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Ting Lowers Data Prices



Sprint no-contract postpaid MVNO Ting made some pricing changes today that should lower most users monthly costs. 

Ting uses a tiered pricing model with separate tiers of voice minutes, texts and megabytes of data. If you use up all the minutes, messages or data in one of your tiers, Ting will automatically upgrade you to the next tier for the current month only. The image above from the Ting Blog highlights today's changes consist of: 

  • Lowering the price for all data tiers except the cheapest 
  • Adding more minutes and texts to the "XL" tiers with no increase in price 
  • Eliminating the most expensive "XXL" tier for minutes, texts and data
  • Lowering the voice, text and data prices for usage beyond the highest tiers

This is certainly a welcome change, especially for anyone using a gigabyte or more per month. For example someone with 2 phones who used 3000 minutes, 4000 messages and 2GB would pay:

  • $117/month under the old pricing model ($6 service fee for line 1 + $6 service fee for line 2 + $52 XXL voice tier + $11 XL messaging tier + $42 XL data tier)
  • $104/.10/month under the new pricing model ($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 + $29 XL data tier)

Heavy data users will see the biggest savings. Someone who used 5 GB and no voice minutes or texts would see their bill drop from $113.70 ($6 + $60 + 47.70 for 2120MB at 2.25¢/MB) to $81.80 ($6 + $29 + $46.80 for 3120MB * 1.5¢/MB)

Even the new pricing seems on the high side but it can be a good choice for families and individuals with modest usage needs. The sweet spot seems to be about 75-1000 minutes, 75-1000 messages and under 500 MB of data which for a single user costs between $15 and $41, before taxes and fees which run between $1 and $10/month. Ting also offers some substantial perks including excellent customer support and no extra cost voice and text roaming.

Related:
Prepaid Operator Profile: Ting
Updated: Sprint and Sprint MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared

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11 comments:

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  1. "Ting will automatically upgrade you to the next tier for the current month only."
    Update: Ting dropped the prepaid model months ago, to make things simple. Everyone starts at 0-0-0 and you pay for what you use, postpaid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ting is postpaid but it's not really true that you only pay for what you use. Ting still upgrades you for the full tier that your usage falls into even if you haven't used the whole tier. A more equitable usage model would be to charge a per minute, text and MB rate on a sliding scale where the rate per unit goes down as usage increases.

      Delete
    2. You pay for the bucket you use. Other companies also use the bucket model. Consumer Cellular does, too (you computed their price per resource as if people use the whole bucket). Zact copied Ting, but has many more size buckets which addresses the issue.
      My point was just that there is no "next tier" now.

      Delete
  2. So - to get to the 10GB for $100 that AT&T offered families, it would be about $150. Much closer, but bar has moved.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Virgin Mobile still a better option for $35 a month with 300 talk, unlimited text, and data.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried Virgin with an iPhone 4S for 11 months. $40/month plan (with CC). Tower drops in major metro area while moving, poor native coverage, clueless CS; no way can I recomment them. Then a one hour hassle trying to get the account number so I could leave; three people put me through 'the Inquisition' before they would give me the number, and wanted to argue (politely, but repeatedly) about everything. I will NEVER go back to Virgin, no matter what they offer or charge. Took a $300 writeoff on the iPhone, which was useless anywhere else. Another gamble you take with this company that some people still don't realize. (You can't flash a 4S).

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  4. I would not recommend this if you're a heavy data user because on the long run it will be costly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In order to compare Ting with other carriers, you need to look at what your usage is, not what you have available. You might get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you have a 5GB cushion, or unlimited (infinite!) available with a carrier, but if you're only using 500MB of that on average, you are really just throwing away 4.5GB. In this case, compare the cost of the other carrier's 5GB plan to Ting's 500MB plan, not Ting's 5GB cost. I see too many cost comparisons like that which hides the big advantage of Ting's pay-for-what-you-use pricing.

    If you truly consume 5GB of data, then go ahead and compare against Ting's 5GB cost and it probably isn't for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Ting pricing also makes more sense when you have two or more lines (lower price/unit bucket) and want to have service with one company. Their no extra cost voice and text roaming is a huge benefit compared to Virgin, Boost, Eco, Kajeet and others. And their customers service is among the very best in the business, which is even more important now for LTE support. They accept iPhone 4 & 4S (the only Sprint MVNO that does) and are working on getting the 5 approved too. These people are worth spending a little extra to hire, just like Consumer Cellular earns loyal customers on the AT&T network. Their pricing models are similar, but Ting does not make you ask for a bucket/plan change at the end of the month to get the best pricing; it is automatic.

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  6. I went from Verizon to Ting 18 months ago. I paid the ETF before Ting paid them, and I bought all new phones from Ting (2 smart phones, 2 feature phones). Monthly bill went from $190 to under $100. Paid for the phones in about 7 months, and it's been all gravy ever since. Customer service is top notch. We're moderate users in all tiers... L-L-L with the occasional excursion into XL. The beauty of having no contract is, perversely, a distinct lack of desire to leave. Highly recommended.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I bought their LG Marquee refurb (looked and worked like new) for $77, and they gave me a $50 service credit. First month's testing bill for data, Sml only was $10.48. My nephew is still using the phone after 15 months, a perfect starter smartphone for him that still satisfies. The roaming on Vzw and great customer service make all the difference with Ting. Best way to use Sprint, IMO. If you try them and do not agree, their phone ESNs are in the PLBL database, so you can take move Ting phones to another Sprint MVNO directly.

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