Which used phones from other carriers will work with Ting?

Been thinking about buying a used iPhone off Gazelle and I know an unlocked phone should work with Ting without any problems but will used phones that were previously tied to other carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon) also work and if so which can I consider?

I would be using a GSM SIM card by the way. Thanks!

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  • Yes. Phones that were previously tied to other carriers will work on Ting provided they have no unpaid bills associated with them, either through the device itself or the account the device as on.

    If at all possible, try and buy a phone that is certified to work on all 4 networks and is SIM unlocked. This way, you can jump between networks as necessary (which may be required if you're using Ting GSM as we're ending our agreement with our GSM carrier next year) and won't have to purchase a new phone just to upgrade your coverage.

    If you have additional questions on this, please reply here and let me know.

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  • Hi, I am currently a Ting user, and my phone screen recently cracked and was going to get a cheaper new phone and I am not sure I understand the GSM,CDMA etc...  I did understand that Ting is ending GSM you stated above, so what cheap phone can you recommend.  I'm a senior citizen and not tech savy just use it for phone, text, and occasional internet, and would probably end up at Walmart buying a phone (therefore looking for what to tell clerk that I need) unless someone has better advice.

    Thanks for help.....J.B.

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  • Hi Joel,

    With your lines being on CDMA there is no need to worry about the loss of GSM service but its always a good idea to look for compatibility with as many networks as possible when shopping for a new phone as that will give you maximum flexibility. For that reason I would suggest picking up a factory unlocked model of a phone as then you could use it with us on our CDMA network and always have the ability to switch networks for coverage or a better deal if things change.

    Looking at our shop the Motorola phones would all be solid options and you could also take advantage of our personal shopper team for help finding a new device that fits your needs.

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  • thank you for your help, I will contact the personal shopper team.

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  • Two things:

    1. I don't think my original question was answered. Yes, I know getting an "unlocked phone" is a preferred choice but I seem to recall reading in the past that I can also get a phone that was originally sold under a specific carrier, so my question was, if this is true, which carriers phones should I be considering that will work with Ting?

    2. What is this news about Ting no longer providing GSM service in 2020? Can you provide more details about this? If I have GSM now will you be providing CDMA sim cards?

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  • 1. Phones built for specific carriers have some caveats over unlocked phones. More often than not, phones built for a carrier are or were at some point under a payment agreement with that carrier either for the handset itself or for service. As we use those carrier host networks (T-Mobile for GSM and Sprint for CDMA), we must abide by their rules when it comes to unpaid agreements. Buying a Sprint phone that has a payment agreement with Sprint, even though it WOULD work on the Ting CDMA network, will be denied at ting.com/byod because of the payment agreement.

    That's why we discourage buying carrier-specific models. If you absolutely must, look for T-Mobile phones for the GSM network and Sprint phones for the CDMA network. Alternately, an unlocked phone designed to work with both has the added bonus of you being able to switch between them as necessary.

    Additionally, phones built for one carrier are not guaranteed to work on any other carrier, even after unlocked. This is a big problem on our GSM network (phones designed for AT&T don't have a specific frequency to get all their calls on T-Mobile) and with limited exception phones designed for other networks just won't work on Sprint at all.

    Again, unlocked and designed for both networks USUALLY means designed for all 4 nationwide networks (Verizon and AT&T are the other two), which is much preferred. 

    2. At this time, nothing about your Ting GSM service is changing. If and when it's the case that we'll need to change something, we will be in touch. I promise. Proactively switching is not necessary at this time.

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