How to activate the Moto G on Ting (unofficial guide)

Update: This no longer works. :( Sprint updated their policy requiring any prepaid device to be active on the original carrier (in this situation, Boost Mobile) for 1 year prior to being allowed to move to another MVNO or Sprint itself. See further explanation from Ting here: https://ting.com/blog/changes-to-the-byod-program-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

I know a lot of people are interested in the Moto G, so I thought I would share my experience with activating one on Ting so others can do the same. Please note that the Moto G is NOT officially supported by Ting at this point. I am just another Ting customer. The following guide is a short-hand version of what can be found on my blog including lots of screenshots and very detailed instructions for beginners: http://www.reviewtechnica.com/2014/06/how-to-activate-moto-g-on-ting.html

Everything including voice, SMS/MMS texting, and 3G data work perfectly for me except* for creating a WiFi hotspot/tethering, which do NOT work.

  1. Buy a Boost Mobile Moto G. I got mine new from Amazon for $79, but they are also available from local stores like Target or Best Buy. 
  2. Go through the normal BYOD activation sequence by following the instructions here: https://ting.com/byod
  3. When you are done with that, turn the phone on... it should go through a hands-free activation and voice, regular texting (SMS), and data should be working.
  4. You should be good to go! Hopefully Ting will be able to sell the Moto G and officially support it soon, but until then you can try this route if you are adventurous and do not care about tethering.

*Note: rooting and installing a custom ROM such as cyanogenmod resolves the issue with tethering/WiFi hotspot.

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Comments

331 comments
  • That's great news and I really appreciate the time and effort you are sharing with us. I just wish this was the 4G version. Sprint's 3G is notoriously slow and unstable so any device I upgrade to will have LTE. I didn't even know there were two versions of the Moto G. It looks like Sprint only offers the 3G version on their prepaid & MVNO divisions and don't even offer an LTE equipped version. Kind of disappointing but I'm glad you got it to work for you.

  • @Chad, Yeah I definitely wish it had LTE too - Sprint 3G can be excruciatingly slow. The LTE version is currently only GSM compatible: http://www.motorola.com/us/moto-g-pdp-1/Moto-G/moto-g-pdp.html#moto-g-pdp-specifications

    It would be great if that would change, but who knows if it will happen or when? The regular (3G) Moto G is probably best for people in non-LTE areas, or for those who believe the low price of the phone outweighs the lack of LTE, or as a back-up phone. I will say that even with the lack of LTE and no tethering this thing is an absolute beast for only $80 - if it were still in the $200 range that would be a different story.

  • Thanks for posting Cam. Just got my Moto G up and running on Ting. Very happy customer!

  • Awesome! I am happy to help. It's a great little device isn't it? I haven't had time to verify this, but I am pretty certain one can get rid of the no tethering issue by rooting the stock ROM on the phone. It might be a little more involved that most people would want to deal with, but I will let people know here if it works eventually.

  • I just did this and it worked perfectly fine. I had no idea Ting would allow a Boost Moto G.  The only manual step was changing the MMS URL, which is easy enough.

     

    This phone is amazing. Quad core and the latest Android OS. Got one 'used' which was brand new really, for only $50 on craigslist. Wish I knew about this a couple weeks ago when I bought a family member on my plan a crappy old HTC Design 4G for $60. Single core. Ugh.

  • It sounds like somebody found a hole in Sprint's BYOD whitelist.

    I expect Sprint will plug this hole like they did for PTT devices.

  • Let's hope they take their time plugging the hole. My phone doesn't arrive until tomorrow...

  • It's probably not a hole... All the moto g ESNs are probably in one big sprint block and it's just a hidden secret that we can byod the boost 'version' to ting.

  • I know there are a couple of issues with the Moto G on Ting. No tethering and no roaming. I would guess that would be enough for Ting to not officially bless a phone regardless.

  • @Wesley, I am not aware of a voice roaming issue... where did you hear that? Unless the notification icon appears incorrectly I have made calls while roaming. 

  • Cam , from a reddit ama. Hmmm if that isn't the case... For the money almost worth picking one up for a backup.

  • Thanks, I'll have to try to find on reddit. 

    Just trying to verify for myself now... I got it start roaming (part of my house the sprint signal is really bad) and took a couple screenshot for you. First one is showing the roaming icon in the settings panel, and the second is immediately after that during a test call I made to my home phone (it went through just fine)  where it still shows the roaming icon. I don't know if that means it will work everywhere, but it seems to work for me here.

  • Can someone with the Moto G on Ting test what happens with MMS when:

    1. With 3G data off can you send and receive MMS using WiFi?

    2. When both 3G data and WiFi are turned off in the phones settings - do you get any notification when you have received a MMS?

    I'd like to switch to the Moto G but my current phone (Optimus S) can do both of these and I'm trying to keep these features. Thanks to anyone who answers.

  • Ben, this may be a no-go for you but I know the texting app Textra, will do MMS over wifi. It has worked well on my Nexus 5 (and I have heard reports on various phones on Ting) when I have used it. I think as long as the carrier supports it, that should work on any device.

  • MMS has never worked over wifi for me. with data off, a 'download failed' notification appears for me, and i turn data on and download the message manually.

     

    I wish there were a way to make Hangouts download MMS over wifi when handling SMS messages.

  • Joey, yeah that's why I have used Textra because I really like hangouts but things like not downloading MMS over wifi is pretty annoying.

  • when I was on Verizon many years ago, I remember keeping data off and the HTC phone I had would turn data on to download or send MMS messages, then turn it off automatically. I don't know why Sprint phones don't do this. I like to keep data off and it's annoying to have to turn it on to download or send an MMS.

     

    I use Power Toggles by Painless Death in the play store to get a notification shade widget for wifi, bluetooth, flashlight, data, gps. using this it's easy to turn data on/off to send/retrieve MMS.

  • Joey - So even when data is off the Moto G default messaging app will still give you a notification that you received a MMS? Also, would changing APN settings allow MMS over WiFi (I don't know much about APN)?

    Wesley - Textra might work but I couldn't find two things. Do you use your current phone number? Do you get any MMS notifications when data and WiFi are both off?

  • Ben, Textra is a drop in replacement for the stock messaging app so its just like the stock app no special numbers or any of that. I do no know about data and wifi both being off. I do know when I reconnected to wifi I would eventually get the message.

     

  • testing MMS receive now with wifi and data off.  "New MMS message to download: size is 413KB, expires on 7/8, 2:50PM"

    I use hangouts now but before hangouts, the default text messaging app gave the same notification.

  • *not know... sorry no edit and the spelling bothered me

  • Thanks for the replies, I have one last question about the Moto G antenna:

    It has 800MHz (or 850MHz?) and 1900MHz CDMA with EVDO Rev A. Does that mean the Moto G can use the updated Sprint 800/850 for voice calls, or will it only do voice over 1900?

  • Cam, Joey, or Wesley, can you check what PRL number the Moto G updates to after activation?

    Settings > About Phone > Status > PRL Version.

  • PRL 24019

  • for what it's worth, i have full bars everywhere with this phone. in the same places, i had half or less signal on my old Galaxy Nexus. my battery life is at 99% right now since unplugging 3 hours ago. I can't believe it.

  • not sure about the updated sprint bands, but I know it has HD Voice when calling anyone else on Sprint. I can clearly hear a difference. It's like my CISCO VoIP line at work, but a little more compression artifacts around certain sounds. overall much better than I've ever heard on any cell network prior.

  • @Ben - yep, mine is the same: PRL 24019

  • Ben, I don't have the Moto G, I have been looking at Ebay and thinking about it, this thread has helped me on that. I don't need a phone but a backup phone like that could be a nice thing.

  • It is currently $99 on boostmobile.com with free shipping, and $35 cash back + $5 sign up bonus from Coupay if you want to use my referral link: http://www.coupay.com/?ref=10570

     

    That's under $60 for a brand new one straight from the source. I just did this for my wife, cashback takes about a couple months but well worth it in my opinion!

  • Joey, I really don't need it, I use a Nexus 5 and have a Galaxy Nexus for a backup but those are such neat little phones... I'm tempted.

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