Ting transition to Verizon

I sent and email to CS yesterday about this but have not received a response yet.  When will customers be told the plan for Ting dumping Tmobile and eventually Sprint and the new Verizon service?  

From Business Insider:

"Ting Mobile, a small US mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), will move part of its leased spectrum from T-Mobile's network to Verizon's, according to Light Reading.

Business Insider Intelligence
The main reason for this shift, according to a statement from Elliot Noss, CEO of Ting parent company Tucows, is the failure of T-Mobile and proposed partner Sprint to finalize their merger and offer the promised benefits of the combined network.
Here's why Ting is switching to Verizon: The small MVNO — as of Q1 2019 it boasted 284,000 subscribers — is moving to Verizon — the largest wireless provider in the US — because it can offer Ting both better network coverage and better rates, the two most important factors for an MVNO.
Verizon is drawing Ting's business because the telecom has consistently boasted the strongest network quality and consumer experience. For an MVNO, that will mean that it can offer users consistent service — the same that they'd be able to get by signing on with Verizon — while taking advantage of the more nuanced pricing models that these budget carriers use.
Ting, for instance, doesn't use traditional monthly plans, but rather bills based on actual usage, so people who don't use services like SMS or voice calls don't have to pay for those unused parts of a mobile plan. MVNOs carve out their place in the ecosystem through these differentiated plans that are aimed primarily at budget-conscious consumers or niche markets, so the best network coverage at the lowest price is a top priority.
Ting is also going to get cheaper rates by working with Verizon than with T-Mobile. Noss said that the company's "contract with Verizon is better than that with T-Mobile in terms of rates, guarantees, and other financial terms, which had negatively impacted Ting Mobile's past performance." Verizon can probably afford better terms because of its scale, network density, and the amount of surplus bandwidth it's built up through infrastructure investments over the years.

What this means for T-Mobile: While the loss of one small MVNO isn't a huge blow for a major telecom like T-Mobile, the reasoning behind Ting's move reinforces the company's need to get its merger with Sprint over the line.
A combined T-Mobile-Sprint entity is expected to boast an incredibly robust wireless network. That's because it would combine two existing stand-alone networks — even with the assets the combined company would need to sell off as a condition of the merger, it would likely offer coverage on par with or exceeding Verizon and AT&T in network quality.
The combined entity would also boast the back-end capacity to offer rates to MVNOs at levels similar to those Verizon offers. The current uncertainty surrounding the merger, though, is harmful for both T-Mobile and Sprint, as the former starts to lose out on business, and both plan billions in investments in infrastructure and spectrum purchases that is conditioned upon a merger that could still fall through."

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Comments

16 comments
  • Saw similar article posted with Android Police yesterday so I'm also a bit apprehensive about the upcoming change:

    https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/07/10/ting-is-dropping-support-for-gsm-only-phones-and-t-mobile-switching-to-verizon/

    My Moto phone is using a Sprint-based SIM so I'm just assuming this isn't an issue for me specifically but it would be nice to see some kind of Ting official statement to all current Ting users confirming their status on what is and isn't going to be affected.

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  • Let me clear the air by saying our moves are intentional and intended to help us grow as a company.

    We don't make any more lightly, and this transition away from T-Mobile wasn't something we came up with overnight. As our CEO said in the press release, we kind of figured the merger would be done by this point, and because it's not, we needed to act in our own interest to drive our prices down and give the break to our customers. 

    At this moment, nothing for Ting customers is changing. We're still active on the T-Mobile network, still activating and supporting the phones. There was even a report that stated we had removed all our GSM-only devices from our store -- I'm pretty sure that was a coincidence of them just being sold out. I'll ask the fulfillment team and report back if this is not the case.

    Once we have more concrete things to actually announce, we will on ting.com/blog -- including when we might start activating devices on our new big, red carrier. Rest assured, once we actually have news to share that affects you, we will.

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  • Thanks for the prompt reply. For me I wasn't focusing much on the background politics & details, I was merely apprehensive about how it affects our phones and accounts.

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  • Speaking frankly, not much will change in the immediate future. Lots of devices already on Ting will be able to make the jump without skipping a beat other than probably a new SIM card (I'm thinking most of the new Motorola phones, Samsung Galaxys and iPhones) and the ones that aren't will have a good long time before anything approaching action needs to be taken before an interruption of service. 

    We're not new to stuff like this. We do know what phones everyone is using and the last thing we want is for anyone to be without service without options. Should the day come some time over the next however-many months until our support ends, we will 100% be in contact with you via email and probably text message about your options.

    For the immediate future, your phone will continue to work and your account will continue to support it and other GSM devices. When that is subject to change, you will absolutely be among the first to know.

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  • When will we be able to start activating on Verizon's network?

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  • Hi Thomas,

     No timeline yet for when we are going to be activating on the new network but keep an eye out on our blog for an announcement in the future.

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  • I know the ship has probably already sailed, but I will miss the incredibly easy international roaming that we have had on the GSM network.  No need to swap SIMs or unlock phones when traveling internationally.  Just keep using your phone like normal.  Sure, it cost more than getting a local SIM, but for short trips, or light usage, it is great.

    Of course, being on Verizon is much nicer in the States, as their network is #1 here.  Tradeoffs, tradeoffs.

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  • Scott, 

    You do still have the exact same international roaming on our CDMA network, and at the same cost: https://ting.com/outside_usa

    It's still unknown at this time if international roaming will be available on the new network option at the time of launch, but it's definitely on our roadmap and something we intend to offer just as simply and easily as you can currently do it on Ting GSM and Ting CDMA.

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  • Interesting, I've been on the GSM network so long, that I didn't realize you had normalized international roaming on the CDMA as well.  It didn't used to be that way, but that was long ago (pre-LTE).  I'm glad to hear that ease of international roaming (and competitive rates!) are priorities on the new network.

    One small UX note, that outside_usa page does say at the top that the listed rates are for both networks, but if you click on the "Traveling soon? Read this" link below, it takes you to a page all about removing your SIM card, and unlocking your phone and all that jazz.  It might be good to have a little paragraph at the top of the 205422098-International-SIM-Unlock- page that says "okay with paying international roaming charges?  you can use your existing SIM card and Ting account internationally!" with a link to the outside_usa page.  I was trying to figure out if my mom's GSM phone would just work in Greece, and I ran myself around a few times on the site before I figured it out.  The current page flow implies that it's important to read the "read this" page, but then goes right into swapping your sim because you don't want to pay the roaming fees, rather than guiding people to making a choice about paying roaming fees with your Ting SIM, or not paying roaming by obtaining a SIM at your destination(s).

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  • The restriction was in place from 2015 through last year.

    As to the default option recommending a local SIM instead of roaming, that's absolutely intentional. Our official recommendation is NOT to roam internationally. It comes with its own set of troubleshooting problems and is WAY more expensive for you and for us to use it for an appreciable amount of time or data.

    It really is just easier to recommend a local SIM card in your unlocked phone, as your Ting SIM just picks right back up where it left off when you come back.

    That said, if you absolutely must have access to your number while abroad, there's a better way than international roaming. WiFi calling while abroad avoids the roaming charges completely.

    As the author of that article, I can say that works completely and will be the way I travel internationally from now on as with two phones it gives me both enough data to get around with a local SIM and access to call whoever I want without sacrificing my caller ID.

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  • Fair enough.  I totally get that for most people (power users, business travelers, etc.) the costs of international roaming are too high.  The use case that I run into is the elderly parent, who loves to travel, doesn't have the technical skill or wherewithal to navigate getting a SIM card in an international destination, and who is happy to pay a little money to be able to receive calls and send texts to their friends and family at home, but isn't going to make phone calls or use much data, other than google maps and email.  

    The international WiFi calling workaround is neat.  That's another feature that I hope is available on the new network option, as it does help a lot in homes with spotty cell service and strong WiFi.

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  • I understand where you're coming from, and will discuss it with the documentation team the next time they round up feedback like yours. We strive to be as clear as possible.

    We expect that trick to work just the same once we launch WiFi Calling on the new network.

    That said, with GSM and CDMA right now, international roaming is an option enabled on the dashboard that should really "just work" once you get to the international destination. We intend to keep it that way once all the pieces fall into place on the new network.

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  • Momma, I'm coming home. Ting's moving to Verizon. Let us know m8. I'll be signing up again for sure. 

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  • lol

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  • I saw this article recently too! I left Ting years ago exactly because of service dead spots. I would love to get back to Ting! 4/5 lines would be a perfect match, and for me, I'd need a giant data plan. At the moment, Ting isn't competitive with plans over 15gb.

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