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
  • IPv6 isn't essential for typical use - yet.......... but I have been using it on mobile devices for network monitoring and M2M applications for several years now so not having it is a complete PITA - it will be a deal breaker if not resolved.

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  • Well I do find it strange that it previously worked on Tmobile and using exactly the same network but billing through Ting, it doesn't, I'll give you that.  Perhaps, TM isn't  giving Ting "exactly" the same network.

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  • It does actually work - but having it selected in the APN seems to cause some issues for the D6633 when connecting to the network. I don't see the same effect on a Samsung device.

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  • I have not been able to use tethering (either wifi hotspot or bluetooth) since switching to GSM.  It is enabled for the device here on Ting.  I am using a Nexus 5, trying to connect my Nexus 7/2012 to it.  The N5 connects to the internet just happy as ever, but I get either ERR_INTERNET_DISCONNECTED when I tried with bluetooth first.  After shutting that off, and switching the WiFi on, it is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NO_INTERNET.  The N5 shows the notification that the tether is successful, I just can't seem to get anything out into the Internet.

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  • John,

    You need Wi-Fi off and data on before you turn on the Wi-Fi Hotspot. My Nexus 5 works fine with the LRX22C ROM.

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  • I don't have a Nexus 5 but have successfully used the hotspot feature.  Don't use tethering, don't use bluetooth and wifi must be off.  Generally, when you turn on hotspot, the wifi is automatically turn off.  The you have to go look to see the SSID name and password.  If you can, change the password to something you can remember.

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  • John, did you switch from CDMA? If so you probably need clear the CDMA settings to get the hotspot to work... a number of people had issues with it.

     

    If you put the old CDMA SIM in, dial *#*#72786#*#*, pull the CMDA sim and insert the GSM one while it is restarting. See if that helps.

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  • Bruce, I have those settings just like you said.  Nothing on my tablet.

    Ken, yes, I have it all set up like that and the tablet connects to the N5 just fine.  The N5 shows it's notification that something is attached to it.  I prefer the Bluetooth tethering as it seems to maintain a signal better between my devices.  I primarily will use the N7 mounted in my car to play media, navigation, etc. Before, on CDMA, it was all working.  At first I just figured I was in an area with a bad signal, but it's been a couple weeks and I couldn't ever get a connection.  From my N5 I have had better signal strength with GSM that I had before, really.

    Can, yes I did have this phone on CDMA previously.  I went ahead and did that reset.  After returning to GSM, I did have to add the Ting APN again.  But still I don't get anything with either form of tethering.

     

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  • I have a 3nd generation Moto X which was purchased directly from Motorola so it is, I believe, the pure edition. Currently I am using it on T-Mobile. When I checked the Ting compatibility it came back that it is compatible with 2G and LTE. For some reason it didn't show 3G. How is possible? I am getting occasionally H+ on T-mobile now when I am not in an LTE area. Isn't it 3G?  

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  • In looking at the GSM coverage map I can see huge areas that are covered by partner networks. Is it indeed the case that there is no data roaming option? I find it increasingly hard to be disconnected from data these days.

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  • Avi, the IMEI checker is incorrect on the latest Moto X - mine did the same thing. If it is the pure edition, you will get everything including LTE. Also, if you are on t-mobile now, you will get the same in-network coverage. As far as "partner" or roaming coverage, you should get voice and sms but no data. You could easily turn off data roaming on your phone while still on t-mobile and see if it makes a difference for you.

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  • Finally confirmed that my Verizon branded phones will not work on GSM (though Ting's Compatibility Check tool said they would) so I'm looking at different options.  Has anyone successfully activated the Moto G (1st Gen US GSM with LTE)?  It appears to support the 1900 and 2100 MHz bands so I'm wondering if this would be a good choice. 

    Thanks! 

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  • Alan,

    It it works on T-Mobile, it should work on Ting GSM. Same network, lower prices. (except for Wi-Fi calling. Ting charges for that.)

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  • Justen - You may have noticed that a couple of us have devices which seem to have difficulties attaching to the data network when IPv6 is enabled in the APN. My own device is a Sony Xperia D6633. This morning I looked at some diagnostics and watched after a power reset. It constantly cycled between network "T-Mobile" and network "Ting" with corresponding changing of Roaming/Not Roaming. Eventually it settles on "T-Mobile" and no data is active. If I switch it to GSM only and then back to LTE that cures the problem until the next data network detach/reattach. The only way to avoid this issue is to have an IPv4 only APN which is not an option for me.

    Have you been able to gather any information on which phones or Android builds are showing this issue? FYI - the phone previously was working OK with a T-Mobile or Simple Mobile SIM - but of course the APN was different then too.

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  • D,

    Since your phone was working on T-Mobile, you are likely a good candidate to help. Email justen@ting.com and perhaps you can help Ting solve this. So far, all I have seen is the advice to turn off IPv6.

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  • Latest finding is that setting the APN to IPv6 only (rather than IPv4/IPv6) also cures the issue. That uses T-Mobile's 464XLAT service. Perhaps others could try that. Still testing...

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  • So it seems that the Z3 supports IPv6 over UMTS so I don't think there is a down side for me to having the APN set to IPv6 only since that provides both IPv6 and IPv4 service. I may have to have another APN available for trips into ye olde world of GPRS but I can deal with that. 

    This approach may not work for other affected devices if they don't support IPv6 over UMTS since the data would be cutting in and out on the edge of LTE coverage.

    I still hope that there is a more elegant solution. I'm curious about the long list of APN types that Ting recommends setting - some look unnecessary.

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  • My experience switching to Ting GSM wasn't great.  The online compatibility checker OKed my phone for use (2G and 4G LTE).  I have a Verizon Galaxy Note 2 (SCH-I605).  After switching over, I had two main issues - a permanent notification saying that the phone wouldn't activate because the SIM was from an unknown source.  After Googling, it looks like this is baked into the Samsung or Verizon (I don't remember which one) Setup Wizard that runs every time the phone is booted.  One of the things it does is to check for and "Unknown SIM."  The only solution I saw was to root the phone and rename the APK that causes the problem....after the phone is rebooted, the APK wouldn't run and you wouldn't get the notification.  This is a lot to ask of people.  There needs to be a more user friendly way to deal with this.  While I didn't mind rooting my phone, I never took the time to do this.

     

    The other problem was a deal breaker.  The 4G bands on the radio in the SCH-I605 are NOT compatible with the Ting GSM service as stated by the compatibility checker.  No amount of changing settings would have ever enabled 4G on my phone - I can only get 2G.  I need data on my phone and I can't overlook this problem, so I'm having to drop Ting as soon as I can get a Straight Talk SIM (they are out of stock at my local WalMart at the moment).

     

    I really wish Ting would have worked out.  Specifically, I wish their compatibility checker wouldn't have falsely stated that my phone was 4G compatible....I would have never signed up knowing that.  I did talk to a few Ting Customer Service folks and they were great....thankfully the last guy I talked to thought to look at the band settings for the 4G radios in my phone and discovered that, in fact, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Verizon) is NOT compatible with their 4G offering.  Texting, Voice service, and 2G  works great, however.

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  • I'm sorry things didn't work out, Dean.  The compatibility checker relies on a shared industry database that device manufacturers populate with the band support they build into each device they build.  Based on your experience, we're now manually overriding the data that Samsung has loaded into that database and will only display 2G for Verizon Note II compatibility checks going forward.

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  • Justen,

    It is possible that user is in an area with the new LTE bands. LTE band 4 is not the only one used by T-Mobile now, depending on the region f the country. This could be the core of the issue.

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  • That was my first guess, as well, Bruce. But it looks like LTE should be band 4 in his area.

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  • Is Ting's map showing the LTE bands yet?

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  • Near as I can tell, the Verizon Note 2 only supports band 13 for LTE.  http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SCH-I605TSAVZW-specs

     

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  • I think Ting GSM uses bands 2, 4, & 12 depending on location.

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  • Anyone have any suggestions on how to make people aware of what type of data speeds their phone is capable of getting with Ting GSM?  It is apparent that the compatibility checker is giving people false hope.  I have seen it tell people they will get 4G LTE, but it doesn't tell them you will get 4G LTE with Band 4 only, and the person lives in an area where 4G LTE is supplied by Band 2, and now they only get 2G data speeds.  We know the Ting GSM coverage map is outdated and is not showing the Band information like T-Mobile's does. The most recent situation, the compatibility checker was completely wrong.   

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  • In the private beta, people noticed the T-Mobile map was updated to show what LTE bands were in an area.  I do not know if Ting has received that update yet.

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  • The Ting GSM map is still the old one.

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  • Bruce Osborne/Justen Burdette:

    Network flapping update:

    I had previously disabled IPv6 in the APN and was still seeing the occasionally network flapping (ie it briefly displays "Emergency calls only").  Per your previous suggestion of switch from LTE to 3G, I did that and no longer see the flapping!  Happy face for no more flapping!  Sad face for no more LTE!  ;-)

    Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to try or if you need any further details from me to help diagnose (ie location, settings, etc).

     

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  • Anthony: The problem sounds LTE coverage related, combined with your device not handling the fallback quickly or gracefully.  It sounds like LTE signal isn't great in your house, but your device is aggressively switching from HSPA to LTE, anyway.  When it inevitably loses the LTE signal, it's falling back to 3G.  But it sounds like it might also be trying AT&T or another GSM carrier first.  Could you send me a quick email (j@ting.com) with your address and device so I can take a look this weekend?

    Ken: I saw that, too.  These are the specs that Samsung loaded into the shared industry database...

    Screen_Shot_2015-03-13_at_10.06.18.png

    Chris: The simplest way would be to ask for your ZIP code in addition to your IMEI (and the previous carrier for your device).  But the data that would make it possible to tell each band being used based on area hasn't yet been made available to wholesale partners like Ting.  We're hoping that, at the very least, the embedded GSM coverage map on ting.com will be updated in the next few weeks, but we're a bit at the carrier who shall not be named's mercy on that front.

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  • Justen: I also had problems with flapping in an area that has rock solid LTE - I can literally see the tower. I am currently running using the APN set to IPv6 only and have zero flapping now. Previously when I had the APN set tp IPv4 / IPv6 the flapping was present I could see that the phone was alternating between saying Ting and T-Mobile and Not roaming / Roaming. I contacted help but they wanted me to do a factory reset which didn't really make any sense. If you want to gather some info to help solve the general issue I am happy to run diagnostics.

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