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Ting: The best business mobile plan
(if we do say so ourselves)

Today we’re taking the wraps off the Ting for business pages to explain the benefits of Ting and mobile that makes sense for businesses big and small.

When we first launched Ting, we knew it would be an ideal service for businesses. When we started talking about redesigning the Ting account control panel, much of the discussion for how it should work focussed on plans with multiple devices under management. Going beyond just family use and thinking about what happens when accounts have 10, 20, even 100 devices sharing pooled usage. With the new control panel available to use now, we’re redoubling our efforts to demonstrate that Ting can be the perfect choice for business mobile. We explain in more depth in our Ting for business pages.

In addition to the Ting for business pages, we also created a total cost of ownership (TCO) calculator spreadsheet that lays out just how much money a business could save by moving to Ting for mobile service. After all, if there’s one thing businesses love it’s a good spreadsheet… to say nothing of a killer ROI. This TCO Worksheet lets would-be business switchers run all the numbers, including having multiple partners or employees each with their own device, and expensing their own monthly wireless bills. The TCO worksheet factors Ting device purchases in to the equation to demonstrate that purchasing outright as opposed to getting deep discounted subsidized devices and back-loaded contracts is the better way to go.

Ting for business video

A perfect business mobile plan

Aside from an online account control panel that scales effortlessly whether you have one or 100 devices on a Ting account, many of the benefits families are already realizing from Ting also scale nicely to businesses: Shared usage between an unlimited number of devices, granular device-level control, incredibly reasonable rates for minutes, messages and megabytes of data. No limits and no wasteful bundles or unlimited plans. No overages or penalties. Rates that get better the more you use. You’ve probably heard the spiel.

Forward-thinking businesses are already experiencing Ting’s benefits. For them, the new control panel is a natural evolution and the business-specific points we make on the Ting for business pages are already being realized each month.

Business users still pick from the same buckets of minutes, messages and megabytes. We’re not changing the Ting model. Rather, we’re laying clear specifically how the Ting model makes fiscal sense for businesses.

Device update: SIIIs ship same-day and Ting’s refurb plans

Device update: September 21, 2012

Coming soon

We’ve got a few devices we’ll be getting in to the Ting lineup soon. First up is the ZTE Warp on Monday. The ZTE Warp is a pretty sweet Android device with a 4.3-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, a 5 MP camera and 4 GB of internal storage, expandable with an up to 32 GB microSD card.

Sign up for Ting device alerts if you want to be among the first to know when we add a new device to our lineup.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

We’ve had back to back record device sale and shipment months. We came out of a challenging period with our best device catalog to date and we have no thoughts of slowing down.

All Samsung Galaxy SIII devices with the sole exception of the 32GB white model now ship on the same day if ordered before 3pm CT. The Samsung Galaxy SIII 32GB white ships in five to seven days.

Pre-orders from when we first put the Samsung Galaxy SIII up on the Ting devices page have all been fulfilled.

We also drew the two lucky winners who had their full SIII device purchase price refunded. Stay tuned to the blog for more on that. Coming soon.

Kyocera Rise

We just added the Kyocera Rise to our device linuep. At $163 for a nice mid-range Android phone that runs Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and that has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, we predict good things for this device. It’s a capable smartphone with its 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 3.5-inch screen.

The latest information we have suggests that the two- to three-week shipping window we estimated is actually much more generous than it needed to be. Kyocera Rise devices will start leaving the warehouse as early as next week.

Refurbished devices

Since our last device update, we’ve added the refurbished LG Optimus S in charcoal grey to our lineup. At $73, its $10 more than the purple refurbished Optimus S devices that we are now out of stock on. Not because we’re playing games or because the commodity price of grey vs. purple plastic is in some way skewed. We sell devices at or slightly below our cost so this price reflects what we’re buying the grey Optimus S devices for.

We’re also looking to add many, many more refurbished devices to our lineup. We’ll share that news as soon as we have some specifics to talk about. Suffice it to say that if a refurb is available at a decent cost, we’ll be buying up all we can and adding them to our lineup ASAP.

LTE data device

We were hoping to add a tri-band mobile hotspot that shares your 3G, 4G WiMAX or LTE connection (depending which network you’re in range of) over Wi-Fi. However, it’s being held back to correct some manufacturing issues. Apparently, jamming four wireless radios into one device and having everything play nicely together isn’t as easy as you might think.

We’ll continue our search for the perfect data device. As ever, watch this space and sign up for email updates to get the latest Ting news as it hits.

(L-R) VP of Marketing Michael Goldstein, Head of Smartphones for Ting, Android Plushie and EVP of Sales, Dave Woroch having a deadly serious discussion in the Ting warroom.

Ting Included in GigaOM’s Mobile 15

This is profoundly reaffirming for us.

GigaOM has included Ting (among heroes like Apple, Samsung and Foursquare) in The Mobile 15 as one of 15 companies “…that are changing or could potentially change the mobile landscape in the most profound ways.”

When we were building Ting, we absolutely believed we were innovating, despite the fact that we were not developing a network, devices or even mobile apps. We believed we were innovating despite the fact the our innovations (e.g. eliminating contracts, charging based on usage, separating voice, data and text, allowing unlimited devices to pool usage, picking up the telephone when customers call) seemed more obvious than earth shattering. We were simply stripping away all the contrived, complicated, unfriendly stuff in the industry that didn’t actually make sense. We were rocking it old school, except, for some reason, the industry never even rocked it this way in the beginning.

But when we launched and started talking to reporters and going to the sexy tech shows, we were feeling a bit out-whizzed and out-banged. (“So, you’re just offering access to an existing network?” “So, basically, you’re just cheaper?” “How much venture capital have you raised?!” “Your CEO is how old?!”)

It was our early customers that first really got it. They saw how much opportunity there was to offer greater value and greater service within the existing universe of networks and devices. They saw how our example was actually inspiring and pressuring larger providers to start changing their ways (e.g. announcing shared data plans, experimenting with BYOD). They started to tell their friends, who started to tell their friends.

So it is fitting and gratifying that GigaOM, a publication we admire for celebrating applied innovation (innovation that people actually use and appreciate) has recognized us as an example of just that. We would like to thank our customers for their collaboration and support and GigaOM for keeping an ear on what customers think.

To be clear, we are not seeking patents on fair pricing or great service. Just remember we did them first!

 

Customer Q & A – Tim White

Tim White

Ting customer since: June 2012
Previous carrier: Verizon
Monthly savings with Ting: $55/mo.

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

The forums of Republic Wireless while I was waiting for my Beta wave there.

What was it about Ting that resonated with you and made you want to switch?:

I am a light user, but I still like to have a high functioning phone (smartphone) at my disposal. Ting allows me to pay for what I use, which seems downright logical.

Were you in contact with a mobile carrier before you made the move to Ting? How long was left? What did that translate to in early termination fees?:

My contract was up, I was past my 2 year term and was paying month to month.

What kind of savings are you seeing with Ting, month over month?:

I purchased the Galaxy SII from Ting for ~$470. Over my first 3 Ting bills I have saved ~$55/mo. (~$75 vs ~$20). The way I look at it, the savings will pay off the cost of the phone in another 6 months, and then after that I am saving $55/mo.! If I had the kind of plan with my previous carrier that I now have with Ting, the savings would be even larger. So not only have I upgraded, but I have also slashed my bill by $50+.

How many phones and/or data services do you have on your Ting plan?:

1

When you explain Ting to your friends, family and/or random passers by, what do you say?:

I usually point them to the site and show them the “plans” page. I then tell them how much I am paying per month (sometimes I have to pull up my bill on my awesome new smartphone to prove it). Not so much for the random passers by though…

Are you happy you made the move to Ting? Care to elaborate?:

I’m am very happy I moved to Ting. The amount of money I save per month is difficult to wrap my head around. My service is noticably worse, but the savings/service trade-off is a no-brainer for me. And of course, the poorer service is due to Sprint’s infrastructure and it came with the territory. I have a superior phone to my prior one (EnV Touch < Galaxy SII)and a better plan, for less money. What is there not to be happy about.

What should we be doing better?:

I have no complaints to make outside of my sometimes poor reception (which falls on Sprint’s shoulders). Verizon is without question the king of this area. I have not yet needed assistance from customer service, but from the quick answers to the questions people have on the forums and the praise I see heaped on Ting’s customer service I wouldn’t anticipate any complaints. The fact that I haven’t needed to contact customer service is a testament in itself.

Thank you Ting team!

Device update: Milano sale, pre-orders shipping and the LG Viper coming soon

Yesterday we announced the winner of the first to LTE Samsung Galaxy SIII full device price refund. We’ve still got two more SIII purchases to refund from among the first 200 pre-orders. If you’re a winner, we’ll let you know shortly after you activate your device and you’ll receive a full device purchase price refund. There’s more news to report than just this, however.

Device sale: Kyocera Milano at $105

We’re having a sale on the Kyocera Milano. If you’re looking for an infinitely pocketable smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than the Milano. Especially at $105, a full $40 off the original ask.

When the Milanos we have in stock are gone, they’re gone for good so if you’ve been debating pulling the trigger, there’s no time like the present.

Shipping update

Samsung Galaxy SIII in both capacity options (16 GB and 32 GB) and in both color variations (white and blue) are leaving the warehouse as quickly as they arrive. Pre-order shipments are sent out on a first come, first served basis. We have enough Galaxy SIIIs in stock and in-bound to cover the initial pre-orders across colors and capacities. For anyone late to the party (that is, ordering in the past couple of weeks) the ships-in estimate that was displayed when you placed your order holds true. We’ve also updated the “ships in” times for new Samsung Galaxy SIII orders with the latest info we have available.

We’ll see the Motorola Photon Q pre-orders and the HTC EVO 4G LTE in both black and white in the warehouse by late next week and will have them flying out the doors as soon as is humanly possible.

We’ll also be shipping LG Optimus S refurbs starting Monday. The Samsung M370 flip feature phone orders will start rolling out the the doors in 10 days if not sooner.

Samsung Galaxy SIII warehouse pic
White Samsung Galaxy SIIIs lined up to leave the warehouse.

Coming (very) soon

LG Viper

We predict good things for the LG Viper, the entry-level for LTE devices. The Viper just hit the Ting devices page and will ship starting week. We decided not to put the Viper up for pre-order before now because… Well… because we’ve been busy, OK?

The Viper has been described as the LG Optimus Elite on steroids with its LTE access, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 4-inch WVGA screen.

At $371 it’s latest and least expensive LTE phone to hit the Ting lineup.

Get it while it’s hot

LG Optimus S refurb

The refurbished LG Optimus S devices are being snapped up more quickly than even we thought they would be… and we’re born optimists. $63 for an entry-level smartphone is a pretty killer deal after all. We’ve also updated the ship time on the Optimus S refurbs to shipping in five to seven days.

We’re looking to get more refurbished LG Optimus S devices in so we can offer them up for order. We’ll also be on the lookout for other refurbished options. With refurbs, as compared with brand new devices, there’s the little issue of supply, which is relatively low, and demand, which is clearly pretty high.

Samsung M370 flip phone

The complete absence of a flip phone in our lineup due to a parts supply issue in Asia came as a surprise to us too, as detailed in our last device update. We’ve got a large shipment that will soon make its way to our warehouse and we’ll be fulfilling M370 as quickly as possible. We’ve also updated the shipping time on new M370 orders to reflect the updated shipping information.

Airave

We gave all the details we have on the Airave coming to Ting in a dedicated Ting Airave blog post. Nothing new to report on this front. We’re still on track to offer the Airave on the site next week at the introductory sale price of $190, shipping immediately.

First Ting customer hits the LTE network

We’re a little late in posting this given that our first LTE network ping actually happened on September 7. We figured we’d hold off long enough to put our news up against the impending iPhone 5 launch from Apple to see who’ll get the most attention.

We like our odds.

Wayne Elseth was early into the queue and received his Samsung Galaxy SIII pre-order in the first small batch of shipments. Working in Baltimore, MD, one of the first cities to come online in the LTE rollout, it wasn’t long before his phone found the faster network.

We got in touch with Wayne to let him know the good news; that as the first ever Ting LTE user, his Samsung Galaxy SIII pre-order purchase price was to be fully refunded. Not a bad deal, really!

There are still two more SIII full refunds to be drawn from the first 200 pre-orders upon activation. With 32 GB Galaxy SIIIs approaching our warehouse now and with 16 GBs closely following, we expect to draw two more lucky winners next week.

In the meantime, we can live vicariously through Wayne. We spoke to him about his latest acquisition, about making the switch to Ting, about LTE and about new found fortune:

Ting: Where did you first hear about Ting? Why did you choose to make the switch?

Wayne Elseth: I’ve been a captive of the Big Guys for many years suffering through a set of family feature phones that allowed us to communicate but weren’t at all inspiring. I’ve wanted (cannot really say I needed, but the end result is the same) to upgrade to a smart phone for a long time but couldn’t justify the expense of three data plans and the resulting two-year contract.

As part of my complete “cutting the cord” effort I moved my home phone to VOIP and continued the effort by looking for a new cell provider. A few Google searches later I found Ting! The fact that Ting is related to Tucows only made the discovery better. I’ve been a Tucows fan since the very early days when the primary product was file sharing. It’s really great that Tucows is expanding. Also, I really love having a bucket of time/bytes to share between the family phones.

T: Did you run the numbers on how long it would take to save the equivalent of the SIII purchase price before buying? How long would it have taken?

W: Keeping in mind that we used to have only feature phones with the smallest bucket of minutes our total monthly bill was in the $75 range. Assuming the same usage pattern the savings calculates out to about $54 per month less expensive using Ting, so the SIII break-even is a bit less than a year. We keep equipment forever, so the payback is even better than it first appears.

T: How is the Galaxy SIII working out for you so far?

W: It’s a great phone and provides excellent coverage. I’m still loading it up with interesting apps. I’m also guessing that my time on the SIII will be going up – it’s got a pretty amazing set of capabilities.

T: What are you going to do with your new found fortune?

W: Well, getting a 4G hotspot for my laptop is looking pretty interesting.

T: Did you notice the speed difference when you hit the LTE network?

W: Yes, the 4G speed difference is amazing. Web pages download in a flash making for a great user experience.