A look back at eight years of Ting Mobile
Richard Howard • February 4, 2020if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Where does the time go?
Happy birthday to us! It’s honestly hard to believe it’s been eight years already. That is, until we look at everything that’s happened since we got our industry-disruptor hats on and dived into the wild and wacky world of cellular service. From that perspective, we’re surprised it hasn’t been 18 years.
In that time, we’ve naturally evolved as a company. While our core principles of fair pricing, a free and open Internet and second-to-none customer service remain unchanged, we’ve grown alongside our customers, all the while ensuring the services we provide them result in the best mobile experience possible. We’re incredibly proud of that progress.
As a small independent company, we’re just as proud of the direct and indirect effects we’ve had on the industry. We promise we’re not getting too big for our britches here, but there’s no getting around the fact that certain practices we instituted raised the expectations of cellular users and pushed the industry to make long-overdue changes. Some developments that particularly warmed our hearts include:
- Seeing rates drop as we offered customers fair pricing
- Other MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) adopting our pricing model. We helped to popularize the idea of minutes, messages and data being separate, and not having to pay for one in order to get the other
- Huge improvements in customer service following our introduction of “real, human customer support” (that’s still widely top-rated)
- The offering of shared usage across distinct network types after we were the first in North America to offer it with our GSM and CDMA networks
To celebrate this newest milestone, we decided to take a look back at how our little company has changed throughout the years. You know how it is. You get to the ripe old age of eight and everything’s all nostalgia: “Golly, remember way back in 2012 when…?” Seriously, though – in an industry where MVNOs come and go, it’s rare to be approaching a decade of operation with no signs of slowing down. Thank you guys, from the bottom of our hearts, for all your support. Enjoy this trip down memory lane!
- In February, Ting launches with one customer and 12 active phones. Ting is the customer. We still have the phones. Somewhere.
- In September, we’re included in GigaOM’s Mobile 15 of innovative mobile companies, alongside brands like Apple, Samsung and Instagram. To quote GigaOM: “…it’s the industry’s first attempt at creating pricing models that actually reflect the cost of supplying service.”
- In January, Ting announces it will reimburse the early termination fee of new customers during the month of February, up to $350 per line with a maximum payout of $100,000. That max payout is reached within hours on the first day it’s offered. Guess people are into fair pricing and great service.
- In June, we transition from customer-picked plans that allowed for moving up and down tiers with no penalty to pure rates, thus becoming a true post-paid company. We just happen to be the most unique post-paid company in the business with our “pay only for what you use” model.
- In December, we become the first MVNO to offer tri-band LTE. Even before offering multiple networks, we’re committed to making sure our customers get the best coverage.
- In February, we drastically cut our rates for higher data usage and cut rates for voice and text as well. Imagine: a cell phone company lowering its rates rather than raising them. Minds are blown.
- March – Ting adds iPhone 5 to the long list of devices that can be brought over and activated. Apple fanboys and fangirls that want to save on their monthly bills rejoice.
- In November, Ting is named one of the top cell-phone companies by Consumer Reports. It’s the first instance of what will become an annual tradition.
- In December, Ting announces it will offer gigabit fiber Internet access in the US, starting in Charlottesville, VA. Because Internet service deserves fair pricing and incredible customer service as well.
- In March, Ting’s GSM network beta opens. Ting becomes the first North American carrier ever to offer shared usage across two distinct networks, GSM and CDMA.
- In April, Ting sponsors Neeb, the #1 US StarCraft II Pro player. E-sports? Nerd culture? Yes, please.
- In May, Ting opens the inaugural Ting Makerspace in Westminster, MD – a place for hobbyists, newbies, technophiles and students to get inspired, create, learn, share and teach.
- In August, Ting drops its data rates to $10/GB beyond the first GB. For everyone.
- In July, Ting takes part in a massive Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality. We vow to continue to support and uphold the principles of a free and open Internet.
- June – Ting announces Ting TV, really smart TV will be coming soon to Ting Towns.
- In April, Ting becomes the first cell phone provider to publicly announce its support for the “right to repair” movement. The proposed legislation would require manufacturers to sell replacement parts and repair tools to customers, as well as make diagnostic software and repair guides available to the public. “I personally find it offensive that someone would say to me, ‘Well, I’m gonna make it so that you can’t fix that thing,’” says Director of Content, Andrew Moore-Crispin. “I paid for this phone, I should have the right to repair it.”
- April turns out to be a busy month. In line with our refusal to pressure customers into buying new phones and our belief that a great phone from last year is simply a sweet deal on a still-great phone this year, Ting also announces the Ting Garage Sale. Not only are there unheard-of discounts but in a very un-phone-company move, we’re actually honest about the phones’ capabilities and likely lifespan.
- We bolster our already excellent coverage and ability to support a wide range of devices by adding a third network – America’s largest and most reliable one to boot. To put it simply – with Ting, you’re covered.
Director of Content, Andrew Moore-Crispin, has been with Ting since day one. In giving his two cents, he astutely points out that while we certainly played a large part, we were by no means the sole movers of change in the industry.
“I don’t think that we changed the US mobile phone world on our own; more that we had an outsized impact among MVNOs, who themselves made a big impact on the industry.”
The power balance has shifted; it used to be that the phone company gave you service and you said thank you. People have choices today they didn’t have before we (and other MVNOs) came along. The big carriers aren’t the (only) ones setting the price anymore. Also, the industry competes on more than just price today.
It’s been an amazing eight years, and we’re looking ahead to many, many more. And while we’ll continue to focus on innovation, our greatest accomplishment continues to be giving our customers the ability to receive the ultimate in cellular service and save big on their phone bill at the same time. Interested in becoming part of the Ting family? Start by seeing if your phone can come to Ting!
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