically and intergrade it into your smart phone to where it would work seamless. And you would never even know it was running in the background. I am talking to TUCOWS on that note. Just trying to push you in the right direction. Good Luck. Thanks

     

    Chad 

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  • anybody got lte working with an unlocked gsm iphone?

    i have an unlocked iphone5 with the new ting gsm sim.  3g data, calls, and text all work fine.  just plugged in the sim and they all worked without any configuration.  i did need to set the apn's in the cellular data network settings to get the hotspot working.  i don't use and haven't looked at mms or voicemail.  so it's all good except i cannot get lte working.  i was using this phone with tmobile and lte worked just fine.  the current 3g connection is pretty fast (15 mbps down/1 mbps up).  it's just the lte is a lot faster around here (35 mbps down/20 mbps up).  got a little bit spoiled by that.

    my suspicion is that lte will not work until a carrier settings update is pushed out by apple.  something like that happened with tmobile.

     

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  • I disabled IPv6 on the APN and the network flapping / data connection issues went away. However - I actually want IPv6!

    The odd thing is that if I switch the phone to WCDMA/GSM and let it connect then switch to LTE the IPv6 does indeed work (when enabled in APN) but leaving it selected causes issues whenever the phone is reconnecting to data - e.g. after WiFi use.

    If anybody at Ting wants more data just ask.

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  • D:

    As a computer tech, I'm intrigued as to why you care about IPv6 on the phone.....I understand on your computer but why on the phone.  Just wondering what I'm missing.

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