GSM beta discussion

Update: Ting GSM is now in a public beta.  Head over here for the latest thread!

Hi everyone,

We've been testing GSM since early December.  Several weeks ago, several dozen Ting customers were recruited by a secret branch of the CIA called SD-6. They were sworn to secrecy...

No, wait.  Sorry.  Wrong script.

A few weeks ago, several dozen Ting customers were invited to join our private beta for GSM.  (And a few additional folks have joined since.)  We're going to start inviting customers who have purchased their SIM cards in small batches beginning today, and we wanted a place to where we could get your feedback, discuss known issues if we discover any, and allow everyone to share their GSM experiences.

A few caveats: international roaming, international long distance, and WiFi Calling are all currently missing in action.  We'll have more updates on these features as we get closer to our full launch.  We've also seen issues with group messaging on iOS.

So, stay tuned to your inbox!  Invites will start going out later this afternoon if all goes well, and we'll be increasing the number of invites that go out each day.  We really appreciate everyone's interest!

Beta questions...

So, you'd like to move your phone number from Ting CDMA to Ting GSM?  We're building a fancy tool that will let you do this in a click or two.  But, for now, you have to do it the hard way.  It works, but like everything else in the beta, there may be bumps.  For example, with the fancy tool, it'll be possible for the "switch" to happen in a few minutes.  For now, it's a manual number port.  If you want things to go as quickly as possible, when entering your porting information, be sure to get your account number and port out PIN from your Ting dashboard here.  Be sure to also include the current address listed here.



  • Waiting, waiting, waiting.........

  • For those of you with a Nexus 6 that will be switching from CDMA to GSM, you will want to follow these steps to get the Nexus 6 to connect to the GSM network.  

    With the CDMA SIM card inserted, switch you Preferred Network Type to Global (settings --> More -->Cellular Networks--> Preferred network type --> Global.  Turn the phone off, remove the CDMA SIM and insert the GSM SIM.  Turn the phone back on.  Switch Preferred network type to LTE.  If you haven't already created and switched to the Ting APN, you will need to do that.  After following those steps, my Nexus 6 connected to the Ting GSM network!

  • I eagerly await my invite...I got my GSM SIM card the other day, and my new Oneplus One is coming in tomorrow :-)

    • You can use Google Voice for International LD on GSM phones, even Ting Beta.   Just down load the free app and charge it with some money ($10 min I think).  Calls to the EU are two cents a minute.  It does use domestic minutes, its not VoIP, works much better than SKPE or Hangouts.
    • If you are using a modern phone that was originally sold by and used on TMO, the phone does not need to be unlocked and the TING Sim will fire up instantly when inserted. Dead easy.   But, do not be discouraged if you can change the APN to the TING requested  'wholesale" APN.  The default APN on TMO sold phones is called "Fast.T-Mo".  But it works perfectly on Ting.  All services work.  I have not been able to change it to Wholesale - but luckily do not really need to.  
    • As Chris points out above, setting the APN is different from the universal phones (not directly sold by a carrier), such as the Nexus 6, sold by Google.   I am assuming Chris got his 6 from the Google and not from TMO.  For unlocked phones brought over from another carrier (i.e. death star), you can and will need to set up the APN as suggested by Ting. 
  • APN setting can be found here:  "Completing Activation on the GSM Network"  here.

  • My GSM card has been in my OnePlus One for a week. I'm trying to be patient, but...

  • Scott, Joseph does the OnePlus One support all the LTE 4G bands or just 2 & 4?  I just got my phone activation today after about a week so it's slowly rolling out.  In Dallas, I'm only getting about 1.7mbps download speed.

  • According to this it supports: LTE 700 / 1700 / 1800 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 

    (Bands 1, 3, 4, 7, 17, 38, 40)

  • I'll be interested in hearing back what your data speed is.......once you are activated.

  • Golly, I am getting really excited! My new OnePlus is itching to get used for more than my August lock and Words With Friends. I REALLY cannot wait to finally get rid of Republic Wireless. Nothing but trouble with them. 

  • Ken, I'll definitely post numbers once I'm activated.

  • I received 2 GSM sim cards today. My wife and I are eagerly waiting. :)

  • So is T Mobile the sole GSM provider for Ting?

  • Michael, I don't think Ting is allowed to confirm, but if you check the Ting GSM coverage map it is the same as T-Mobiles, so that would imply that yes, they are the sole GSM provider. I believe that text and call roaming to other GSM providers will be allowed, but not data.

  • Well officially Ting can't comment on the provider but that seems to be the consensus.  Here is a hint, if you bring an ATT phone, it has to be unlocked, if you bring a tmobile phone, it's best to have it unlocked but not necessary.  

  • Cool, thanks guys.

  • With the proviso that I have the SIM but am not on the  beta ... It's t-mobile, shows as such using Signal Check Pro.  

  • That's a handy little app. Thanks

  • Sim card and one plus one waiting...


    Just as added confirmation, Google Play sees my service-less OnePlus as a T Mobile device.

  • Ken, I'm in the  Boulder, CO area and I'm getting about 18Mbps. I'll test occasionally to see if that goes up or down and post here if there is a change.

  • Good morning everyone! The one great thing about Republic Wireless is the wifi calling. I live in an apartment building and the thick concrete walls and being on the water makes for very bad cell coverage inside my place. Wifi calling was a lifesaver, so I am very interested in wifi calling on these GSM devices. I currently have an HTC One M7 with a Ting sim card that recently upgraded to Lollipop. I now see the "Wifi Calling" icon in my menu, but it's inactive. What is the timeline for rolling out wifi calling (Ting will be UNBEATABLE with that feature!)? Also, even though my phone is a Sprint phone, it uses a sim card, so can you use a GSM sim card in this phone? And lastly, is the Nexus 5 switchable to GSM?? Thank you, in advance, for your responses.

  • Very impressive.  that's with a Oneplus one?  Glad you see you are activated.

  • Kathleen, sprint does not have wifi calling, only gsm TMO/ting will have it. It's still in beta and not ready for prime time on ting GSM. Note that when TMO/ting does get it, it will use plan minutes. I am beta testing wifi calling now. Just like you said, it's great for strange inside locations. If a feature is grayed out on the dashboard, it means it's not available. Fyi: modern sprint phones do not have a SIM card. The sim look alike card is a UICC card that is necessary only for getting LTE on sprint cdma service. A true SIM card on a gsm phone activates the phone, stores contacts, etc. A sprint phone will work without a UICC card. A gsm phone will not work on a network without a sim. you can not use a gsm sim card in a sprint branded phone, with some exceptions for nexus 6. And I doubt sprint will ever get wifi calling. And converting a sprint m7 to gsm is virtually impossible.

    My m7 sprint has not upgraded yet to 5.

  • PS Kathleen, thanks for heads up on lollipop for HTC one, upgrading now.

  • Peter, excellent on Lollipop. Don't know why they didn't push it, but it was nice to see it there!

    Also, did you mean to say "Note that when TMO/ting does get it, it will use plan minutes" or it will NOT use plan minutes? I don't know why it would use plan minutes since you're using the your own internet to call rather than the cell towers. Kinda like a grocery store that still charges you for bags when you bring your own.

    I never used it, but Sprint actually DOES have wifi calling on certain phones. (


    Enjoy your Lollipop!


  • @Kathleen. Yes somewhere, maybe on Facebook or a blog announcement, Ting stated that, when available, wifi-calling would be charged as per calls routed via a cell tower.

  • Kathleen, should have said: wifi on TMO ting gsm will use your ting plan minutes. No cost savings with ting wifi.

    Actually, there are two costs in a wireless phone call, the long distance transmission (from your phone to the destination area) and then the last mile to the receiving phone. Wifi saves the first cost, but there is still the second cost. TMO and others promote wifi because it takes demand off of cell towers (expensive) and routes it on Internet (cheap). I had wifi calling on TMO years ago and loved it. Cost $5 a month and no plan minutes. Dumped the home landlines.

    Since ting buys all services from sprint and TMO by the unit, (each min, each text, each mb), there is no cost incentive to ting or TMO or sprint to give any service for free to us. If we had free wifi calling, we would spend less on paid for minutes. Whereas on TMO, all plans have unlimited voice and using wifi saves expensive cell tower load. As they say: Follow the money!

  • Ken, yes, I have a OnePlus One. I tested again from a different area and got 16Mbps. I'm using the app to test.

  • I have received my Ting GSM sim last week and my new Moto X 2014 Pure Edition just arrived. I plan to play around with it on wifi in anticipation of my activation email. I do have one question though, should I go ahead and put the GSM sim into the phone while awaiting activation or wait until I get to email? Or does it matter at all?

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