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Six ways Ting makes for the perfect mobile business plan

Ting is the best mobile plan for businesses, if we do say so ourselves. Many of the things that make Ting the best mobile family plan are the same things have real value for businesses too.

Unlimited devices on one plan

Our unlimited devices on one plan idea is unique in the industry and seems purpose-built for business. Whether it’s a team of two or a team of 200, everyone can get the phone or data stick they need. Each device on a plan costs $6 per month.

No overage penalties

With a bunch of people and devices accessing the same shared pool of minutes, messages and megabytes, the chances of busting out of your plan level are greater. If you use more than you thought you would, Ting doesn’t penalize. We’ll just bump you up to the next service level. If you use less, we’ll bump you down and credit the difference on your next bill.

Individual device control

If we as a mobile service provider have access to a setting like turning voicemail on or off, enabling or disabling international roaming, tethering, data, SMS, MMS and so on, you have the same access. Individual devices under a plan can be individually controlled in the Ting control panel.

Consolidated billing

Rather than juggling a bunch of different mobile business plans for different members of the team you see all charges for all phones in one clean, clear bill. Ting’s electronic bills can be digitally filed away and are saved in your account dashboard whenever you want to see them.

Data only devices and plans

At Ting HQ, we have several data sticks and hotspots that anyone on the team can grab when travelling. Rather than relying on spotty hotel Wi-Fi or worse, the wireless network in a convention center, we’re able to connect from just about anywhere. When it’s business-critical you’re online, there’s no replacement for your own connection.

Great rates

Comparing the mean price per minute, message or megabyte which we’ve done previously here on the Ting blog, Ting comes out a winner. You pay $0.02 per voice minute, $0.0025 per text message and $0.0225 per megabyte of data once you bust out of the XXL service levels.

Run the numbers and see for yourself. Take what you currently pay for your business mobile plans and see how much you’d save with the Ting cost calculator.

Data only mobile plans and data only devices

Ting’s data only mobile plans come in super handy when travelling… whether travelling means touching down in a new city or whether it just means getting out of the office for an afternoon to work in a park or other less office-y locale.

Travelling and filing updates back to home base has become much easier now that I always travel with a data only device. I’ve been using the MiFi 2200 to connect my various devices to the web and it’s been invaluable. Even at the recent CES 2012 tradeshow where over 100,000 geeks descended on Las Vegas and proceeded to slow networks to a crawl, I was able to regularly and reliably send updates back to the office.

You can also use Ting for your tablet! If you’re interested, check out our list of compatible tablets.

Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot

Ting’s Data Only Plans

Making a Ting plan into a data-only plan is simple:

If you only plan to use Ting for data and have no intention of using voice call minutes or text messages, make sure to disable everything in both the Minutes and Messaging sections.

Activated devices on your account cost $6 per month and you can have as many devices as you want on one plan.

If you’ve already got a data only plan from another carrier, try the Ting Calculator to see how much Ting can save you. If you’re looking for a data only plan, take a look at Ting’s data-only devices and Ting’s rates, with particular attention to the Megabytes section.

How and When Do I Get an Android Update?

Fragmentation in the Android camp is a fact of life. There are several versions of the Android operating system (OS) that are in active deployment. There are versions of the OS, modified to differing degrees, running on a host of devices including tablets, set top boxes, PCs and, of course, smartphones.

Android is open source which means anyone can grab the code and adapt it to fit their ends. That’s a good thing for a whole host of reasons which we won’t delve into right now. It also has its downsides.

Pie chart - Goole Android use by version

According to Google’s own data, the most popular version of its Android OS is Gingerbread, 2.3 at 62%. Froyo, Android 2.2, claims about 25% and the newest version, Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0, is only really starting out at 1.6% penetration. This data was collected by Google over a 14-day period ending March 5, 2012. They simply tallied the number of devices that accessed the erstwhile Android Market (since re-badged Google Play) using these different Android versions.

Why Are There So Many Versions of Android Floating Around?

The list above is just the official versions of stock Android. There are other forks within these versions with things like HTC’s Sense skin, Motorola’s MotoBLUR and Samsung’s TouchWiz interfaces running atop Android. While these may add useful features — badge notifications on apps in Samsung’s TouchWiz for example — they also add another step between smartphones and the latest Android updates. Once Android receives an official update, it has to be tweaked and tested to run with the manufacturer’s hardware and modifications. Even devices running stock Android aren’t immune, though the update process is simpler in this case.

Once the phone manufacturer has released its modified build, it’s the carrier’s turn to begin tweaking and testing.

Stock Android supports all cellular bands. Carriers need to tweak Android to work best on their own wireless bands and to maximize battery life by cutting out unsupported bands. Often, they’ll use this opportunity to also pre-install their own apps and other tweaks as well.

This is another barrier between your phone and the latest Android update.

The update process — from initial release to a notification popping up on your phone letting you know a new update is available — can be looked at as a tree.

Android is the trunk. Different versions are forks. Manufacturers are branches. Carriers are twigs. The end result, the update that eventually comes your way via an over the air update to your phone, is an acorn. Your phone is a … squirrel or something. The latter part of this metaphor is clearly not going the way I had hoped. The larger point stands.

So… When Do I Get my Android Update?

It’s frustrating to us that we can’t offer a hard and fast answer to this completely reasonable question. Basically, updates are released when the phone manufacturer has adapted Android to run perfectly on the hardware. Then, Sprint updates its own build. After that’s all done, Sprint will later push an update out to MVNOs like Ting.

The only assurance we can make is that we won’t add another barrier between you and the latest Android updates.

When an update hits, you’ll receive a system notification. You can also check for Android system updates on your phone if you’re worried you’ve missed something.