Skip navigation

Hi Westminster. Let’s get lit.

On June 26 starting at 3pm ET and with much fanfare, Ting and the City of Westminster, MD will light up the previously dark fiber network. A contingent of the Ting team will be on site saying hi, speaking, documenting and presenting. It’s a big deal for Westminster and for Ting.

Technology gods willing, we’ll have a live feed of the proceedings here on the local Westminster blog and the main Ting blog.

Very soon, citizens of Westminster can start signing up to get crazy fast fiber Internet from Ting, running atop their publicly-owned fiber network.

We’ll have more sign-up details to offer on the local Ting Westminster page after the fiber lighting ceremony wraps so please stay tuned. The short version, though, is that if you’re interested in Ting crazy fast Internet in Westminster, you first need to sign an access agreement (residential | business). This agreement gives City crews permission to install a fiber drop on the property. Signing this agreement sooner rather than later will put you in good stead to be among the first in your city to get gigabit, the crazy fast Internet we are convinced is required for North America to stay connected and competitive.

  • This high five was entirely spontaneous and not at all staged.

Changes to the BYOD program: The good, the bad and the ugly

UPDATE 3: Progress! More than 30 million devices that would previously have failed Sprint’s financial eligibility date (FED) check will now pass.

Now, devices that were freed from a contract due to a hardware upgrade (that is to say, you got a new a new phone on the same contract) will clear the FED check. Likewise, with the exception of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, any device that was activated 12 or more months ago, regardless of whether it’s currently active, will clear. This applies to devices associated with postpaid accounts only.

If you tried to bring your device to Ting previously but failed due to FED, please try again.

UPDATE 2: We’ve put together a program to make it right for people who are caught on the wrong side of Sprint’s Financial Eligibility Check (FEC). All the details are in this blog post: Offer for customers who bought a device that has failed the financial eligibility check.

UPDATE: Sprint’s Financial Eligibility Check (FEC) that runs prior to a device being activated with an MVNO like Ting, has been very poorly implemented. Customers of MVNOs are the ones bearing the brunt of this poor implementation. We are very sorry.

Just because your device is being rejected right now doesn’t mean it can never be activated on Ting. You may just seeing the effect of this poor implementation. Even some devices purchased unlocked, directly from the manufacturer (e.g some Nexus 5 and 6, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Moto X / G etc. devices) are coming back as being “financially ineligible” from Sprint. They are, quite obviously, not financially ineligible as they weren’t purchased from Sprint.

Because of the poor implementation of this new Sprint program, we’re not seeing data which would help us to determine which of these FEC rejections are valid catches of devices that do, in fact, still have some kind of financial obligation to Sprint, and which are being erroneously flagged despite the fact that Sprint has no claim on them.

We’re chasing down all the information we can get our hands on and we’ll keep this blog post updated with the latest news as we get it.

Until recently, the Ting BYOD program has been limited to devices that are Sprint compatible and that Sprint has had in the market for over a year. Today, all of that changed. Spurred on by the new industry unlocking rules we discussed last week, Sprint changed their policy. Now, there are fewer limitations on which devices can be brought to an MVNO that uses the Sprint network, like Ting.

Under the new BYOD rules, the only requirements are that the device being brought to Ting be Sprint network compatible and also be in good financial standing with Sprint. That is to say, fully paid for, not reported lost or stolen and not tied to an account with an outstanding balance.

It’s a much more sensible system all things considered.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that some devices that previously would have had no trouble coming to Ting are now being blocked from making the move, basically because the owner hasn’t paid his or her final bill… most likely because they haven’t actually received that final bill. Yeah.

As it stands, if you bought a Sprint device on a contract, you will have to settle up your bill or any other outstanding balance with Sprint before we can activate the device on Ting. Until your final bill is paid in full, Sprint will block your device from being reactivated. This complicates things if you’re looking to move your Sprint device to Ting at the same time you move your Sprint number to Ting. It’s a classic (very annoying) catch 22.

An unlocked phone means more phone freedom

unlocked phone

New rules provide new freedoms for your unlocked phone

New carrier rules dealing with locking and unlocking phones come into full effect today.

In short: Going forward, unless a phone is connected in some way to an account that owes the carrier money, said carrier will unlock the phone if asked to do so. Carriers have the option to do so automatically as soon as a contract term is fulfilled, but we won’t hold our breath for that.

For prepaid carriers, the carrier must allow a device to be unlocked one year after it was first activated.

It’s called the Consumer Code for Wireless Service and February 11, 2015 was the deadline for full carrier compliance.

It wouldn’t be difficult to argue that these new unlocked phone rules don’t go far enough or that they only came about because the other option was looking like regulation. Still, it’s a real win for consumers.

Welcome, Google.
The water’s fine.

HangoutsYou may have heard that Google is stepping in to the mobile carrier game as a “mobile virtual network operator” or MVNO. They apparently plan to offer¬†service on both the Sprint (CDMA) and the T-Mobile (GSM) networks.

An Internet company that recognizes mobile as the platform for the next generation and so makes efforts to help people gain access.

Sound familiar?

CES 2015 Extreme Tech Challenge

10527359_766685596718990_1468256949068262064_nIn addition to the miles of exhibition space at the International CES, there are hundreds of peripheral events too.

Yesterday, we found ourselves watching the semifinals of the Extreme Tech Challenge. Think American Idol meets Shark Tank. 10 finalists were doing their final pitches in the hopes that they’d be one of three successful teams afforded an opportunity for an all expenses paid trip to Necker Island. That’s where Sir Richard Branson has his not-so-secret lair. Idea being, if you can get the founder of Virgin Group on board, big things are all but assured to happen.

During the event, each hopeful had the chance to pitch his or her business to the audience with one last deck. A panel of judges then chose the winners and pushed them one step closer to the big time.

Smartphone trends at CES 2015: A race to the bottom… and top

CESphone
If it’s true that the International CES is a barometer for the electronics industries at large (and I’d argue it is), we’re about to see smartphones get divided.

Walking the International CES 2015 show floor, it seems that the gap between the major smartphone makers and the upstarts is narrowing. The overriding impression I’m taking away from the show so far, after walking maybe half of the total exhibit space, is that the tides are turning.