Many people know about the big name wireless service providers of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. This is for good reason – they advertise everywhere and they basically own the airwaves.
What about those random brands that you might have seen in the store but don’t know? What’s the difference between them and the more popular carriers? Are they a risk or gamble?
Let’s take a look at a relatively newer carrier, Ting. This guide will serve to help you understand what the MVNO offers and how it stacks up against others.
Launched in 2012, Ting finds itself in the increasingly crowded segment of low-cost, no-frills alternatives. Ting was on of the first in the industry to popularize the pay-for-what-you-use structure.
PODCAST: What is an MVNO?
GSM and CDMA
Ting’s service uses Sprint’s network for CDMA coverage and T-Mobile for GSM, but it operates with its own plans and features. You can check potential coverage ahead of time, even basing it on the phone you currently have.
Finding unlocked phones with support for GSM is much easier as the selection is larger. Moreover, if you travel internationally, the GSM-based devices will work just fine, and without requiring any major changes.
Ting doesn’t have conventional rate plans where customers pick from a number of options. Instead, they’re charged based on usage in a postpaid manner.
You can visit Ting’s website to calculate your bill based on estimate usage. Start with the number of lines you might want or need, add in approximate talk and text, and then figure out the data.
It’s worth pointing out that Ting has exceptional rates for those who don’t need much from their phones. If you’re on Wi-Fi most of the time and don’t require much data, you’ll find Ting’s plans work great. But, get into 8GB, 10GB, or so per month, and it’s really expensive.
Ting lets you add extra lines to your plan for just $6 per month. Keep in mind that you’ll pool everything together, including text messages and talk minutes.
- Boost Mobile Buyer’s Guide (June 2019)
- Cricket Wireless Buyer’s Guide (June 2019)
- Consumer Cellular Buyer’s Guide (June 2019)
- NET10 Wireless Buyer’s Guide (June 2019)
You can set alerts and caps in the Ting Dashboard, and create limits on individual lines. This is peace of mind for parents who might be otherwise worried about a child using an exorbitant amount of data for streaming HD video.
Other Ting Features
Ting users can benefit from calling more than 60 countries at no additional cost. All minutes are counted the same whether it’s US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Puerto Rico, or a bunch of others.
Ting offers a cancellation-fee reimbursement if switch from another service provider. You’ll get back 25 percent of whatever it costs for you to leave your carrier, whether an early termination fee or a balance remaining on your phone. Reimbursement is capped at $75 in credit on your account.
Handset Selection & BYOD
As mentioned above, Ting allows for both GSM and CDMA phones. You can check your existing phone IMEI to see whether it’s compatible with its service.
For those who want to purchase a phone, Ting has a fairly well-rounded selection of devices. Looking at it today we see new and notable models like the Samsung Galaxy S10+, Moto G7, and LG G7 ThinQ.
There are also mid-range handsets and a few older ones, too, including the original Google Pixel XL. Prices are the same as what you’d find elsewhere and financing is available through Affirm.