The big news is that, baring any unexpected delays, BYOSD is finally going to launch next Tuesday, Dec 4th. Ting is able to activate approximately 2500 different Sprint phones including virtually all Sprint phones released in the last five years with the exception of iPhones, BlackBerrys, Google Nexus phones, LTE devices and Boost or Virgin Mobile phones.
BYOSD activation will be online and sellf-service. Non-4G Sprint and Sprint MVNO devices will take only a couple of minutes to activate. 4G WiMAX phones are fully supported but it will take up to 30 hours after submitting the request before a WiMAX phone activates. Basic activation will enable voice, 3G data and SMS. Manual programming will be required to get MMS picture messaging and WiMAX working.
During a recent BYOSD closed Beta, the most popular Sprint devices to activate were the HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO 3D, Samsung Galaxy S II, LG Optimus S and the Motorola Photon 4G. Ting has detailed instructions to guide users through manually programming those five models. For other phones users may need to do a bit of research to find out how to set up MMS and WiMAX.
Regarding if and when iPhones, Google Nexus and LTE devices and BlackBerrys would be supported on Ting.
- Ting says that they are currently having discussions with Google and expect to be able to activate Sprint's Nexus S 4G and Galaxy Nexus next year. A Ting user has started a petition at tingmynexus.com that users can sign to put a little pressure on Google.
- LTE devices will also be supported in early 2013.
- Windows Phone 8 will likely make an appearance on Ting next year.
- Ting has contacted Apple about being able to support the iPhone, the rest is up to Apple but next year is looking good.
- Supporting BlackBerry would require a substantial investment for infrastructure and Ting has no immediate plans to do it.
Ting demonstrated a new version of it's online "Your Account" Dashboard for users. The Dashboard now shows real time usage data so users get see how much of their data, voice and messaging buckets they have used and how much it is costing them. Users now have the ability to setup alerts that will disable data or messages for the remainder of the current billing period when usage reaches a specified amount. This should help cost conscious users control costs.
A three new Ting devices will be released next week:
- Home Phone Connect, a wireless in-home voice only device priced at about $100 that can replace a land line phone. Available next week.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2, phone/tablet "phablet" with 5.5 inch 1280 x 720 HD screen, 8 MP camera, quad core 1.6 Ghz processor, LTE (which doesn't work on Ting) and Android 4.1 JellyBean, available next Tuesday or Thursday for about $625.
- LG Optimus G with 4.7 1280 x 720 True HD inch screen, 13 MP camera, quad core 1.5 GHz processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and (currently non-working) LTE, available next Thursday for about $540.
In the Q&A part of the Hangout there were some interesting questions about lower data prices (Ting is working on it, maybe next year), using Ting phones on Sprint (difficult but Ting can do it, should be easier next year) and using a Sprint Airave wireless in-home signal booster on Ting (Ting can activate them but it's a labor extensive manual process, should be automated soon).
The hangout video is embedded above. It's nearly an hour long. If you're interested in one of the topics discussed and don't want to watch the whole thing here's a timeline of the highlights
11:25 Home Phone Connect 2
12:53: LG Optimus G
13:30 Galaxy Note 2
14:25 Nexus discussions with Google
15:38 iPhone up to Apple
16:36 Windows Phone 8 next year?
17:35 BlackBerry, no plans to support in next 4-6 months
22:00 Real time usage on Ting site. Ability to disable data or messages until end of billing period based on usage.
37:30 BYOSD: 30 hour delay in activating 4G devices. MMS and 4G require manual update. Top 5 devices
46:40 Q&A: Lower data pricing possible next year.
53:48 Q&A: Taking a Ting device back to Sprint.
55:50 Q&A: Sprint Airave (wireless in-home signal booster) on Ting?