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Ting First MVNO to Start Selling LTE Phones
Starts Shipping Galaxy S3's This Week
by Karl Bode 12:20PM Friday Aug 31 2012
While MVNOs initially flamed out spectacularly, several new wireless MVNOs are launching this year, all trying to do things slightly differently. Republic Wireless plans to lower prices by offloading most of the daily traffic to Wi-Fi. FreedomPop promises to offer users a basic free tier of service with low priced data and voice options layered on top. The third upstart is Tucows' Ting, a company we explored back in December that plans to auto-upgrade users up (or down) the sliding tier scale to help users find the best price plan for them.

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Ting was the first one out of the gate, and their pricing was unveiled back in February. As the chart (right) notes, users are given six "size" no-contract tiers to choose from, allowing them to mix and match voice minutes, SMS, and data limits as needed. Voice and SMS rates are incredibly reasonable (500 minutes cost an impressive $9), while data is notably less so (2GB will run you $42).

In a blog post today, Ting announced that the company will be the first MVNO to sell LTE phones with the shipment of Samsung Galaxy S3's to Ting subscribers. Ting's service rides on the Sprint LTE network, with Sprint imposing a two month delay on MVNOs after they initially start carrying a device (something that's not going to happen with the new iPhone). Sprint just this week announced that they've only just brought LTE to four additional markets for Labor Day Weekend, including Baltimore.

These new MVNOs all are trying to try something new by offering creative pricing that actually provides value, though they're all piggybacking on a network with some coverage issues. So far they're only a tiny blip on the radar in a much larger wireless ecosystem, and it's not yet clear if they're going to remain that way.

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DrModem
Trust Your Doctor
Premium
join:2006-10-19
USA
kudos:1

Data Price

Is still cheaper than Verizon, who charges $60 for 2 gb.

If sprint could solve thier coverage issues, all the MVNOs that ride on them would be a force to be reckoned with.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Ting is a company to watch

I believe Ting has a possibility of really catching on while growing their loyal customer base. The idea of pricing services in a more fair way is appealing to customers who routinely pay AT&T and Verizon $80-100 a month with the included possibility of oppressive overages.

Ting has solved the problem of having older smartphones; When Ting has better LTE coverage, I will switch to them from Verizon.
PastTense

join:2011-07-06
united state

Re: Ting is a company to watch

Ting is a Sprint MVNO, so if Sprint doesn't doesn't provide good signal where you want to use it, Ting won't either.
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH

Re: Ting is a company to watch

And don't you also lose the roaming agreements (at least for data) when using an MVNO?

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Ting is a company to watch

Normally yes, in Ting's case Ting negotiated to have roaming included, which is probably why data is so expensive on this carrier

AT&T mnvo's like Straight Talk are a better deal for people who use their phone a lot. Unlimited talk, text and about 2GB of data on a network that has very good coverage and much better data speeds

500mins,1000texts and 2GB of data costs $62 way more, even if your a low data user and drop it down to 1GB it's $44 and your on an inferior network, until sprint improves I would never suggest anyone go to Sprint or any Sprint mvno.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Ting is a company to watch

I agree . Im a straight talk user and my service is pretty good except in some parts of my apartment where everybody has no service on their cell(you name the company and I will tell you the same)
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Ting is a company to watch

Not all StraightTalk customers are on Sprint. It depends on your phone and market. Some are VZW, some are Sprint and some are ATT. The model number stickers that are on the boxes tell you this, and so will your phone's settings.

95% of those phones though are on Sprint, and they do have roaming as well. ALL of Sprint's MVNOs can now have roaming included.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Ting is a company to watch

Im on ATT. Im using my old 3GS
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Yeah,

But adding another phone, tablet, or mifi is only $6 and you can share the data, minute, texts. There is no vig per device like the other guys other than the $6.

The major weak spot is data on this. However if you are the typical user and not crazy, you can do texts through GV (no charge) and 500mb per user you are only at 1GB. Say 500 min of time (like att) would be $129/mo for the same thing versus $45 (2 phones, 1 GB, 0 texts). Now if that's not a good deal, I don't know what is. This is priced for multiple users, not really the single user. If you are a single user, VM/Boost/ST/PPC are better deals

Also what is not mentioned, I can roam into Canada for $.15 a minute, including LD. That is huge, whereas anybody else if close to $1 with LD and roaming.

The big downer is that VM/Boost phones not allowed, and that is what I have, so NG until the phones wear out (I only pay $25/mo anyways).

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
On TING, you can voice roam on Verizon if Spring signal is unavailable.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Ting is a company to watch

the same as with other MVNOs on Sprint as well. And even if Cricket wanted to roam onto VZW and could not get a roaming deal; they can just call Sprint Wholesale up and get that deal, as Sprint's goal is to be the wholesale company more and more with all the products they're rolling out for that side.

JasonOD

@comcast.net
Ting had better question their long term viability while their tied to sprint. Sure LTE will help Ting and their positioning as an MVNO, but it's a bad sign when sprint starts to share their barely built crown jewel so soon.

Can you imagine VZ opening up their LTE network?
georgeglass5

join:2010-06-07
New York, NY

Re: Ting is a company to watch

Verizon has more wireless backbone than they know what to with. Apples & oranges
csnyder

join:2007-09-10
Grand Rapids, MI

Great so far

My wife and I recently switched from AT&T to Ting, and we've been satisfied, for the most part. Sprint's network is about as good as AT&T in our area, and we have the added bonus of roaming (voice and text only - no data) on Verizon.

The main benefit for us is cost - we went from spending over $60 per month at AT&T for two phones with voice only (except for the occasional $2/MB or $.20/text when we accidentally used those features); this was after a 23% IBM employee discount. With Ting, our bill should be under $50, and we're using texting and data as much as we'd like.

The one problem with their pricing structure is the price of data - it's fairly expensive if used in large quantities. For us, this isn't an issue - we normally have wifi access anyways; it's nice that we can get occasional data access without spending $20/phone/month.

From what I've seen, their customer service seems to be very good - their employees are accessible and forthright with information. Activating our phones (including one port) went smoothly, though, so I haven't needed to contact them.

I'm very hopeful that they continue to succeed. Their pricing model should be very sustainable, since it (I assume) closely reflects the actual costs they incur with Sprint.
music4praise

join:2006-02-22
Big Rapids, MI

Transparency

Whether or not their pricing/coverage works for you, you have to admire their transparency in both pricing and what they are up to. This is the kind of company that deserves to succeed.
primeomega

join:2004-03-11
De Pere, WI

confused

Is not Virgin Mobile a MVNO? They have been selling 4g phones for a little while now.
killer55

join:2001-05-23
Winona, MN

Re: confused

Yes, with sprint save a lot of money with them and have an EVO 3D.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
Virgin Mobile is selling WiMax 4G phones, not LTE which is much faster and runs on bands that have better penetration. The 2.5Ghz Wimax network has horribly spotty coverage, even in areas they claim to cover.
primeomega

join:2004-03-11
De Pere, WI

Re: confused

ahh, ok. to many "4g" names. why can't we go back to analog! lol.

kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY

VZ LTE

wake me when there is a MVNO on the Verizon LTE network in my area. I'll be there in a heartbeat.

NJBoricua75
Born And Raised

join:2000-09-13
Brooklyn, NY

Re: VZ LTE

said by kontos:

wake me when there is a MVNO on the Verizon LTE network in my area. I'll be there in a heartbeat.

My sentiments exactly. Too many Sprint MVNO's. They offer good deals but it's just that Sprint's network sucks
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

So nice of Sprint...

...to sell access to their LTE network that barely exists.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: So nice of Sprint...

and all that money for it just went to Google for that new Moto Animal phone with the new Direct connect they've been pounding very hard on TV.
kirby149

join:2005-01-05
Blue Springs, MO

Ting Users

There's a Ting specfic user forum at TingUsers.com. So far the current users seem to be happy but it seems like something fit for the geekier people among us. I'm down with that but I know some people don't want to watch their minutes or use Google Voice for text messages, etc.