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.

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890 comments
  • I was actually considering just doing the number port from one to the other.  Although maybe I should hold off on doing that until the fancy tool that switches between networks in a matter of minutes is live.

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  • Got the go-ahead to activate my SIM today, so it's up and running on my Nexus 5, with the caveat that I can't receive calls. Making calls, data, and text messaging all work fine, but incoming calls don't ring on my device. Maybe it's related to the data outages mentioned (I'm in NYC). I had to switch from LTE to Global with my Sprint SIM in (and then restart) before the GSM SIM would recognize the network. 

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  • @Mike: Is your phone receiving service now? If it isn't make sure you have followed the instructions here: https://help.ting.com/entries/22352307-Completing-Your-Activation-

    If you are still having problems after that, I'll try to help.

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  • Ben,

    No, still unable to initiate. Dialing out gives me "restricted" message with code NC26865. Text just send just displays "Can't send message"

    I am using BLU Win HD Windows Phone v8.1.1

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  • Quick update:

    The CDMA-to-GSM port swaps have been temporarily disabled while we prepare for some improvements. We'll be sure to send another update once it's back up and running. Thanks!

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  • I received my Ting Sim card a week or so ago & just ordered a new Fire phone. While this wasn't my first choice of phone, I couldn't pass up on the current $199 offer. I was up for $99 prime membership anyway so the phone is effectively $100. As this is to be a spare phone to be shared between my wife & myself, we can learn to live with any Amazon idiosyncrasies that it might have. If the GSM coverage is good for the areas we use, we may convert one of the other CDMA phones at a later date. 

    Now, anxiously waiting for the Ting email invite.

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  • @Mike: Did your device used to be activated on Ting's CDMA service? If it was this is what you need to do:

    Put your Ting CDMA SIM back into your phone, and reboot. Head to your settings app, and then go to the cellular settings. Here - I believe it's under "Mode Selection", but you may need to search around for this because I've never used Windows phone - you need to select Global. Now, remove your Ting CDMA SIM, and put in your Ting GSM SIM. It should work now. If it doesn't post back and I might be able to help.

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  • This is a new device with a new number. I tried playing with some of the cellular settings to no avail

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  • @Siham, what does that mean for swaps that are currently in progress? I requested mine around noon Pacific today, and the status currently says "Porting."

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  • Mike,

    I have three more questions:

    Where did you buy the device: are you absolutly sure that it is unlocked. If it is a Sprint or Sprint MVNO - like Virgin Mobile, etc. - you will need a Ting CDMA SIM card.

    Have you activated the SIM card here: https://ting.com/go/devices - select T-Mobile and then there should be a link at the bottom that says "I have a GSM SIM skip this step.

    Have you checked to make sure your device even works with Ting here: https://ting.com/byod

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  • Actually if it's a Virgin Mobile device it needs to be unlocked first and then used with Ting GSM.

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  • I had a less than positive day out with GSM Sim in my new Moto X. I am able to make and receive call no problem. I have not tried texting as I generally use Google Voice/ Hangouts for that. But when I was out in the wild today I had no data connection. I have also turned off wifi at home for a while and I don't have a data connection here either. I still have my CDMA Galaxy  S3 activated on Ting and it was getting LTE just about wherever I go though sometimes it's 3g. I'm not certain if  the GSM problem is due to the area outages mentioned above or something else. I am in New England.

    One thing I noticed though is the in my Ting dashboard it shows that the Moto X (GSM) used 1MG of data today. Does this mean that it actually did connect some where along the way, however briefly?

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  • Theresa,

    Have you completed all the steps here for your device to get data working?

    https://help.ting.com/entries/22352307-Completing-Your-Activation-

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  • Bah...of course I wait until I get home and you disable porting.

     

    On the other hand, I live near Boston, so there's probably no GSM service at the moment anyways...maybe I'll just come back in a few days.

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  • @Ben,

    I purchased it directly off MS site where it is listed as unlocked ( http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msca/en_CA/pdp/Unlocked-BLU-Win-HD/productID.306014200). I activated the device as "other", could that have something to do with it? Why would I be able to receive calls if the activation failed?

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  • Any idea how long porting is going to be shutdown?  I am debating whether I want to wait or get a new number on the GSM SIM.

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  • Ben,

    Thanks so much! I had tried the APN steps when I first activated the GSM Sim but ran into the MCC/MNC values speed bump. So I ended up leaving them as default. Since calling had worked I thought that was okay. At any rate I just went through the steps again without changing the MCC/MNC values and it WORKED! After restarting me phone and turning off WiFi I got LTE right away! Wonderful, now I'm all set. Thanks again.

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  • @Theresa: I'm glad I could help!

    @Mike: 

    Yeah, I think that's what you did wrong. You can't activate it as other. When I activated mine I pressed the button that says: "My device is unlocked and I have a Ting GSM SIM card. Skip this step." You first have to click on other and then press this link.

    If this still doesn't work I have been reading about your phone. It says it has dual SIM capability. I'm assuming this means there are 2 SIM card slots. Make sure you have the right one selected - I don't know how to do this but maybe it says it in the manual, or try moving the SIM into the other slot.

    Also, I would check and make sure that in your Ting dashboard you can see the GSM SIM card. If you can't then you definitely did something wrong.

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  • I honestly didn't notice that option - now it says I cant activate it, the device is not compatible. I'm guessing its because its already active? The phone is listed as being ATT/T-Mobile comapitble.

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  • Oh, and in the dashboard the phone is listed and has, what appear to be, valid ESN/MEID, IMSI and ICCID

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  • I have two GSM SIM cards from Ting, and a OnePlus One phone.  Got the GSM invitation from Ting today.  Tried to activate.  First issue I noticed: When I choose "Activate a brand new number," it presents my street address, which is correct even down to the apartment number.  I press continue, and it asks "Is this correct?"  But the address presented now is missing the apartment number.  So I can't proceed.

    You may tell me that the apartment number is not important at this stage, and the incorrect address will not be stored on my account, but if so, it needs to say that explicitly.  I don't like to accept an incorrect address.

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  • Mike did you try putting the SIM into the other SIM card slot on your phone. There should be two.

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  • Hm... I tried adding an apartment number to my address and it didn't take on the next screen... It might be a flaw in the Ting dashboard.

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  • Ben, yes, there are two. however, the second one appears bigger and the SIM doesn't seat. And no its not the SD slot as all 3 are clearly marked

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  • Currently using T-Mobile prepaid and the service is great but im fed up with being unable to access CDR records and not being able to forward my voicemail to 3rd-party visual voicemail services like YouMail. Eagerly awaiting the beta invite but if it doesn't come in the next few days, i may just port my number into Google Voice and forward everything out from there.

     

    Not planing to renew for another month with T-Mobile come the 20th - will just try to survive on Wifi calling alone using GVoice Hangouts integration until Ting sends me something FTW.

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  • Ian and Kyle: Intra-Ting CDMA-to-GSM porting will be back up soon, Monday at the latest.  I need to work on a few things and am going to try to get to it tomorrow or Sunday.  I'm sorry about the timing.  CDMA-to-GSM ports have been taking as long as a day or two due, which shouldn't be the case.  We should be able to get it down to a few hours on Monday, so I promise it'll be worth the wait.  (The eventual goal is to get it down to a few minutes.)

    Everyone: The earlier LTE outage looks to have been fully resolved.

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  • Only see GSM posts about Fire and Android phones. Does any Beta tester have comments about iPhones? I have two iPhone 5 from Verizon. Waiting on an invite.

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  • Have Ting GSM SIM cards, a OnePlus One phone, and an invitation to the Ting GSM beta.  Tried to activate.  Got an error message something like, "We're having trouble with activation, try again later."  Tried several times, no luck.  Called Ting and asked, "Now, am I supposed to put the GSM SIM in the phone BEFORE activating through the web site?  Because if so, none of the instructions told me to put the GSM SIM in yet.  I didn't want to do it in the wrong order!"  Ting said, yes, put the GSM SIM in first.  So I powered down the phone, put the GSM SIM card in, powered up the phone, and almost immediately it was activated, apparently because of my earlier attempts to activate.

    I just needed clearer instructions to put the GSM SIM in first.  Or the error message should have said, "Hey, we don't see your SIM on the air.  Is it in the phone, and is the phone powered up?"

    Now I have a OnePlus One on Ting with a brand new phone number.  Tested voice, text, and data.  All works.  Data seems fast.  It has been on WiFi since then, so I can't report on how well it works yet.

    Thanks, Ting, for making it happen.  The activation instructions need a little work, but the technical stuff is working.  Next step, maybe after the beta is done, is to port my number from Verizon.  (Had another screaming match with Verizon just yesterday because they ripped me off AGAIN.  Hope that's the last time I'll have to do that.)

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  • Not sure about the SIM needing to be in the phone first.  I successfully ported a number to a SIM yesterday that was still in the Fedex envelope. Got home 7 hours later and plugged the SIM in and all worked fine.   

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  • On a Gsm phone, a valid sim MUST be in the phone to connect to a network or to activate. The sim contains all your network and account info. When you then activate, a phone number gets burned to the sim. When you add contacts, they are stored on the Sim. Very different from cdma.

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