A few weeks ago, I heard about a new cell phone provider called Ting that is targeting US-based business owners (and consumers, too). It is built on the Sprint cellular network, but the price plans are completely different from mainstream carriers — a la carte plans so that you can pick the level of voice, text, and data you want and change it as often as you want.
Small business readers routinely ask me tech questions and one that I receive often is: What Phone Should I Get? The beauty of Ting is that you buy your phone, feature type, aka “dumb phone” or smartphone and then choose a plan configuration that works best for you. Ting sent me a loaner phone for this review so I could not help myself and ordered the Samsung S III.
For individual mobile users and families, Ting has an online calculator that helps visualize the total savings with Ting over two years. For small businesses, Ting offers a “Total Cost of Ownership Worksheet” to determine what you’ll pay in a typical month along with the total cost of ownership over one and two years. If you are interested in trying out the worksheet yourself, you can download it by going here, and go to the small box on the bottom right hand side of the page.
What I Really Like:
- The pick-and-choose plan structure is hands-down awesome. The lowest level of plan is $3 for voice (100 minutes), $3 for text (100), and $3 for 100Mb of data. Then there’s a $6 line fee and those pesky regulatory fees and taxes. But for $15/month, and the outlay for the phone, you have a pretty sweet deal. As you can see in the screenshot above, you can see your usage at a glance.
- You can get a refurbished phone. For example, the LG Optimus S, is only $53. Other phone options are compelling. They even have a mobile hotspot device on 4G speeds for $110, then the data plan, which gets you to an affordable way to have always-on wireless access, anywhere.
- You can put unlimited devices on one account.
What I’d Like to See:
- A simple mention of that $6 line fee in the pricing comparison selector tool. If you click the $3 options, it doesn’t add up to $9, but $15. Just a little confusing if you’re about to click the “Get Started” button and can’t get the math to work out.
In my view, Ting is shaking up the mobile phone hierarchy in the USA and I’m glad for it. Their pricing and options are clear and customer support has been excellent.
If you’ve been in the market for a new phone and are looking to save money, you should evaluate Ting for Business options.
If you use the code VTIMRR7 at checkout, you can get $50 off of any Ting device.
Cool. Thanks for sharing that David. Do you work for Ting?
I would LOVE to see this type of carrier on the Verizon network. The deal killer for me is Sprint’s network.
I was thinking the same thing as I read the article. Verizon’s plans don’t have enough options for me.
Who knows, Robert, that could be coming. I didn’t think to ask that. Good question. I will ask or maybe they will read the post and answer. I am a long-time Verizon customer, but had AT&T for years. Tried Sprint when I lived in another place and couldn’t keep it, but it is dramatically improved and I’m loving it. That pick-and-choose option is what wins, right? I think you could actually have a plan for less than $10 with them. I’ll need to update my Forbes post with your thought.
Robert Brady: You can roam on at least some portions of Verizon’s network with Ting for calls and text messages; only data is limited strictly to Sprint’s network. Visit ting.com coverage to check any specific areas that you have in mind.
Interesting info, Jon. Please elaborate a bit further. Are there higher roaming charges? That wouldn’t work for most people, or biz owners. Roaming charges are not very nice, from a cost perspective, right?
Hm, interesting. I wonder how well this will do.
TJ: Ting has no roaming charges whatsoever. Ting actually has its own roaming partner arrangements, different from Sprint’s, so the two voice networks are not identical; my guess is that Verizon and others mainly cover areas for Ting where Sprint’s signal is weak or nonexistent. Again, though, there is no data roaming; Ting phones will only get 3G/4G data on Sprint’s network.
I joined Ting 3 months ago and have loved it. Only downside has been that I had to get a AirRave station for my house because signal was low there. Great coverage on the road so far. We have 2 adults and 2 kids on the account. Verizon with a 20% discount (corporate), was around $175 a month. Ting has averaged $77.38 a month over the past 3 months and so I’m on pace to save about $1000 cash over the coming year (even counting the $190 I spent on the AirRave). Customer service is great and I like supporting a startup that’s focused on flexibility for it’s users.
Hi TJ, I am what is known as a Ting reseller. It really just means that I run a Ting blog in my spare time and help them generate interest in their business. I can answer all of your Ting questions (or can direct you to people who can). I have also been a Ting customer for the past two months.
Robert mentioned Sprint’s network as being a deal breaker for him. I agree that Sprint’s network is not as robust as Verizon’s but many people end up using their phones on wifi and use the network only when necessary. Most people have wifi at home and at work. Many doctor’s office’s have wi-fi as do many restaurants. Wifi doesn’t use data, text or megabytes, so it is free. With various apps that are available to you, you can use wifi to make/receive phone calls and send/receive texts, often in buildings where no carrier’s signal reaches all for free! I actually turned off the texting option with Ting and instead use Google Voice (which uses data and works out cheaper than texting).
On the road in major metro areas, I have not had an issue getting a good signal. There are never roaming charges with Ting and Jon is also correct that data use is only available on Sprint’s network.
We used to pay over $80 per month for AT&T. Our first two Ting bills were less than $30.
Interesting post. I wonder if this network actually works well and this will catch on.
I noticed that the discount code the first guy posted doesn’t work anymore (there is no discount box at checkout anymore). After a bit of googling I found the link below, which does work, and also applies to the new bring your own device (BYOD) deal they’ve got going.
I’m not sure how active this thread is anymore, but hello all. In response to the post above, Ting has changed their system some since this article was first published. First, the original code I provided to you all still works at http://vtimrr7.ting.com
Second, Ting has lowered the discount offered to $25 off of a new device. The link above provides this $25 discount, which is the highest available discount on a Ting device. Note this discount isn’t applicable on all devices, but after you click the link, it is clearly marked which devices are eligible for a discount.
If anyone is on the fence about switching to Ting, right now is a great time. Starting February 1, Ting will pay your early termination fees on your current cellphone plan. They have set aside $100,000 for this purpose (up to $350 per activation). The average ETF fee is $200, so they have room for about 500 switchovers. You can find more information here:
Editor’s Note: it seems that this particular commenter may work for Ting. That doesn’t necessarily disqualify this comment. Just wanted readers to be aware.