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Ting Opens T-Mobile Based GSM Beta to All


Sprint MVNO Ting announced today their GSM service is in open Beta. Anyone can now purchase a Ting SIM card for $9 and activate it on the new service, which uses the T-Mobile network with the same somewhat limited off-network voice and text roaming (coverage map) that's available to T-Mobile prepaid users.

The SIMs are tri-cut, a mini SIM which is scored to allow you to break out a micro or nano sized SIM from it.  Ting says that the GSM service is working well with the only known issues being that making international calls and international roaming are not available yet

Ting's plans and pricing are the same for both CDMA (Sprint) and GSM (services). Rather than having monthly plans with unlimited talk and text and varying amounts of data like most other carriers, Ting users are billed for separate tiers of voice minutes, texts and megabytes of data. If you use up all the minutes, messages or data in one of your chosen tiers, Ting will upgrade you to the next tier for the current month only. You can  disable these automatic updates by setting usage limits that cut off your taking, data or messaging for the rest of the month when the limit is reached. The table below shows the available tiers.

Tier XS S M L XL Beyond XL
Minutes 0 100 500 1000 2100
Cost $0 $3 $9 $18 $30 1.9¢/ea
Text Messages (domestic and international) $0 100 1000 2000 4800
Cost $0 $3 $5 $8 $11 1/4¢ each
Data (MB) 0 100 500 1000 2000
Cost $0 $3 $12 $19 $29 1.5¢ per MB
Ting also charges a $6/month service fee regardless of usage and adds a number of taxes and fees that vary by state and average between one to ten dollars per month.

Data, minute and messaging tiers can be shared across multiple phones or users on the same account, family-plan style. A multi-line Ting account can have a combination  GSM and CDMA devices on it with all them sharing the same pool of minutes texts and data.

Ting SIMs should work in any T-Mobile phone that hasn't been reported lost or stolen or blacklisted for non-payment or any unlocked GSM phone that supports T-Mobile's bands. You can check if a phone is clear for activation using Ting's online checker. I expect far fewer issues with phones being rejected over payment issues on GSM than with the current mess that is Sprint MVNO activation.

Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: Ting

Source: Ting Blog

63 comments:

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  1. Why in the world do people rave about Ting? $18 plus $6 plus taxes for only 1000 minutes. I congratulate Tang for having a pretty solid advertising campaign and the fact that they somehow or giving us a deal because we are free to choose or you only pay as much as you use but it's almost a scam unless you really only use a couple hundred minutes a month and maybe a hundred megabytes of data and a hundred texts if you are an above average user ting is an awful deal don't fall for it

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    1. People love ting because they have tried it and they are impressed with the overall customer experience and value. If you just look at prices and that is all you care about, you won't ever understand ting. You can buy roaming on Verizon at extra cost now from RingPlus, and if you are very price-sensitive you might be able to put up with all of their issues to save a few bucks. I couldn't.

      Delete
  2. Looks like Ting is also fed up with CDMA (Sprint) and finally migrating to GSM (T-Mobile). But I don't believe their rates are as competitive as U.S. Mobile, who operates on the same tier system, also on T-Mobile's network.

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    1. I doubt it has anything to do with GSM vs CDMA, really. There are major business considerations besides this inconsequential matter.

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    2. I'm not understanding your logic. How would this be considered an "inconsequential matter" when Ting's main selling perk is to allow the customers to be IN CONTROL, and CDMA is beyond the shadow of doubt the more restrictive choice when compared with GSM.

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    3. The best network in the country happens to run on CDMA. What can be more "in control" than being able to use the phone in the most places?

      Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the differences between CDMA and GSM matter little to users.

      Why else do you think in these discussions such matters as throttling or not, G's allowed per month, number of minutes and texts allowed, carry-over policies, group plans, customer service, coverage area, 4G vs slower are ALL discussed first, with the "CDMA vs GSM" matter being an afterthought.

      I would think most of us rank this behind all these other (and more) considerations. Inconsequential, indeed.

      Delete
    4. Ting actually announced that it would offer GSM service long before any of the issues with Sprint, so it's not a reaction to the problems they're having. It is simply fortunate that it happened this way, as Ting can simply move frustrated customers away from Sprint and still keep business.

      Delete
    5. It's more productive to say that Ting is offering T-Mobile-based service rather than just saying "GSM". It's a lot more specific. GSM could mean the significantly larger AT&T network, instead of Ting's new T-Mobile offerings.

      Again, it is the root/main carrier that matters, not the GSM vs CDMA difference. At least,that is the way it is now. Dennis in his parent post leaves no room for ambiguity as he mentions it is T-Mobile-only right after mentioning GSM.

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    6. -1. See the Ting coverage map. That is not the native T-Mobile network. Coverage includes AT&T and regional carrier roaming at no additional cost, as negotiated by T-Mobile. T-Mobile got a huge roaming agreement as part of the $4B reverse breakup fee when AT&T could not buy them: $3B in cash, control of $1-$3B in spectrum and the roaming agreement.

      Delete
    7. -1 Example: Start from Clare, MI and drive ~450 miles North to Copper Harbor in the tip of the MI Upper Peninsula (UP). Your Ting phone says “AT&T” virtually the whole way, except for some AT&T dead spots in the UP. Your phone says “No Service” with Ptel, GIV, Ultra, US Mobile, Red Pocket, ROK, Jolt, Simple, Liberty, Univision, UppWireless, Byo and some other Tmobile MVNOs, plus GoSmart.

      Delete
    8. You actually drive from Clare?

      Anyway during all this Ting roaming onto ATT, are you getting at least 3G data?

      All this contradicts the idea of Ting being only on TMOBILE sub par network

      Delete
    9. You'd better look more closely, Clare driver. This particular T-Mobile based map is deceptive... there's a bug in it that makes it look like full 3G+ coverage all over. The dark green.

      But if you zoom in, just a little, you get a very accurate map. Clare and the north are all in "Partner" areas. That is, no data at all. Which might fly in the last century. But otherwise you are going to be driving to the UP with absolutely no data coverage. You only get full 21st century cell coverage, with data, in the southern quarter of Michigan, and even there the coverage is poor, sporadic.

      Go ahead and go to the Ting GSM coverage map, go to Mt Pleasant, MI, and zoom in and out. You will see the map in deceptive "great coverage" mode when you zoom out (4G data in all the UP!), and in the no-data, honest "partner" mode when you zoom in. From green to yellow stripes.

      They should fix this buggy map engine so it shows an accurate picture no matter how you zoom.

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    10. 1. Post at 11:30 AM accurately addressed the false impression/FUD: "GSM could mean the significantly larger AT&T network, instead of Ting's new T-Mobile offerings." 2. No bugs in the T-Mobile map. It works just like the T-Mobile map. You must have missed the ting map Legend, which identifies the lighter green areas as "Partner" Coverage. No deception by ting.

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    11. Post at 1:40 labelled accurately describing T-Mobile's much smaller network as "FUD". Sorry, the TMO's much smaller footprint is not something that should be hidden. The fact remains that Ting GSM's data offerings needs a big asterisk after them, because while you can roam in most of the nation for text and voice,you can't for data. That's what happens when you are saddled with an uncarrier.

      I did miss the legend, due to the shoddy design of the map applet, in which., depending on how you zoom, areas of poor coverage change to the color of good coverage. This would be remedied by them fixing the design to have a consistent legend at all zoom levels. It is poor practice to have the colors mean the opposite in the exact same map at different zoom levels.... the same green used for poor coverage partners as is used for high-coverage native zones, depending on zoom level. regardless of whether or not the switcheroo is shown in the legend. And yes I've noticed this same bad map at T-Mobile itself and other subsidiaries and MVNOs. Anyone can check this: the colors go to opposite meanings as you zoom in and out, making poor national coverage somehow look good.

      Attempt at deception? Or amateurish design? You decide. Or better yet, don't. You seem to have a bias like you are paid by one of the companies, when you label accurate information as "FUD".

      Delete
    12. Enough with the argument already. Ting is overpriced and has limited coverage. Just get Cricket with AT&T coverage, including data coverage.

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    13. Why should I waste money buying more than we need, and put up with poor CS and junky fees? Plus my data will be less than half as fast. Bad advice for many people.

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    14. Most people will notice the difference in coverage a lot more than the difference in data speed. Your faster data won't work at all when you're roaming on AT&T, the same network Cricket subscribers will have data access on where T-Mobile doesn't have coverage. As for junk fees, with Ting you pay a $6 service "fee" and up to $10 in taxes, up to 9% in taxes with US Mobile and up to 7% with BYO. With Cricket you pay no taxes or fees, just the plan price that's it.

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    15. Cricket's fees are minor unless you are a deadbeat. I've encountered none of them so far. But yet again, I do plan on paying my bills on time.

      Delete
    16. "Plus my data will be less than half as fast. "

      This, unlike the rest of it, is an actual substantive point. But I seriously ask, what is so much better about 20 mbps (a max on TMobile some report here) and 8 mbps?

      What am I giving up by having to be limited to 8 mbps?

      Delete
    17. "Plus my data will be less than half as fast"

      Facts not FUD:

      Cricket? In most of the country, you will get from 1 mbps to 8

      Ting GSM? In most of the country, you will get 0 mbps. Absolutely none. In some spots, you will get much higher than 8 mbps.

      There. that will help an informed choice.

      Delete
    18. Interesting. In looking for an accurate "zoomed out" T-Mobile map, I found this one of their plans.

      The expansion ends in 2013. Here we are two years after, and the current T-Mobile situation is pretty much like the 2010 "before" map. What happened? Seems like a total fail, like they did nothing at all.

      Delete
  3. Ouch - "$6/month service fee ". gousmobile.com seems to have better deals for a similar "choose your usage" plans on Tmo.

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  4. Ting has roaming in many places. Look at the map. US mobile has nothing but native T-Mobile. And you cannot share a plan on us mobile. It costs more for two. Also, Ting does not add junk taxes. If your state and county charge high taxes, blame them.

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    1. "Ting has roaming in many places. Look at the map."

      I did. It shows a lot of "partner" roaming,with no data. Over most of the country, really. And data coverage (as per Native T-Mobile) scattered in small areas across the nation.

      Kind of discourages the idea of a Ting GSM data plan, when their map shows that you can only use this data at all in a small part of the country. For those who want only calls and text, this could be great.

      Delete
  5. just find 5 friends and get onto cricket, 20 for 2.5G and unlimited text and talk, not to mention the att range ... ting doesn't even come close.

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    1. Explain that $20 for 5 person deal a little more? Thanks.

      Delete
    2. I'm not the op, but here's how it works. Cricket's 2.5GB unlimited talk and text plan with, what they call, Group Save discount costs $40 for the 1st line, 2nd line $30, 3rd line $20, 4th line $10 and the 5th line is free, which means 4 or 5 lines cost a total of $100 with all taxes included in the plan price. 100 ÷ 5 = 20. Each line gets 2.5GB of high speed LTE data, for an extra $10 per line you can bump that up to 5GB or 10GB for an extra $20. Cricket is owned by AT&T and runs on the AT&T network with the same coverage as AT&T GoPhone.

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    3. Cricket's 5 for $100 plan:
      https://www.cricketwireless.com/5for100

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    4. I have the $60... $55 advanced Cricket plan, with 20GB, and it would be nice to add another line to share on it for $25 or so. Just two lines, though.

      As for the rumours of Cricket throttling, and its "low" 8 mbps limit, well, ""throttle, schmottle". I've been able to watch Youtube videos anywhere I want with my phone on Cricket. What more would you need in data, bandwidth speed? What am I prevented from doing by having only a maximum of 8 mbps? Maybe I need to test this on Netflix movies next...

      Delete
  6. Sans the Limited roaming with Ting, which seems to play little here in CA from what I can tell from the Maps, BYO seems a better deal than both US Mobile and Ting, especially Ting. Both US Mobile and BYO are fixed rates with the ability to Top up and those Top up are good for 30 days from purchase. With Ting, you get automatically bumped and any units you don't use you lose when the month rolls over. Even with a hard cap, if you need more to get you by then you have to bump up and if you don't use it you lose it. You need to be careful with Ting even with the hard caps because they do auto bump you up, so the meter keeps running until the session is stopped and the usage reported. They do offer a 5% cushion between tiers though.
    I sat and crunched a few numbers and BYO still beat US mobile except at the lowest data tier, but with a simple $5 top up BYO come out on Top. BYO 100/100/20 = $5 US Mobile 100/100/100 =$9 but a $5 top on BYO gets you an additional 250 MB, any way I configured it I could not get a better deal with US Mobile.

    As far as Ting I could not really find much, if any, savings with multiple devices over either BYO or US Mobile.

    I am only using BYO and US Mobile because they are the closest in comparison plans/tiers and moderate usage.

    Ting's T-Mobile service is quite underwhelming from low to high usage. Much better deals for high usage from Ultra or Harbor and like T-Mobile MVNOs. At least from my vantage point.

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    1. BYO forces you to pay for texts. Being mostly on wifi, and using gvoice for free texts, I can get 100min/100meg from US Mobile for $7. The 20meg data on BYOs lowest plan isn't really enough to do much of anything.

      Delete
    2. Well that works for you, plenty of scenarios you can concoct. For for $3 more BYO blows US Mobile out of the water with 20 + 250 MB and you can send/receive text when not in WiFi range. I think Both offer good deals, choose your poison.

      Delete
  7. Time to change your Ting (s), Dennis, in the right column. And also your first paragraph to read "Formerly Sprint-only MVNO Ting....

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    1. Soon it will read former Sprint MVNO now T-Mobile only MVNO Ting. PTel did just that a few years ago.

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    2. I agree. T-Mobile Legere has stolen Ting's original brand strategy, a Ting rep's former hairstyle, and several other things. They are very compatible, apparently.
      https://ting.com/blog/t-mobile-ceo-john-legere-stole-my-2012-brand-strategy-and-my-1987-hair/

      Delete
    3. Gutsy call. I don't agree, because of Ting's fast growth on Sprint and profitable operation. Sometime in 2015, analysts think Ting will account for the majority of Tucows' revenue, and that was before the T-Mobile diversification. Here are some details on Ting and its growth on Sprint:
      http://www.bidnessetc.com/34808-sprint-corp-ting-mvno-growth-lends-weight-to-googles-wireless-dream/
      If Ting drops Sprint at all, it will not be "soon." Why should a business cut off a positive revenue stream, especially if they haven't fully replaced it yet? Why should Sprint drop usage revenue from 150k active devices? They need more, not less revenue and they need it now. Ting has delivered for them, and represents a role model and success story for MVNOs at Sprint.

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    4. and then will change its name name, to become "The Carrier Formely Known as Ting"

      Delete
  8. PTEL & GIV Mobile are pretty awesome but it seems that Ultra has the cheapest 4G top-ups. And then Harbor has this thing where they state that the data is dropping this time next year from one allotment to another that's going to be interesting. If I used more data I would definitely buy that one year Rok mobile plan which Dennis still hasn't updated. I think it's going away in a few days here the $399 for 1 year

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  9. Now that Ting is directly competing with US Mobile and other T-Mobile MVNOs, Ting will have to lower their rates to remain competitive. Ting might have been one of the best options on Sprint, but they're just another drop in the bucket in the world of T-Mobile MVNOs. Welcome to the modern world of prepaid wireless.

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    1. I have service on both ting GSM and US Mobile. I used ting with Sprint for about a year. All they have in common is the pricing model and service connection to the T-Mobile native network. US Mobile clearly copied from Ting, including a the look and feel of ting's Dashboard. Ting offers expert, full customer support from people who fix any problem within their control right away, even during the T-Mobile beta test. They offer more than double the coverage area by including free voice roaming on AT&T. Their plan-sharing feature makes their pricing more attractive for many, if not most families. Ting's Dashboard is FAR more capable. US Mobile? A work-in-progress. Their dashboard software sometimes shows zeros, then balances re-appear on next log-ins. Then disappear again. They just changed what the dials show. You cannot change plans in the middle of the month, so you are either suspended for a service, or must call and renew early. When I call, I cannot count on getting a human. I leave a message and wait for a call-back. Nice reps, who seem to know their stuff but are limited in what they can do for you (unlike ting reps). Technical issues, like line balance discrepancies have to be handed off to the "tech team" and require an additional wait. Tech team does not call you back. Are they off-shore? If you do not like the solution, you start over. Yes, it is worth the hassle and limited coverage for customers with one line and who are very price-sensitive. Customers who do not need off-network roaming. Customers who can live with support delays, and limited ability to adjust buckets to fit their actual usage. Based on my experience with both companies, ting offers significantly more overall value, especially for families. Other ting customers are very satisfied, as documented by their overall high marks in the Consumer Reports user-satisfaction survey, closely matching Consumer Cellular. There are good choices for everyone here. But this is not just a price-shootout.

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    2. LOL, another cut an paste of tired old arguments used by the Ting cultists. I have Ting on Sprint and I rarely have to call C/S and/or use the dashboard tools, those benefits are so overused as a reason to over pay for their service its no longer funny. Paying for what you don't use should be their slogan.
      Ting also leaves you on hold a lot longer than they used to do and there is a thread on that on their forum.

      Ting's T-Mobile service is plain and simply mediocre at best and IMO not really at all competitive with their limited roaming or not. 3 devices alone on Ting +$1 would pay for one device UT/UT/100MB on Ultra. Ting, Meh!

      It is also a complete BS that you can not top up your plan on US Mobile mid month and you can do so on their dashboard! US Mobile also just recently changed it so all Top Ups now roll over for 30 days from the date you top up! With Ting, when you get bumped up you need to use it or lose it!
      US Mobile is only ~6 months old, so yes it is a work in progress, just like Ting's was when they first started out.

      Delete
    3. -1: Top up is NOT the same as "change plans." You cannot change plans in the middle of a month, and are limited to top-ups. More complex than ting. Another USM issue: Monthly payments. Most prepaid plans give service through the end of the renewal day. USM cuts you off in the wee hours of the AM ON the renewal day. Wiping out any rollover balance. I lost 144MB of rollover data (not top-up data). No recourse on this.

      Delete
    4. -10
      Nothing complicated about it and you know it if you actually have a US Mobile account, it is pretty painless to pay for your next month and you can change plans when it renews? As with Ting, your standard data allotment does not roll over and never has, so what are you complaining about?

      Delete
    5. 1. "it is pretty painless to pay for your next month and you can change plans >>when it renews<<..." That is the point. You have to order a plan change and wait. Plus top-up. Like driving a stick shift in rush hour. With Ting, it's all automatic. 2. Data did roll over for me. CS said this is new. I was on the 100mb plan one month, and after that plan renewed, I had 144mb. With no top-up.

      Delete
    6. So how hard is it to wait for the plan to renew? A top up is not much different in the interim and now that it rolls over the little extra expense is more than acceptable.
      Why change plans unless you find that you are always going over or have too much left over every month? You still completely evade the fact Ting will charge you for 500 units when you 250 and it does not roll over. Where you could simply top up with US Mobile and most likely actually use what you pay for the following month instead of throwing it away with Ting, which may leave you with enough to cover you for any overages for the next month.

      The only units that are to roll over are from top ups, so if your plan data rolled over it was a glitch.
      Most recent E-mail from US Mobile 2-17-15
      2. Roll Over Add Ons - Add On's will now be valid for 30 Days and any unused talk/text/data will roll over! Yes, you heard that right. Please remember that you still have to pay your monthly plan to keep your service active but now you wont lose those add on's that you add towards the end of the month.

      If you are high maintenance, then I guess over paying with Ting is the way to go.

      Delete
    7. How does that work? Will top ups rollover once and expire after 30 days or rollover forever until you use it?

      Delete
    8. The top up is good 30 days from the date you purchase it (like BYO) and the unused portion will roll over into the next month if you renew your basic plan. They pull from that first so it would not roll over indefinitely anyway.

      Delete
  10. Google should buy TUCOWS and use Ting to launch its new MVNO operations on Sprint and T-Mobile. 1. This would be a low-cost way for them to launch quicker, and leverage a very successful software platform, management team and support staff. 2. Rumor is that the new Google service may be limited to mobile data a the start. This would be easier for automating the activating of devices, and require much less support staff. 3. Although Ting has been able to scale very successfully given its rapid growth, they could not handle a nationwide rollout of a Google brand MVNO that included voice. Even sticking to an invitation-only launch (remember Gmail?), Ting's relatively small staff would be overwhelmed by activation issues. So it would make sense for Google and Ting to develop a fully-automated activation process for a data-only service on T-Mobile and Sprint. 4. I don't know whether that should follow a Republic-FreedomPop model, or one that was initially limited to mobile hotspots. Sprint's reported pursuit of FreedomPop means they may be investigating both approaches. And T-Mobile's offer of free 200mb of mobile data for tablets with paid uplifts, plus the successful FreedomPop freemium execution results, could be the kind of price model that Google uses. Either way, it seems to me that Ting could be a valued partner that could shorten Google's time to market and provide the kind of insight about support operations and backend systems that Google lacks.

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  11. TUCOWS, like CNET, tries to trick downloaders into downloading and installing a variety of malware. I would hope that Google wouldn't so officially be embracing such a virus propagation platform.

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  12. Does Ting GSM have LTE?

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    1. Yes. 20Mbps in my area with the 2013 Moto X and 3 bars of service.

      Delete
  13. In my opinion, Ting needs to drop their data prices by about 25%. Their data is simply too expensive. You can get unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data on Cricket for the same price (factoring in taxes) of 2 GB on Ting (not even looking at device fees, minutes, and texts!) I've been using Ting a while, but I've been contemplating leaving for a provider that offers more for less.

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    1. Ting probably had this in the works for a while before Cricket made their announcement.

      Not only can you get what you describe " for the same price (factoring in taxes) of 2 GB on Ting", with Cricket you can use the data all over, instead of using it hardly anywhere in the scattered green islands in Ting GSM's vast "partners" data-free wasteland. That's a huge difference in value, Austin.

      Delete
    2. Cricket only sells unlimited TnT plans, a big waste of money for the average user. Ting saves you money, especially if you are not a data hog. That is why so many of their customers love them, especially couples and families.

      Delete
  14. For someone who uses very few minutes per month, H2O or Ptel Pay as You Go plans are a better deal than Ting.

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    1. Ptel and Ting cost the same for 100-100-100 even after you add $2 for Ting taxes.

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    2. Ting provides voice and sms roaming at no extra cost. Ptel does not roam at all. H20 has poor customer service and very long hold times, part of their "deal" for their customers.

      Delete
  15. Ptel has one of the lowest Paygo rates around, but in my area, their native T-Mo coverage is lacking.

    H2O charges a 05/05 which, for the extremely light user, might be acceptable as it runs on AT&T native network. Airvoice's $10 monthly plan (250/500/.06) is a good value as is Pure Talk USA's $15 T/T no data plan at 03/01 per. Both are native AT&T (go-phone) coverage.

    (I use the $10/30 day Airvoice plan only because I like the option of flipping on data in the off chance it's required.)

    Dale

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  16. Ting used to be a good deal...2+ years ago. Since then the landscape has changes, yet ting's rates have stayed the same. $8+s/h for a plastic sim that probably costs less than $1 is highway robbery. Charging absurd fees for SPRINT service, is laughable. $18 for 100 min/txt/data on SPRINT network is laughable.

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    1. No cigar. They are growing 13-15%/year. 150k customers already. Go waste your money on unlimited even tho virtually nobody needs it.

      Delete
    2. "yet ting's rates have stayed the same." This is not true. You were not paying attention when Dennis reported that Ting reduced their data rates several months ago.

      Delete
    3. Ting also lowered voice and sms prices on the upper tiers last year.

      Delete
  17. The Ting SIM works in my ZTE T-Mobile 4G hotspot, like the Ptel SIM does. A US Mobile SIM does not work in this hotspot.

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