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Tri-Band LTE: Ting goes for three

Tri-Band LTE
An older cell tower riding off into the sunset. Thanks iStock!

EDIT: Updated to explicitly state that Ting Tri-Band LTE doesn’t come at an extra cost and to correct erroneous information about wave frequencies as they relate to capacity and travel.

We’ve talked at length previously about the fact that Ting customers get the self same cell service and access to network improvements at or at very nearly the same time as our network provider’s own retail customers.

Recently, another 70 LTE sites came online bringing the total to 300 sites.

The latest and most potentially impactful in a steady stream of major network improvements is Tri-Band LTE.

So what is Tri-Band LTE?

Tri-Band means LTE service offered on three distinct frequencies or “bands.” Each of the three bands (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz) has its own unique benefits. By offering three bands together, any shortcomings of a single band are shored up by the strengths of the others. In other words, with three bands together, you get more reliable coverage, greater capacity and faster speeds in more places.

Lower frequency bands are able to cover a wide area and can penetrate building materials readily. However, they’re lacking when it comes to capacity.

Higher frequency bands offer great capacity but can’t travel as far or through obstructions like lower frequency bands can.

With the mid-range band in the mix, you get Tri-Band LTE that offers the broad coverage and material penetration of the lower band with the increased capacity of the high frequency band. Switching between bands is seamless and whichever frequency is strongest is the one your Tri-Band device will use.

Tri-Band rollout

Tri-Band LTE is available at no extra charge to Ting customers with a compatible device (more on those in a sec) in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. As our network provider brings more Tri-Band capable towers online across the country, Ting customers will get access at the same time as said provider’s retail customers.

Tri-Band devices

Effective as soon as we hit the publish button on this blog post, we’ll also be putting our first Tri-Band capable devices online on the Ting devices page.

Tri-Band smartphones

The Nexus 5, which can be purchased direct from Google, is a Tri-Band capable device. If you get a Nexus 5 and a Ting SIM card, and if you’re in one of the aforementioned five Tri-Band locations, you’re set.

We’re also adding several new Tri-Band devices to the Ting lineup:

  • Samsung Galaxy Mega (black and white)
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (black and white)
  • LG G2 coming soon in both black and white.

Tri-Band data devices

Black Friday app deals!

In case you weren’t aware, Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to save big on mobile apps. If you weren’t interested in fighting through today’s crowds (or even if you were), you can always take advantage of some great deals from the comfort of your own home!

Gizmodo has conveniently put together a complete list of the best Black Friday app deals that are happening across the web. Below, we’ve listed five of our favorite Android Apps on sale today!

Note that all the freebie deals are available through the Amazon App Store as opposed to through Google Play. To access the Amazon App Store, you’ll need to first install the app and log in with your Amazon account. Details on how to do so are available here

Bloons TD 5

BloonsTD5
Available from: Amazon App Store
Price:Free (regular $3)

The best tower defence game available on Android is completely free for today only! As one of the most addicting mobile games out there, you’ll be sucked in almost immediately, so we advise you to proceed with caution…

Drisk

Drisk
Available from: Amazon App Store
Price: $1 down from $2

If you love Risk, you’re going to love Drisk, which is on sale for just a buck! With 37 different maps, smart AI, online multiplayer and streamlined gameplay, you might actually even enjoy it more than the original!

Reddit Sync Pro

Reddit Sync Pro
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $1 down from $2

Our go-to reddit app for Android is half off at $1! With offline syncing, multiple themes and timely updates, it’s by far the most feature-packed reddit app available on the market.

SwiftKey Keyboard

Swiftkey
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $3 down from $4

Not the best deal going at $1 off but arguably the best Android keyboard available to date. With Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail syncing, Swiftkey automatically adds the words you frequently use for an easier typing experience. You’ll be blown away by its prediction abilities and surprised at the features you’ve been missing out on!

Need for Speed Most Wanted

NFS
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $2 down $5

Considered the best racing gaming out for the mobile platform, you can outrun cops, chase rivals, and race against your friends! Keep in mind the app is 550 MB+, so make sure to use WiFi while downloading it (Requires Android 2.3 or higher).

If you’re looking for Windows Phone or iOS deals, you can also find them in the Gizmodo article!

Vote for us

Lifehacker just published a little survey asking people to vote on “What’s the Best Pre-Paid Cellphone Carrier?” and in a flattering little act of bias, nominated us themselves.

We will gladly forgive being mis-labelled a pre-paid service. It seems like pre-paid has sort of become code for no-contract, non-major carrier that offers either utility pricing or some other innovative twist on the traditional fixed plan. We certainly belong there.

In fact, we are thrilled to be there for a couple of reasons and I am shamelessly asking for your votes.

First, “lifehackers” are exactly the right people to consider Ting. Ting is all about not accepting conventions that don’t make sense for you, understanding your usage and your needs and seeking a greater experience and greater value. We are absolutely a lifehack. So I love the context.

Second, I find that we are increasingly being compared to services that tend to “pop off the page” more than we do. Free this!! A whole new way of using that!! (Get rich without leaving the house!) Our great service at a great price that also generates a great, sustainable business actually ends up seeming a bit boring. But what we have going for us more than anything else and more than any of these guys is thousands of real customers who are having a wonderful experience and are thrilled to tell people about it.

So, if you are having a great experience with us, if you are saving money and getting good service, I would be grateful if you would pop over to Lifehacker and give us some love.

I am Michael Goldstein and I approve this message.

 

 

Ting attacks Ottawa

Update: The 10th Anniversary Telecommunications Forum has been rescheduled for February 24-25. All the other information on venue, Elliot’s appearance and topic, discounted registration and drinking games rules still apply.

For all those Canadians who have been imploring us to open a can of disruption on the Great White North, this could be a step in the right direction.

Elliot Noss, our CEO, has been invited to the 10th Anniversary Telecommunications Forum on October 29 in Ottawa to deliver a keynote presentation he calls “The dire state of networks in Canada, and how we can take advantage of it.”

It will likely get the attention of a few carriers, some policy makers and industry players and a whole lot of potential customers.

If you are in town, please stop by and yell “You go boy!” (and/or take a drink) every time he uses the words oligopoly or overpaying.

If you have not already registered, you can save $390 if you email Sarah Basiri by October 11 and use promo code 19382.

Ting to offer the Samsung Galaxy Mega
but we need a new portmanteau

GALAXY MegaWe’ve had a few inquiries about the Samsung Galaxy Mega already so let us just say this: We will have the LTE Samsung Galaxy Mega at or at very close to the same time as our carrier partner begins to offer it up for sale.

What is the Samsung Galaxy Mega?

Well, if you thought the Samsung Galaxy Note II was colossal at 5.5-inches, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Samsung Galaxy Mega is a 6.3-inch monster running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It’s so big, even “phablet” doesn’t do it justice. We feel a new portmanteau might be in order.

Phometheater? Hints at the 720×1080 HD capabilities but…
Phlaptop? Speaks to the screen size but suggests a clamshell with hardware keyboard.
Tablone? Well, yeah. But also no.

Let’s hear your ideas!

Help us find the perfect combination word for the Samsung Galaxy Mega on our Facebook page. We’ll pick our favorite from among the comments on the Phablet Killer post on Facebook and award the first person that suggested it $100 in Ting credit!

When will Ting get the Galaxy Mega?

As it stands, the timeframe our carrier partner is offering for the Samsung Galaxy Mega is “later this year.” As we said, we’ll have it at or very near the same time they are able to offer it up but we haven’t seen a hard date as to when that might be.

If you’re interested to get updates on this (and other) devices as they come available, Stay tuned to Ting Device Update category here on the Ting blog.

When the Samsung Galaxy Mega hits Ting, Device Alert subscribers will be the first to know. If you’re a Ting customer, you can sign up for device alerts in your account control panel. If you’re not a customer, create a Ting account (you can do so without signing up for Ting service or activating a phone) and you’ll have the option to subscribe to Device Alert emails in the process.

A new AT&T fee and a new Ting service

There has been a lot of discussion about AT&T’s new “Mobility Administrative Fee”.

As the Verge article reports, AT&T claims the fee will “help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance.” We thought that was pretty much what the rest of their revenue was for.

It will cost each AT&T customer just an extra 61 cents a month. However, it will earn AT&T around half a billion dollars a year. More importantly, no matter what legal language lurks in some clause or qualifier somewhere, it seems pretty clear that this represents a change to the original financial terms that AT&T agreed to with these customers.

On the positive side, AT&T customers are apparently using this fee as justification to get out of their contract without an early termination fee. One Reddit member walked through exactly how to get that done.

But most people either aren’t comfortable with this sort of confrontation or don’t have the time and energy for such a long, miserable phone call.

This gave us an idea along the lines of our Ting for business valet and our personal shopping service.

What if we offered this as a free service? Give us all the relevant information on your account, give us permission to represent you (if there is such a thing) and we will get you out of your AT&T contract. We’ll do the screaming. We’ll figure out exactly the right words to say, whom to ask for and all that.

We’d offer it as a sort of public service with no commitment to come to Ting!

We need to figure out if this can work. Can someone other than the AT&T customer negotiate this. Is there some handoff that needs to happen or permission that can be granted. Will we have consistent success.

Updated: We have a ton of people who have volunteered to let us scream at AT&T for them. Thanks! We do not want to take on any more until we know whether we have a viable service to offer here.

If it works, we’ve got about 70 million potential new customers.