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 really know? What’s the difference between them and the more popular carriers? Are they a risk or gamble?
Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile network
Cheap cell phone plans that use the Sprint network
Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?
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 one of the first in the industry to popularize the pay-for-what-you-use structure.
Does Ting support GSM or 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 checking expectations based on the phone you currently own.
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.
Changes in Store for 2020
Looking ahead, things will be a bit different come 2020. Ting recently ended its agreement with T-Mobile and will soon rely on Verizon for its network. The deal, which just happened in early July, won’t fully take effect until next year and Ting has time to migrate its customers away from T-Mobile.
Tell me about Ting rate plans
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.
Perfect for minimal needs
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 more per month, it gets rather costly.
A family of four sharing 1,000 minutes talk time, 2,000 texts, and 15GB data would spend $200 per month. That’s $50 per line and nowhere near what you can get from other carriers.
What about multiple lines?
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.
Tips for buying a used phone
Selling a phone? Do these things first
Where can I buy an unlocked phone?
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.
Are there any other Ting features worth noting?
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.
What about Ting handset selection?
As mentioned above, Ting allows for both GSM and CDMA phones. If you’re interested in bringing your own, 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 Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Prices are the same as what you’d find elsewhere and financing is available through Affirm.