In operation for only 4 years, Ting is making waves in the cellphone market with their affordable rates and simple billing. They tap the power of both the Sprint CDMA network and T-Mobile’s 4G network to provide comprehensive coverage from coast to coast.
All of their plans are post-paid. Plans start at $6. From there, it’s a matter of what you use. Instead of signing up for a tier and hoping you use--or don’t go over--your allotment of data, text and voice minutes, you enjoy your phone and they’ll bill based on your usage at the end of your billing cycle.
Does This Carrier Fit My Needs?
- Innovative post-paid plans
- CDMA and GSM phone support
- No domestic roaming fees
- Only pay for what you use
- No roaming data support
- Data can get pricey for heavy users (2+ GB)
- No international roaming on CDMA devices
Tier-Based Billing: Unlike most carriers who offer either pay-as-you-go rates or require monthly plans, they use a tiered system. Each usage type--data, text and voice--has five price tiers. This means you only pay for what you use in a month.
Ting Dashboard: Using the website or mobile app, you can control virtually every aspect of each device on your plan. Want to set a cap on the kids’ data? Need to set up alerts so you know what to expect on your monthly bill? Want to check who’s using all those minutes? No problem! It’s all on your dashboard. Unlike many carriers who require monthly add-ons, these features are standard on all Ting plans.
Awards and Recognitions
- Listed as the best carrier “For usage that varies month by month but doesn’t get too high” by The Wirecutter.
How is the Network Coverage and Speed?
Coverage will depend on the network your phone supports. Ting is one of the only carriers to offer both CDMA and GSM service. CDMA coverage works with Sprint’s network while GSM uses T-Mobile’s network.
Data from OpenSignal breaks down their CDMA network types as follows:
- 72% LTE (4G)
- 18% eHRPD (3G)
- 10% EVDO Rev. A (3G)
The same data breaks down their GSM network types as follows:
- 68% LTE (4G)
- 23% HSPA+ (4G)
- 5% HSPA (3G)
- 5% UMTS (3G)
You can check coverage and network types in your area using Ting’s Coverage Map.
As with coverage, the speeds you should expect will differ between CDMA and GSM networks. Data from OpenSignal, PC Magazine and Ookla all indicate that you’ll find far better speeds on the GSM network. However, your best option is to find someone in your area on either Sprint or T-Mobile and ask them about their speeds.
Speed summaries from OpenSignal’s crowdsourced CDMA and GSM data show speeds as follows:
- CDMA 4G Download Speed: 6.3Mbits per second
- CDMA 4G Upload Speed: 3.4Mbits per second
- CDMA 3G Download Speed: 0.5Mbits per second
- CDMA 3G Upload Speed: 0.6Mbits per second
- GSM 4G Download Speed: 11.2Mbits per second
- GSM 4G Upload Speed: 7.3Mbits per second
- GSM 3G Download Speed: 2.4Mbits per second
- GSM 3G Upload Speed: 0.7Mbits per second
Results improve when looking at PC Magazine’s 2016 “Fastest Mobile Networks” study:
- CDMA 4G Download Speed: 20.58Mbits per second
- CDMA 4G Upload Speed: 6.90Mbits per second
- GSM 4G Download Speed: 19.88Mbits per second
- GSM 4G Upload Speed: 18.02Mbits per second
- GSM 3G Download Speed: 7.18Mbits per second
- GSM 3G Upload Speed: 1.72Mbits per second
Note: The study did not test 3G CDMA speeds
Ookla’s “Speedtest Market Report” shows CDMA 4G download and upload speeds as 15.04Mbits per second and 4.70Mbits per second respectively. GSM 4G speeds clock in significantly faster at 21.02Mbits per second for downloads and 11.59Mbits per second uploading. The GSM download speeds were the second highest found in their report.
Note: 3G speeds were not tested on either network for this study.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
Both CDMA and GSM networks feature local roaming at no additional charge. Their support site notes that even if your phone is showing roaming within the US, you should have nothing to worry about when the bill arrives.
International roaming differs between the two network types.
For CDMA phones that support SIM-based LTE data, you can request a temporary SIM unlock and pick up a prepaid card at your destination. Specific steps vary by device. Because of this, Ting recommends contacting support at least one week before you plan to travel. For specific instructions, check out their International SIM Unlock for Travel page.
GSM phones will find international roaming much simpler. Depending on your destination, you’ll find additional surcharges for data, voice calls and sending texts. Receiving texts incur no additional charge. Fees differ by location. For a full list of fees, check their Travelling Outside the USA page.
Do They Charge Long Distance Fees?
All calls to numbers within the U.S. are billed as standard minutes within the tiered payment structure.
If you call outside the U.S., you’ll find additional per-minute fees based on your destination.
Charges for popular destinations at the time of writing include:
- Mexico & Canada: $0.01 per minute
- India: $0.02 per minute
- China: $0.02 per minute
- UK: $0.02 per minute
You can find out more about specific calling rates on their International Calling page.
Can I Tether My Phone?
Yes! Tethering is free with a supported device. Data used adds to your monthly bill at the same rate as mobile data usage. If you wish to disable tethering on your phone, you’ll find the option in your Ting Dashboard.
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
As data is billed by usage instead of purchased in advance, data rollover is not available.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
With the metered usage tiers on this carrier, add-ons and bundles are not available.
Can I Bring My Own Device?
Yes! They support both CDMA and GSM devices, offering more flexibility than most carriers. Exact steps required will differ by the network type your phone uses. However, the process always starts with their BYOD Compatibility Checker. Typing in your phones IMED or MEID will get you started!
General requirements include:
For more information on finding the ideal phone to bring to Ting, consult their Buying a Device for BYOD Tips page.
Does This Carrier Require a Credit Check?
There are no credit checks with this carrier!
All you need to establish service is a valid email address and a U.S.-issued credit or debit card!
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
As there is no device financing or term commitments, you are free to leave the carrier at anytime without incurring additional fees.
Can I Port My Number To or From Ting?
Yes! They support porting numbers both to and from any area where they provide coverage.
If you already have service, you can start the porting process through your Dashboard. For new lines of service, calling customer care is recommended.
- The account you are transferring from must be in good standing
- You must know the name of the account holder and billing address
- You must know the account number on the account
- You may need the security question or PIN for the account
- You must know the phone number you wish to port
For more information on number porting policies, consult their How to Transfer or Port a Phone Number page.
Will They Unlock My Phone?
All Ting phones are unlocked at the time of purchase. Due to this unlocking service is not required. If you already use a Sprint or T-Mobile phone, you might not need to unlock it to start service with Ting either!
For additional questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our Ting Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know, it's definitely appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.