series of comprehensive US prepaid mobile operator profiles. These profiles cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as MVNOs which offer a good value.
Overview: Ting is a relatively new (launched Feb., 2012) Sprint and T-Mobile mobile virtual mobile operator (MVNO) which buys service from Sprint and T-Mobile and resells it to individual customers. Ting is a part of Tucows, Inc., a major Internet domain registrar and the operator of the Tucows Downloads site. At the end of Sept, 2015, Ting had approximately 122,000 active accounts and 192,000 active devices.
CDMA accounts: Ting CDMA operates on the 850 (b 26) and 1900 (b 25) Mhz bands with 1RTT, EVDO and LTE data support. 4G LTE on the 850 (b 26), 1900 (b25) and 2.5 Ghz (b 41) bands. Ting CDMA also has voice roaming on 1900 Mhz and 850 Mhz CDMA networks.
GSM accounts: Ting GSM operates GSM on the 1900 Mhz band, UMTS on the 1700 and 1900 bands and LTE in bands 2,4 and 12 with voice and text roaming on 850 and 1900 Mhz GSM networks
Plans: Ting has an unusual pricing model. Users are billed for separate buckets (which Ting calls tiers) of voice minutes, texts and megabytes of data. If you use up all the minutes, messages or data in one of your buckets, Ting will automatically upgrade you to the next larger bucket for the current month only. You can block these automatic updates by setting usage and/or spending limits that cut off your data or messaging for the rest of the month when the limit is reached. Here are the available tiers.
|Text Messages (domestic and international)||$0||100||1000||2000||4800|
|Cost||$0||$3||$10||$16||$20||$10 per GB|
If you find Ting's pricing confusing, here are a few examples.
1 phone, 1-100 minutes, no messages, no data: $9/month ($6 service fee + $3 S voice tier)
1 phone, 1-100 minutes, 1-100 messages, .01-100 MB: $15/month ($6 service fee + $3 S voice tier + $3 S messaging tier + $3 S data tier)
2 phones, 3000, minutes, 4000 messages, 2MB: $95.10/month ($6 service fee for line 1 + $6 service fee for line 2 + $35 XL voice tier + $17.10 for 900 minutes at 1.9¢ each + $11 XL messaging tier + $20 XL data tier)
International Rates: It appears that, unlike most operators, Ting charges the same rate for international calls to mobile phones as it does to land lines. This results in very reasonable rates (full list) for calling mobile phones. Sample rates per minute: Canada 1¢; Mexico 1¢; China 2¢; UK 2¢; Philippines 11¢. International calls also reduce your available minute tier balance.
There is no extra charge for sending or receiving international texts.
International Roaming: Ting (GSM only) supports roaming in many countries (full list and rates).
- Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK - voice 30¢/minute, texts sent 12¢ each. texts received free, data: 30¢/MB.
- France, Lebanon, Nigeria - voice $2.50/minute, texts sent 12¢ each. texts received 12¢, data: $15/MB.
- Cruise ships - voice $6/minute, texts sent 12¢ each. texts received 12¢, data: $15/MB.
Coverage: Ting CDMA uses the Sprint native network. There is no extra cost voice and SMS (but not data) roaming on Verizon and regional CDMA networks.
Ting GSM uses the T-Mobile network with some off-network voice and text roaming.
Ting's interactive coverage maps does a good job of indicating where each type of data is available and lets you zoom in to see block by block coverage.
Devices: For a small operator, Ting offers a lot of different phones including several feature phones, over a dozen Android phones ranging from sub $100 refurbished phones to the latest LTE flagship models from Samsung, HTC and LG.
How to Buy: Ting phones can only be purchased from the Ting site.
BYOSD: Ting CDMA supports Bring Your Own Sprint Device (BYOD). Most Sprint and Sprint MVNO devices, should work with the following exceptions:
- Device must not be currently active on the Sprint network.
- Device must not be blacklisted for non-payment or as lost or stolen.
- BlackBerrys, Palm WebOS and Push To Talk phonescan't be used.
- Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile and Sprint Prepaid phones must be used for 12 months on the service they were sold for (i.e., irgin Mobile, Boost Mobile or Sprint Prepaid) before they can be used on any Sprint MVNO, including Ting.
How to Activate: Activate online at ting.com/activate or by calling 1-855-846-4389. from another phone. Activation is free.
Payment Options: Currently the only payment option is auto pay using a credit or debit card.
Account expiration: plans automatically renew every month with plan and usage fees charged to your credit or debit card. If the charges are declined your service will be suspended.
Account Management: Ting offers an online dashboard displaying how much of your data, voice and messaging buckets they have used. Users can setup alerts that will disable data or messages for the remainder of the current billing period when usage reaches a specified amount.
Tethering: (using phone as a modem for a laptop or other device) is allowed with no restrictions.
Call Forwarding, (Ting CDMA):
To forward all calls to another number: Ting CDMA: Press *72 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to (*72-123-456-7890), press SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be billed for forwarded calls.
To cancel call forwarding: Press *720 SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
To forward unanswered calls only (conditional call forwarding): Press *28 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to (*28-123-456-7890), press SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be billed for forwarded calls.
To cancel conditional call forwarding: Press *38 SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
Call Forwarding, (Ting GSM):
To forward unanswered calls: Press **61*1 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to, followed by # (**62*1-123-456-7890), press SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be billed for forwarded calls.
To cancel unanswered call forwarding: Press ##61# SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
To forward calls when your phone is unreachable: Press **62*1 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to, followed by # (**62*1-123-456-7890), press SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be billed for forwarded calls.
To cancel unreachable call forwarding: Press ##62# SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
To forward calls you phone is busy: Press **67*1 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to, followed by # (**67*1-123-456-7890), press SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be billed for forwarded calls.
To cancel conditional call forwarding: Press ##67# SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling (Ting CDMA and GSM)
Call waiting: Call waiting is enabled by default. It lets you place one call on hold while you take another call. When you are on a call and have another incoming call, you will hear a short tone. You'll have approximately 30 seconds to answer before the second caller hears a standard message or is forwarded to voicemail. You will be billed for both calls.
To answer Call Waiting: To put the first call on hold, press "SEND." You'll automatically be connected with the second call. To return to the first call, press "SEND" again. To switch between the two calls, press "SEND."
3-Way Calling: To add a second person while on a call press SEND and dial the new number or choose it from contacts. When the other party answers press SEND to join the two calls.
##786# (most phones) displays the phone's MSID, ESN, MEID, PRL, call and data counters and version numbers.
Free information services calls
*611 - Ting Mobile customer care
711 - Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
911 - Emergency services
Other 3 digit codes like 211, 311 and 511 are not free on Ting
Phone support: : 1.855.TING.FTW (855.846.4389) Monday to Friday from 8am until 8pm (ET).
Email support: email@example.com
Online email support form: help.ting.com/anonymous_requests/new
Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: ting.com
Ting Pros: Good pricing for moderate use, good phone selection including the latest high end Android phones, BYOSD, online usage records, call forwarding, voice roaming, tethering allowed.
Ting Cons: Pricing not competitive with prepaid monthly plans for heavy users, $6 monthly fee, no weekend customer support.
Updated 8/5/16 - Data prices lowered.