Ting, The 'Less Evil' Wireless Carrier
MVNO Hopes Giving a Damn Makes Waves
MVNOs have been a dime a dozen over the years, most of them blending into an ocean of bland sameness, with few if any seriously challenging major carriers. Next year Tucows
will launch a new MVNO named Ting running on the Sprint network. Ting insists they're going to try to do things a little differently
on numerous fronts. Like other carriers, you'll pay for voice and data by the bucket full, but when you cross beyond your allotment you'll be automatically upgraded to the next available service tier (Shaw in Canada has tinkered with this model a little bit
). From the company's FAQ
Most mobile plans are littered with hidden fees, steep penalties, arbitrary rules and unnecessary premiums. As a result, a recent BillShrink study found that the average mobile user is overpaying by $336 a year. Ting has a mission to offer pricing and service that makes more sense. Megabytes, minutes and text messages are each billed independently. If you use less of any than you anticipated, you pay less. If you use more, you are simply billed more, without penalties or premiums.
As we've discussed
, most wireless carriers essentially force you to take more expensive tiers by offering you the "choice" of a cheaper plan that provides way too little data, or a more expensive plan that offers too much data -- but leaves you feeling safe about not going over.
While still a little murky
, Ting promises to not only nudge users to higher packages if they go over, but will drop users to less expensive tiers should you not often consume your full allotment of voice minutes, bytes, or SMS. That latter "actually to save you money" option is something most wireless carriers, eyes fixed squarely on quarterly investor returns, don't do for obvious reasons.
Ting's going the no contract route, and customers need to pay the full unsubsidized price for phones, but the company also promises to eliminate unnecessary fees. They also claim they're making customer service a priority, and is working on things like ensuring customers are never transferred
. We'll see how all of those promises work out when the company exits private beta
Floral Park, NY
Re: A plan only a carrier in Sprints position would allow....
said by Chubbysumo:Both AT&T and Verizon have multiple MVNO's using their networks as well. said by JasonOD :
This is less innovative and more a desperate act by sprint to stay in business. Cutting revenue on high expense wireless is like drinking saltwater to stay hydrated.
Something more financially sound carriers like ATT and Verizon would have no interest in.
AT&T and Verizon have no interest in it because their investors would never allow a competing service to be on the same lines as them, with that competing service undercutting everything the carrier has done over the last 5 years to make sure everyone has everything they dont need, and that they can fee you to death and there is nothing you can do about it.
Not enough details There are plenty of cheap pay-to-go MVNOs that have true "by the minute" billing, Page Plus on Verizon network, or PlatinumTel on Sprint. Both of those are very cheap and in theory better than "bucket plans" because you get billed by what you actually use down to the minute/text/megabyte of data instead of buckets. The problem with Page Plus is that their data is very expensive, the problem with PlatinumTel is that you cannot Bring Your Own Device.
The success of this new service will be mostly determined by the 1) plan prices, obviously and 2) BYOD policy. If both of these are favorable, price comparable to PlatinumTel and BYOD is available, then this is going to be a real winner, otherwise it's going to be just another MVNO.
Bottom line is, this story will need a follow up when details are actually available.
Re: I remember sprint had a plan JUST like this for a while...
said by Cogdis:That's one of the four reasons I don't have a not-so-smart phone. My wife and I have a voice plan that is more than enough for our combined needs. If Sprint would simply allow me to add data to one line, one obstacle to my having a phone with data would be removed.
The fair and flexible plan. I still have it for a couple of lines on my account. Unfortunately I can't use it for my own line because smart phones require "everything data" plans now.
Oh well... I save money, this way, so it's all good
Re: Screw American wireless
said by Angrychair:T-Mobile just introduced $30 prepaid plan, you get 100 minutes and unlimited text data. Should be BYOD as well. I'm sure T-Mobile has good coverage in FL, so your wish is actually possible.
I'd much rather pay full price for a bleeding edge android phone and use it on a ~$30/month carrier since I hardly use any voice minutes, but I don't know of any carriers in my area that can help me make it happen.
Or if you want unlimited minutes SimpleMobile (who is a T-Mobile reseller) has BYOD and unlimited everything for $40 a month, although as with any MVNO you do not have roaming.
Say what you want, but last couple of years have been a blessing for prepaid/MVNO crowd like me.
Re: Did Pigs Just Fly? You do realize it involves much more than just upfront costs. People see, oooo $199 device subsidized price instead of $600 full price. But they end up paying much more over the 24 months.
Let me give you an example, say you talk 650 minutes a month (450 regular, 200 n/w mins), send 1000 texts, and use 1GB of data.
On AT&T, you will be paying $40 for voice, $20 for texts, and $25 for data, a total of $85/mo, not including taxes/fees and a $36 activation fee. Lets say your employer gives you a 15-20% discount on AT&T, that basically covers taxes/fees and activation over the 24 months.
You paid $199 + tax for an smartphone, lets say $250 for the device with taxes.
So $85*24+$250 = $2290 for 24 months of service
On T-Mobile Prepaid, you pay $60/mo for Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of high speed then slowed unlimited data. You buy an smartphone on eBay for $600 (brand new). This is a high estimate, you can definitely get Androids and iPhones for less, brand new too.
So $600+$60*24 = $2040 for 24 months of service
On H20 Wireless, an AT&T MVNO, you can get Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB for $60/mo. Same pricing as T-Mobile Prepaid.
Lets say you need 300 minutes or less a month but use 3GB of data a month, theres T-Mobile's $30 100 mins ($0.10/min after), Unlimited Text, and 5GB high speed data (then throttled unlimited). If you use 300 minutes, the plan rises to $50.
So $600+$50*24 = $1800 for 25 months of service.
Clearly, you can pay more upfront and less overall.