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Wireless Upstart Ting Has Just 25,000 Subscribers
by Karl Bode 06:33PM Thursday Aug 29 2013
While MVNOs initially flamed out spectacularly, several new wireless MVNOs launched this year, all trying to do things slightly differently. Republic Wireless offers 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. Tucows' Ting, a company we first explored back in 2011, auto-upgrades users up (or down) the sliding tier scale to help users find the best price plan for them.

While Ting's premise sounds interesting, and they've even run promotions promising to pay users' ETFs if they switch, the company's subscriber numbers aren't particularly overwhelming. Speaking on the company's recent earnings call, Ting CFO Michael Cooperman revealed they've got just 25,000 subscribers at the moment. That's fine with Cooperman, who insists Rome wasn't built in a day:
quote:
"We are extremely happy with the growth to date," Allan said. "We are focusing on maintaining or accelerating it as much as we can. We feel like we're really just getting started."
Most MVNOs don't bother to reveal their subscriber numbers, though historically most MVNOs don't succeed in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon, either.

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Dr Demento
I Vant Blud

join:2002-01-02
Denville, NJ

And The Promos Already Gone

I wonder how much of it was simply people milking for credit based on giving the maximum ETF based on cancellation after the 30 day period? I don't like being a negative nancy but any MVNO that is offering an 'XXL bucket of data' over a carrier (Sprint) that offers unlimited seems a tad ironic, which is probably what made the agreement so sweet. Also charging half a cent per a megabyte which comes out to approximately $5.12 per a gigabyte (though that can fluctuating based on calculating such a small percentile) do they really need to obfuscate by calling it '2 1/4 cent?' Their rates for text and minutes on 'XL - XXL' are about equivalent to what people have with the 'big two' if they held on to their plan past the contract for a few years.

If there's any way they can wow customers please let me know.

techlte

join:2003-01-01
US

Re: And The Promos Already Gone

Seems like you talked yourself out of it already..

We cut our bill by two thirds over Sprint which included an eighteen percent corporate discount. Ting excels past Sprint in respect to customer service and all other services are as you would expect exactly the same. The Ting site control panel in combination with the mobile app provide all the information you desire and excellent control over your account.

If you've got lines out of contract with Sprint there's no reason not to go with Ting.
--
RWYB
juicem2

join:2006-03-05
Mastic Beach, NY

Re: And The Promos Already Gone

Doesn't look to enticing to me either. AT&T's Aio looks a lot better to me. I'll stick with Verizon until I lose my unlimited. when that happens I'll jump to Sprint. I'm paying Sprint rates right now. I had gotten something in the mail from Verizon over 2 years ago that mirrored Sprints rates and I get a 25% corporate discount on top of that. 2 smart phones with unlimited data, 1 basic phone, family share 1500 minutes with 10 free number, unlimited messaging, and insurance on the 2 smart phones cost me 160 per month including taxes and surcharges. If I drop the ins it would be 145.

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

1 recommendation

Like all things, they have their place. What is not their place is for anyone data hungry. What they are trying to catch are the users who use their devices lightly but are required to pay the minimum 70+ dollars a month to ATT/VZW.

Rexter
YeeHaw

join:2002-11-17
cloud 9
It's not that complicated dude. The one thing that I just couldn't stand is how the carriers felt inclined to punish me for going over my plan limits. I don't need someone whom I pay money, to punish me, ever. With Ting, if I use more, I pay more. It's a fair up-charge, not an outrageous penalty.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a3nRcsba4A

--
I'm with the Central Government. I'm here to help you. Now bend over, really, I'm helping you, just, just stay still. You'll feel better in a moment.

spewak
R.I.P Dadkins
Premium
join:2001-08-07
Elk Grove, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet
said by Dr Demento:

Their rates for text and minutes on 'XL - XXL' are about equivalent to what people have with the 'big two' if they held on to their plan past the contract for a few years.

If there's any way they can wow customers please let me know.

It is exactly the reason I am with Ting: I don't use XL-XXL type of data. My first month broke out to $33. Far cheaper than the $65 I was paying Sprint for unlimited everything.
passerby

join:2013-03-22
Monroe, MI

Not compelling

I did a comparison with my current VZW service/usage and there were no savings with Ting. Plus, having to pay full price for phones (I currently have 3 smartphones and a basic phone with Verizon) was a deal breaker.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Not compelling

Same here. My phone bill would more than triple by going to Ting.

MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY
What is your usage that ting was more expensive?
passerby

join:2013-03-22
Monroe, MI

Re: Not compelling

One line that uses 5+ GB of data, for starters.

MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Not compelling

said by passerby:

One line that uses 5+ GB of data, for starters.

so? VZ's rates are higher than ting's.
--
[Sig removed by Administrator: signature can not exceed 20GB]
passerby

join:2013-03-22
Monroe, MI

Re: Not compelling

Might also be the discount I get through my employer.

It has been a while since I used their comparison tool and found they now can directly access my usage info from VZW which I tried. The results were the same as before: no savings.
big_e

join:2011-03-05

Excellent MVNO for lower usage customers

I mainly use my smartphone for checking email. I can get away with 100 voice minutes and 100 Mb. My final bill comes down to less than $20 dollars per month. There aren't many MVNO's that would offer service at this price, not to mention let me reuse my off contract Sprint phone. If I want to drop VOIP and use a home phone connect, the extra line will be only about $8 dollars per month. Beyond a certain amount of usage, Sprint would be cheaper than Ting, but not for myself or many other people I know.

Tings numbers would be higher if they had a brick and mortar presence. Most people don't buy their cell phones online. Compare this to Virgin mobile, and the Tracphone MVNOs which are being sold in the local supermarkets. Also I think Tings business model might be too complex for many people. People are used to paying a fixed amount of money per month for wireless. Should they use more and get bumped up to the next bucket, they see the increased bill amount and naturally think they are getting ripped off. Another problem is the devices sold are completely unsubsidized. Not a problem for me personally as I know how fast my purchase would pay off, but many people would balk at dropping $400-500 dollars for a smartphone. You also need a credit/debit card to use Ting. Many prepaid customers have such terrible credit they really do have to use the prepaid cards bought from the supermarket in cash.

I hope Ting succeeds as if they go out of business, I would have to switch to a more costly MNVO, but I think that Tings target audience might be too niche.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Re: Excellent MVNO for lower usage customers

Big_e, for Ting to succeed they would have to be on a different carrier with better service, not a loser like Sprint. Also, they would have to actually allow using your old Android phone by making a SIM available and allowing smartphones, not requiring customers to buy one of their high priced specialty phones that won't work on anything else besides Ting. I was thinking of trying it but they won't accept any of the phones I have, not even a Sprint Blackberry, then I checked the rates and my current rate on T-Mobile is a lot cheaper since their data rates are about 3 times higher.
ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
textnow offers more minutes & more data for the same price (lowest plan) but you have to purchase one of two phones ($90 or $120 IIRC)

so I put my kid on that plan - they're beta testing it for me

Rexter
YeeHaw

join:2002-11-17
cloud 9

Saves me $80 per month over Verizon

I had two smart phones, and a tablet with a data plan on Verizon's share everything(with the NSA) plan. I bought two used Galaxy Nexus from ebay for $200 ea, and a wimax hotspot from Ting. I even payed an ETF to Verizon. So with Ting, I have two smart phones, and a wifi device. My average savings is $80 per month. That paid my up front cost in about 6 months. If you're already on Sprint, you can use your existing phones, making it much more cost effective. I'm very happy with Ting. It's not for everyone though. If you have teenagers who do 20,000 text per month, your better off with an unlimited plan. You have to evaluate it objectively. Try the savings calculator to see if it makes sense.

»ting.com/calculator

They even pay referral credits. Here's mine:
»zc25i718tq2.ting.com/

Using it will get us both $25.

Happy Ting customer, for almost a year now.
--
I'm with the Central Government. I'm here to help you. Now bend over, really, I'm helping you, just, just stay still. You'll feel better in a moment.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Re: Saves me $80 per month over Verizon

Rexter, the savings calculator says T-Mobile is much cheaper for me since Tings data rate is 3 times higher. The only way you can save any money is not to use the phone much and get credit back but why have all those phones if you aren't going to use them? Also, the statement that you can use your existing phones to make it much more cost effective is mostly false since they won't take smartphones like an iPhone or even a Blackberry and don't have a SIM to use with Android phones. You can only bring over a few old feature phones that nobody wants these days. In addition Sprints coverage is terrible lots of places and data rates are so slow you can't do anything. Of course you will save more money by using no data so maybe that's a plus.

Rexter
YeeHaw

join:2002-11-17
cloud 9

Re: Saves me $80 per month over Verizon

You don't listen so good. Like anything out there, there is no perfect choice for everyone. I consider myself a fairly heavy user, and I run a business from this service. It's the right choice for me. You can burn all the energy you want talking about how this sux, when it's the wrong choice for you. You can keep typing about how nobody would want this, and no body should try this, but in the end you can't change the fact that I've used the service for almost a year, and I am a very happy Ting customer...

Here's my referral link:
»zc25i718tq2.ting.com/
--
I'm with the Central Government. I'm here to help you. Now bend over, really, I'm helping you, just, just stay still. You'll feel better in a moment.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Re: Saves me $80 per month over Verizon

Of course you'd save money switching from the most expensive carrier on earth but you could switch to any other company and do that! The question is, if you are a heavy user do you save money over Sprint, which has unlimited data, if you are paying more for Ting's expensive data? Also, how can you be happy on Sprint that has terrible service, bad coverage and really low data rates? Actually I think you are making it sound good because you are trying to sell it!
Expand your moderator at work

acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
Lakeland, FL
kudos:2

Good for parents, kid not ready for Smart phone

I have my father-in-law and my mother on Ting. Both really good candidates due to low voice usage and some text usage, and almost nil Internet usage. My young daughter has a flip phone she can use to bring to sleep overs. Plus, I have a smart phone with my Good for Enterprise email that mainly uses WiFi. Total bill is ~$36 or so a month for all four phones. Can't beat that with a stick.

Now, for my *personal* phone, I still have a Verizon Wireless iPhone 5 with unlimited data. They're going to have to pry that away from me.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Good for parents, kid not ready for Smart phone

I scoured high and low, and pretty much hate Sprint, but for voice it is pretty reliable. The situation I have for the parents is that they are flip phone users that go back and forth between US and Canada all the time. So I had a PPC burner phone when they came to the US and they had prepaid Petro Canada in Canada. Prepaid SUCKs in Canada. The fees and taxes outrageous. Call long distance and we are talking 50c a minute. No roaming in the US.

Enter Ting. I get them a ting phone (only $43) and set them up. Living in NY sucks on taxes so it's over 20%, but I figure w/ 100 min or so we are talking a little over $10 a month. Now the trick is when you are roaming in Canada its only 15c a minute surcharge including calling to US or Canada and texting there is NO surcharge.

So essentially now their prepaid costs have gone down 50% and they can only use one phone.

So if you frequent Canada, there is NO better deal out there period.

The killer IMHO is that you have to add all the bullshit postpaid taxes to the vig, and they are like the only prepaid company to do that. I know they hide it in prepaid, but I think from a marketing perspective that is weak because nobody really knows what that is going to be upfront, unless you have a postpaid account and see how the government is fleecing you.

So my perception is that Ting is a postpaid MVNO which does not place them in a good place, and they don't have a dealer network. Maybe they want to start slow and not lose their shorts. Probably smart.

It looks like the big guys are swooping in to the $50-$60 crowd and most people will blindly pay that because it is fixed and not efficient. While that appears crazy, most people are risk averse and like to "know" what to expect even if they are paying 200-300% more.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Ting Was Not A Good Idea From The Start.

Ting was never a good idea for a business from the start. It has 3 major problems going against it. First they are riding on Sprint which is a total loser. The coverage area is poor in most areas and their data doesn't even work in the Phoenix area. You can't really do much web browsing at 27kb. Second is their high priced specialty phones. While they claim you can bring your own phone they don't take smart phones like iPhones or even Blackberries and don't offer a SIM so you can use your own Android phone either. You can bring over a few Sprint phones but mostly older feature phones like the candy bar type. Third their data rate is 3 times higher than T-Mobile so the only way you can save money is if you never use it but then why even get a phone if you aren't going to use it?
music4praise

join:2006-02-22
Big Rapids, MI

Re: Ting Was Not A Good Idea From The Start.

While it is true you can't bring over iPhone or Blackberry, you can bring over any of the Android phones that are Sprint branded including Wimax and LTE ones. Also you can bring over just about any Sprint branded feature phone if that is what you need.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
iphones are coming, Sprint/Ting uses CDMA (no SIM), and Tings data rates are sky high. It's not meant for the $50 data crowd but for your person using under 250 Mb, texting lots, and low voice. They are targeting most of America, but I feel 250Mb is not good for me. I typically use 4-5Gb a month on my phone and the same on the iPad. Ting would KILL me.

Phones - Thats what phones actually cost. They don't sugar coat it with a postpaid plan. And you can buy used ones from Sprint (ebay, etc) which typically go for short change because they are locked to Sprint and they used fixed LTE SIMs.

Ting relies on Sprint coverage, so that is the choice you get. And I agree Sprints network is BY FAR the worst. It's dialup in WNY to the point of being unusable. Sprint's only hope is to shitcan their EvDO network and pray LTE works out. Actually I would like to see EvDO speeds

Blackberries. OK. Dead.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Ting Was Not A Good Idea From The Start.

BBs are far from dead. The same as a Windows Phone.

Matther

@comcast.net
I use most data on wifi so I end up spending $16.21 a month. With T-Mobile using just a feature phone cost me a little over $50 a month. Seems like a damn good idea to me.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

Re: Ting Was Not A Good Idea From The Start.

Matter, T-Mobile with unlimited/5Gb data is $30/mo. but Ting would cost me about $36/mo for just 2Gb. Not a good deal.

Moesislak

@asu.edu
I'm in AZ, live in Glendale and work in Downtown Phx, I have this magic thing called wifi at home and work, use 15 Gbs on my phone monthly through wifi and use under 100 mbs of data. Use skype for heavy calling and Whatsapp for texting. Pay under 20 bucks a month and I love Ting, wish Sprint had LTE in AZ but I'll live. Ting allows me to be a low user but with the option to use more minutes, text and data if I ever need to be without worry of being cut off like prepaid or penalized like post-paid. Includes free voice and SMS roaming and bunch of other stuff. When Ting brings on iPhone and LTE I'll get family to switch over, they'd save 50-100 bucks a month since they never get close to the data Verizon puts on them.
Why you make it sound like having carrier specific phones is this mind blowing concept, in less you pay full price for unlocked phone every career wants you to buy their version of a phone. Who uses Blackberries anymore? The phones they accept are mostly HTC and Samsung, the most popular Android phones. And they don't substitise the cost because it's no contract and not ETF. If you like using a lot of data on your phone then stay and pay Verizon 70 bucks, I prefer to have some self control when I'm walking or driving (only times I don't have free wifi around me) and save money every single month. PS I have Samsung epic touch 4g, iPhone 4S looks child sized compared to it and Ting sold it to me refurbished for $178. It can't give me a back rub or talk to me about my 401k fund like iPhone and S4 but that's ok.
Ting is not for heavy data users but it has amazing customer service based in Canada, awesome interactive usage information and easy to understand billing. For a 1.5 year old company it's leaps and bounds over the competition and has the leading Android phones.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Re: Ting Was Not A Good Idea From The Start.

Moesislak, if you are able to use wi-fi everywhere then you don't even need a phone company. If I were you I'd just use Magic Jack Talk Free Google Voice and Skype everywhere. I can't do that cause I only have wi-fi at home and need a phone service that actually works when I leave home but Sprint don't work here and it's a lot more expensive than T-Mobile.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1

Rip off

I use 2500 talk-time minutes a month, 600 text messages a month and 3GB a bandwidth a month. I only pay $50 a month. Ting is far more than that.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

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

Ting is great for light users or families

Ting is the best value for light users or families that can share minutes and text messages. I've been a user for several months on a "feature" phone and the service is fine for voice. However, I used a bit more voice minutes this month so this bill is my highest yet but still less than the monthly bill I used to pay Verizon for smartphone service and unlimited data.

The great thing about Ting is that you pay for what you use. I expect to pay more when I use more. Likewise, when I use less, my bill will be less. I like the Ting concept, and plan to continue using them primarily for mobile voice service.
slow_move

join:2012-07-20
Coram, NY

Ting works for me

I have two lines on Ting. I bought my phones used on ebay. I have wifi at work and home, so I don't use data. Txt messages are cheap enough to use all the time. I like that my bill varies with my usage and that I don't have to worry about "going over" a limit that will include "fees" that vary with the temperature and are not documented anywhere (yes that is you Verizon). My bill ranges from the $20's to the $40's and that is less than I was paying for one line. So to me this is a great service.
Jethroz
Stuck in Stone Age

join:2000-07-11
Frederick, MD

Best option for light users!

Have been on Ting for 6 months now and have nothing bad to say about them. Had two EVO Shift 4G phones on Sprint for about $130/mo (w/ 25% corp discount) compared to $30-$40/mo on Ting. Yes, we are both light users so the switch was a no-brainer. If you can't go 5 minutes without updating Facebook or re-tweeting something, Ting is NOT for you!

My CC on file had expired and I forgot to update the info before our billing period. I received a pleasant email (in the form of a trouble ticket) which stated there was a problem with my card. I updated the info in my account, replied to the email saying it had been updated, and about two hours later they closed the ticket saying everything was good. No late fees charged, no phone call needed.

An added plus for Ting is that I can now use the Wireless Hotspot on the phone without having to hack anything or run any 3rd party apps. Most of the data usage on my account is from whatever I did on my Kindle Fire while connected to the hotspot.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Works well for me...

Moved a family member from Virgin to Ting and it's working out great. Bought a near new Sprint Galaxy II, don't try to use tons of data, coverage is great for where we need it and fallback to Verizon voice when out of the Sprint network. Very pleased.

A_customer

@micron.com

Two phones sharing usage for less than $30

The shared usage is one of their strong points. I'm around wi-fi at home, work, etc. so I don't have any need for mobile data, and I was so irritated at all of the major carriers that wouldn't even let me use a smart phone without forcing me to buy a data plan I didn't want. So I have data turned off, get charged $0 for that and don't miss it. We have two phones on Ting, and it costs less than $30 including the taxes.

Moesislak

@asu.edu

1 edit

Re: Two phones sharing usage for less than $30

Exact same thing for me, $50 for a phone deal unlimited...sounds ok until I look and data is another 20 bucks from Verizon and those guys, forget that and Sprint's unlimited 50 bucks was tempting till I realized I could just save 30 bucks a month $360 a year and all I had to do was try to use wifi at home and wifi at work, the places I spend most of my time. If I ever need to use more, then I use more and I pay the increase for that month and go back to paying less the following months.

Ting may not be for everyone, but it is definitely for me and a co-worker felt the same way about ridiculous cell phone costs so I told him about Ting, he switched over and we both got nice referral credit.

People keep falling for this money sucking tricks, first everyone had to get cable, then everyone had to get internet, now we all need 10 gbs or unlimited data...I would stream entire news broadcasts with T-mobile just to feel like I was getting my moneys worth with their data. Don't fall for this anymore, pay for what you use, not what they say you'll need.

My referral to get $25 if anyone is considering making the switch. Oh and Sprint has 4G all over the Eastern half of the US, and CA, but not all that much LTE on most of Western half though they're rolling it out. Again, I'd still use under 100 mbs a month with 4G, I'd just open a news article faster, no biggie.

[referral removed »Site FAQ »What are the Rules on Posting? ]

Kim Mast

@alter.net

Love Ting

I've moved most of my family over to Ting now -- 6 phones, bill is about $125/month. 3 of the phones are HTC Evo 4G's (from Ebay for $75) -- they work great. The other 3 are flip phones, bought from Ting for under $45. At $75 for a smart phone, we can afford to have one or two inevitable drop and break.....

Of the bill, most is for minutes -- everyone talks as much as they used to on T-M (walmart family plan unlimited talking). No real issues with Sprint call coverage here in Colorado (I use AT&T at work and it's horrible at times...)

The texting is really cheap -- and we text as much as we used to on T-M.

The smart phones mostly use data on wifi -- it's the first smart phone for my wife and my daughter-in-law, and they love being able to take a picture and send it off to others via Whatsup as well as for browsing and some streaming. They do use data occasionally for GPS while driving -- I think we all are sharing 100MB for $3/month.

Overall, I'd highly recommend Ting if you're trying to keep mobile phone costs down.

Moesislak

@asu.edu

Re: Love Ting

How much you saving?

enoss

@rogers.com

"Just" is so relative

[I work for Ting so bias up front! ]
Two points I would like to make. First is on the same call we said we were over 40,000 devices which is really the apples to apples comparison to the incumbents. They view a device as a customer. We view a person, no matter how many phones they pay for, as a customer. The majority of people simply pay multiple bills.

Second, we are thrilled with the growth. We can happily continue on the current growth trajectory and have a GREAT business. Remember to compare to ATT and Verizon is to compare to two of the biggest companies in the world and we have only been live since February, 2012.

We have a much lower cost structure and a much higher customer experience. That's a win!

I should also note that we believe that by the end of 2014 Sprint's spectrum advantage and new access to capital will start to manifest itself. It already is in some pockets in some cities.