(For the tl;dr action plan, skip to the last two paragraphs!)
Over the past few days, something changed. Guys and gals in big brown trucks started delivering snazzy new Nexus 5 smartphones to anxiously awaiting folks across America. For the first time, anyone with just this one awesome device could choose between at least three of the four major mobile networks in the United States.
We knew the Nexus 5 was a smartphone we wanted to have and support for the Ting community. We were, frankly, more than a bit surprised by just how many folks bought a Nexus 5 from Google Play and then showed up at our (virtual) door. We always try to be as open as we possibly can be about new devices and our plans (just take a look at our Nexus 5 manifesto from yesterday). So in that spirit, the redux: An update on our progress with the Nexus 5.
The fact Ting runs on the CDMA network has meant that a device you buy for, say, T-Mobile cannot be used with Ting or vice versa. But, pretty darned suddenly, you can head over to the Google Play store and buy a Nexus 5 and then take it to just about any carrier.
There is one roadblock. For a little while now, almost all new CDMA devices have supported LTE. LTE devices require a SIM card. Without exception, every LTE device we sell has a SIM card included (and some are even embedded). We have never before needed to provide a SIM card by itself. For our MVNO brethren and sistren that operate on GSM-based networks, providing a SIM card is routine. For us, it’s a new logistical question.
Which leads me to my last-minute trip down to Buffalo, New York yesterday. We have quite a few older SIM cards here at Ting HQ for testing, but the Nexus 5 requires a fancy new SIM card (model SIMGLW206R if you’re keeping track). Inspired by our Nexus 5 manifesto, I found the nearest Sprint Store with SIM cards on hand, jumped in my sweet, sweet ride and made a run for the border.
And then I waited. You see, Ting HQ is here in Toronto. I grew up in West Virginia, where a traffic jam is a few coal trucks getting in the way on a long and winding mountain road. Between Toronto and Buffalo, however, there is the Queen Elizabeth Majestic Parking Lot Way. Her Majesty and I need to have a little chat because clearly she needs some new traffic management planning experts.
But, I digress. I left the office at 3:30pm and arrived at a buzzing Sprint Store in Buffalo right around 7:30pm, just a half-hour before they were scheduled to close. They gave me their last five SIM cards and I headed over to the Barnes & Noble next door to jump on their Wi-Fi network. Connecting to Ting HQ via VPN, we were able to get our first few Nexus 5 devices active on Ting.
This isn’t an announcement that the Nexus 5 can now come to Ting. We’re still testing and working on instructions for getting everything up and running. That said, things are looking very promising.
We are crazy excited about the Nexus 5. The demand is awesome, but the paradigm shift it portends for the old wireless industry models is especially exciting. Want to give T-Mobile a try? Want to give Ting a try? Want to head over to Sprint for unlimited data, instead? The more freedom you have, the happier we are here at Ting. Even though I didn’t get back home until well after midnight last night, I’d be saying the same thing — perhaps even louder — after a good night’s sleep!
Where we are right now
If you want to bring a Nexus 5 purchased from Google Play over to Ting, you have a couple of options.
- Take the blue pill and wait for a bit while we smooth the way for you to bring a Nexus 5 to Ting.
We are working on getting a sufficient quantity of SIM cards to start shipping them out to new and existing Ting customers that want to activate their Nexus 5 purchased from the Google Play store. If you want to be notified once we have these ready, give us your details here and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Please keep in mind that bringing your own Nexus 5 will only be possible for Nexus 5 devices purchased directly from the Google Play store.
- Take the red pill and test with us.
If you simply cannot wait and are willing to blaze a trail with us here, get your hands on a Sprint* SIM card and head over to this thread in our forums for the nitty gritty details. Before you swallow that pill though, please be fully aware that we’re still working on getting some things working and we can’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly smoothly: There may still be challenges ahead that we can’t yet foresee.
Whether you’re ready now or you want to wait it out, here’s to the Nexus 5 helping to make mobile make even more sense!