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Ting customers spend less

Every time a major wireless carrier piles more gigabytes onto their “family plan” or lowers the price of their “starter plan,” we get the same questions and claims.

Does Ting charge less than AT&T for 10 GB?!
I can pay less for 2 GB on T-Mobile!

Forget how much money you are wasting if you go under that 10GB on AT&T in a given month. Forget what happens to you if you go over the 2GB on T-Mobile in a given month. Forget which company you would trust when you have a problem or which company you would most want to have over for dinner.

The simple answer is this. We have over 70,000 Ting customers now and they are spending less money on their cellphone bills than anybody spends on any of the major carriers by using less.

These are iPhone and Samsung Galaxy users. They are educated, employed and banked. They love email, Facebook, podcasts and Taylor Swift videos. They have just decided that they do not want to spend $100 a month on their family phone bill. In fact, they do not want to spend $45 for a single device. So they are using Wi-Fi whenever it is available. They are preloading or turning off videos in Facebook and Instagram. They are setting up alerts just to let them know when they’ve reached certain levels every month.

Here are the results in black and white for the month of July. These are mean bills and usage levels…

july bills

(If you are an analyst or investor poking around in my conversation with regular people here, this is not data we intend to disclose regularly going forward. Don’t start building models or tracking trends. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about how much folks need and how much they should spend on their cellphones. I thought it would be helpful and refreshing to reveal this one very specific snapshot.)

If you simply do not want to think about your mobile usage at all, then you should absolutely enjoy the luxury of not thinking about it. We all choose items in our life where we budget and items where we splurge. I have been bringing a sandwich to work for lunch and wearing the same pair of shoes every weekday for over three years. I also take family vacations in southern France.

If you want to spend less than $25 a month on your smartphone bill, ask over 70,000 Ting customers how they do it. They tend to be happy to share and their suggestions may be surprisingly easy to implement.

What the stymied Sprint T-Mobile takeover means to Ting

Sprint has withdrawn its bid to take over rival T-Mobile. The two carriers will remain competitors as opposed to a stronger combined number three carrier in the US mobile market.

So what does that mean for Ting and for Ting customers?

Nothing, really.

As Michael Goldstein pointed out in his post addressing the (then) possible merger, we could only make educated guesses about what might have happened if Sprint were successful in its takeover bid. We were optimistic that, given both the players’ demonstrated attitudes to wholesale, MVNOs like us would find an easy fit in the new mix.

Regulators made it clear the proposed merger would have been contested. Both the Justice Department and the FCC threw hats into the ring. The heads of both organizations took what the Financial Times called the “unusual step” of “publicly voicing their scepticism of such a transaction before a deal was on the table.”

The takeover attempt by Sprint was abandoned. A new Sprint CEO will be installed, replacing Dan Hesse. We have no reason to worry about our wholesale relationship with Sprint as it makes business sense for both parties.

Would we have loved the opportunity to offer service on a GSM network (T-Mobile) with customers bringing truly unlocked phones and only needing a SIM card from us? Sure. While we’re relived that any uncertainty can be put to rest, we’ve made no secret of the fact that we’re always looking to secure better, even more inclusive deals for our customers both current and potential.

Ting customers are enjoying stronger, faster service in even more places thanks to Sprint’s network improvements. The network roll-out is continual and the roadmap is clear. As it continues, our roaming agreement with Verizon covers the increasingly occasional gaps in rural areas.

All that said, we’re an autonomous company and our services aren’t contractually tied to any single network. That’s just our way of stating, for the record, that our success isn’t tied to anyone but us.

Which is just the way we like it.

Google Photos: How awesome is Auto Awesome?

Google Auto Awesome auto edits your photos

Is that a robotic photo editor in your pocket? After getting used to Google Photos’ automatic editing technology, Auto Awesome, it might just feel that way!

Google Photos has recently been updated to give you endless picture possibilities. It examines the media you’ve backed up in the cloud and creates impressive copies of your images. Whether you’re taking landscape shots, group photos or a selfie, Google has the tools and effects to turn your snaps into altered masterpieces.

Own an iPhone and feeling left out? Grab Google+ in the App Store to get in on the action.

iPhone and Samsung Galaxy
swap promotion extended

This program has been replaced by a new, way more flexible program. We no longer dictate which manufacturers or models you sell. We no longer dictate where you buy a device or what device you buy.

Our swap promotion has been really well received.

Again, sell a T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon iPhone or Samsung Galaxy on Glyde and buy the same Sprint model, capacity and condition. (You actually can and probably should buy first and sell second so you are never without a phone and can port your number. That’s fine) We will reimburse you with a Ting credit to cover any difference between what you spend (plus fees, taxes and shipping) and what you collect.

Also, if you want to upgrade to any better device, as long as it is on the Sprint network and on our whitelist, you can do that. We will just give you a credit for what it would have cost you to swap for the same exact device (plus fees, taxes and shipping) and then you’ll cover the price of the upgrade on top of that.

So, we are going to remove the June 30 deadline and just extend this program indefinitely.

Enjoy. As always, please feel free to ask if you have questions or suggestions.

Five inexpensive smartphones that are anything but cheap

Kyocera-Hydro-VibeThere’s a movement afoot: Smartphones that cost much less than you’d think but that can do much more than you might expect.

Whether browsing the web, using your favorite apps, sharing snaps or video chatting with friends, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a quality smartphone that does exactly what you need it to.

We’ve listed five inexpensive smartphones across both our CDMA and GSM network offerings that offer a great smartphone experience and, that you can actually afford to buy without signing onto an onerous mobile contract.

1- Hydro Vibe [On sale for $159] – CDMA

If durability is your primary concern, the Hydro Vibe where it’s at. No need to shell out $500+ for a waterproof Galaxy S5 – the Hydro Vibe is IP57 certified, meaning you’re fully protected in up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Equipped with impact-resistant glass, it’s built to take a few tumbles. If you’re a clumsy character, look no further than Kyocera’s Hydro Vibe.

MotoE2ndGen_FrOrt_WhDevLTE_540x540zrx341dd

2- Moto E (2nd Gen) [$150] – GSM

At $150, the Motorola Moto E is pretty exciting. More than a sub $200 Android device though, it’s the vanguard of a movement for inexpensive but very usable smartphones… with a recognizable name brand attached.

Fit and finish-wise, the Moto E is on point. Its screen, while maybe a little small by recent standards, is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The back shell can be switched out for one of a number of more colorful options to customize the device.

Some inexpensive devices can make you feel the sacrifices you’re making to save a couple of hundred bucks painfully apparent. The Moto E doesn’t fall into that trap and offers a phone you’ll be happy to have as opposed to one you’re

3- HTC Desire 510 [$155] – CDMA

At $155, the Desire 510 is an impressive device. It runs HTC’s popular Sense user interface that’s inside the HTC One M8 and M9 and has tech specs enough to run the most powerful apps and games.

With Tri-Band LTE support, you get blazing fast data speeds at an awesome price.

We’d be remiss not to mention the 4GB of internal storage space. With expandable storage via SD card, though, that may not be a deal breaker.

4- Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 [$249] – GSM

alcatelonetouchidol3Alcatel describes the OneTouch Idol 3 as, “A superphone for the price of a smartphone.” While “superphone” might be a bit of a stretch when put up against the latest and greatest like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Idol 3 certainly looks to be a solid smartphone at a price that’s hard to argue.

From the build quality to internal specs, it keeps up with last generation’s flagship devices at just half the price. It’s fully unlocked too, meaning no contract (naturally) and easy travel.

Rocking a 5.5″ HD display, dual front-facing speakers and a 13 megapixel camera, the OneTouch Idol 3 is a excellent choice for use with Ting on a GSM network.

The Idol 3 is currently only available for pre-order (ships May 21, 2015).

FINALS_435- The phone you already own!

The cheapest smartphone is the one you already own! Some carriers, like Ting, offer an ESN checker where you can enter your phone’s serial number and instantly find out whether your current device can activate.

Around 80% of phones bought in the past two years can come to Ting through our Bring your own Device program. If you’re interested in purchasing a GSM device, whether brand new or used, our handy compatibility guide will tell you everything you need to know.

 

Introduce us to your company. We’ll buy you a coffee.

With unlimited devices, a $6 monthly line fee, great rates, “pay for what you use”, a beautiful dashboard and the best customer support in the industry, we know Ting can save businesses serious time and money.

In fact, we have the data to prove it. Now we just need to meet us some businesses.

So we figured we would start, as we always do, with our customers. Your word is the only one that really counts when it comes to our service and our savings.

A lot of you likely work for companies that provide cellphones to at least some of its employees. (If you’re with Ting, you are probably not getting a work phone yourself. But maybe the executive team gets them? Maybe the sales people, the warehouse guys or the drivers? Maybe there are just a bunch of company loaners or hotspots around for some purpose?)

We would be grateful if you would introduce us to the person that manages your company cellphones. In fact, we would happily offer you a $5 Starbucks card for the introduction. We figure that’s just generous enough to get you to walk down the hallway but not so generous that either of us feels weird about it.

If you are willing to do us this solid, just fill out the form below. (By the way, if you yourself are the mobile decision maker in your organization, feel free to say so. We’ll happily give you the $5 Starbucks card to talk to us about taking this relationship from personal to business.) Someone here will get in touch with you directly to have that conversation or make that introduction. Then we’ll send you your cup of thank you.

Until then, thank you!