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May is Dump Your Contract Month
Announcing the Ting Dump Your Contract Month Sweepstakes

There are many ways you can get out of a mobile contract. We’ve detailed a few of our favorite ways to get out of a mobile contract before. We’re pretty excited about this new one though.

Every day in May, we’ll be randomly drawing one lucky winner in the Ting Dump Your Contract Month sweepstakes. We’ll give the daily winners up to $300 to pay off the early termination fees associated with their mobile contracts. That means throughout the month, 31 fortunate souls will be able to walk away from their mobile contracts free and clear.

All you have to do is visit the Ting Dump Your Contract Month sweepstakes page, fill in your details and hit Submit. A lawyer just informed me I have to say “fully read the rules and regulations governing this contest” before I say “hit Submit.”

If you win, we’ll let you know. We’ll get in touch then cut you a check to cover your early termination fees.

Whether or not you’re one of the lucky 31 winners in May, you can come to Ting and never again deal with mobile contracts. That way, just like in Kindergarten, everyone’s a winner.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Runs 5/1/12 to 6/1/12 with 31 daily drawings. Total maximum ARV of all prizes: $9,300. Open to U.S. residents, age 18+, who are in a mobile phone service contract. Void where prohibited. To enter and for details see Official Rules at Ting.com/DYC

Ting customers don’t take no for an answer (and bring their own devices anyway!)

We wanted to share something with you about a certain kind of customer we attract at Ting. Who knows… maybe you’re one of them?

Whenever the Ting Customer Service team resolves a help request for one of our customers, our help desk sends a follow-up to ask our customer asking them if they were satisfied with the answer or solution provided. As I write this post, our satisfaction rating is currently at 98%.

The 2% of the dissatisfied ratings are often from potential customers unhappy with the fact that we don’t currently offer “bring your own device” (BYOD) capability on Ting.

Which brings me to the real reason I wrote this post: We’re amazed at the conversation that’s happening right now in the ‘Hacks‘ section of our Ting help site.

Some of our talented customers took the lack of BYOD support as a personal challenge and with only a few words of encouragement from us (we don’t offer technical support for phone hacking), these technically savvy customers signed up for service with Ting, bought an inexpensive Ting phone and worked with specialized software and each other to hack their existing non-Ting phone to work on our service.

We couldn’t stop ’em if we tried. And that’s fine by us, because in 2012, mobile should be about connecting a device any device, to a dumb pipe, plain and simple.

In a world where the open and neutral ‘Net is under constant attack and big carriers’ work day and night to complicate the world of mobile, we are incredibly excited and proud to host a community of tech-savvy ‘Tingsters,’ willing to help each other find their bearings in the brave new world of mobile phone hacking.

If you don’t believe me, go to the Ting Community Forums and ask a question. Chances are good you’ll get a response from a Ting customer before a Ting staffer (and we think we’re already pretty quick!)

EDIT: We’re offering regular device updates here on the Ting blog. Previously, we didn’t want to talk about our device lineup efforts before they bore fruit for fear of disappointing you. We’ve since realized that wasn’t very Ting of us. Please take these device update posts for what they are: an update on our efforts to get the latest and greatest devices. Not a set in stone device roadmap. With that said, please do take a look if you’d like to know what we’re working on on the device front.

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.

4G, LTE and Ting: What is 4G LTE and How Does it Affect Ting?

What is 4G LTEThe Ting / Sprint 4G LTE network upgrade will begin rolling out in earnest in mid-2012. Starting with Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Currently, Sprint (and hence, Ting) offers 4G running on the WiMAX standard radiating outward from major centers across the US. To see if your area is covered, check out the Ting coverage map. Check the Data box, enter your city and state and hit Map It. Darker orange areas are covered with 4G WiMAX.

What is 4G LTE and How Does it Affect Ting?

4G and LTE network rollouts can be a confusing topic. Especially when some carriers seem to use the two terms as one (“America’s Largest 4G LTE Network,” for example) or even interchangeably. We’ll try to break it down…

What is 4G?

4G is the fourth generation of mobile communications. In cellular’s relatively short time at the fore, we’ve gone through several distinct generations starting with 0G, 1G, 2G, 3G and now (you might see a pattern developing), comes 4G. Things have gotten a little more confused with some carriers claiming 2.5G, 3.5G and other non-standard standards under the larger whole.

In short, all “4G” is not LTE… but all LTE is considered 4G.

What is LTE?

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. At its core, LTE is a much faster mobile data technology with speed approaching or even besting your home DSL or cable connection. That’s only part of the story though.

LTE’s biggest mission, as the name suggests, is to provide room for mobile to continue to grow and evolve over, you guessed it, the long term. Long term in mobile really means about a decade.

LTE can service as many as 10 times the number of users on a node so if all the equipment on a cell tower is upgraded to LTE and all phones connecting to it are LTE, 10 times as many people can use the tower without issue. It’s a more efficient use of the mobile spectrum. That’s good.

When will Ting offer LTE?

As an MVNO using the nationwide Sprint network, Ting will offer LTE alongside and in the same places as Sprint. That means the cities mentioned off the top of this post (Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) will be first, receiving LTE capability mid this year. Next, as Sprint rolls out the LTE network to other major city centers, Ting will be able to offer LTE in those locations at the as well.

We have several LTE devices including datasticks, mobile hotspots and some pretty spiffy smartphones in-bound to coincide with the launch of the LTE network. More news as we’re able to share it.

What about WiMAX?

WiMAX is a 4G standard that gave early adopters much faster 4G data speeds. The Sprint (and hence Ting) WiMAX 4G network is pretty robust and radiates out from major city centers. Sprint brass aren’t planning any further roll-outs of WiMAX beyond 2012 though the support team has expressed they will continue to maintain and look after the WiMAX 4G network “for the next several years.” Gizmodo has an interesting and enlightening post on Sprint’s WiMAX and LTE plans moving forward.

Rest assured that 4G smartphones and data sticks / hotspots that run on the faster 4G network will continue to work as expected. While Sprint has stopped adding new 4G WiMAX cell tower equipment, it will continue to maintain and support the network. Where 4G WiMAX is unavailable, devices step down to the near ubiquitous 3G network with its up to 3.1 Mbps peak and 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps download speeds. In other words, even if the 4G WiMAX network were decommissioned entirely, 4G WiMAX devices would continue to work as 3G devices.

We’ll keep you posted as LTE developments allow. We’ll update the Ting blog and help.ting.com as more information becomes available. You can also catch us on Facebook and on Twitter as TingFTW.

EDIT: We’re offering regular device updates here on the Ting blog. Previously, we didn’t want to talk about our device lineup efforts before they bore fruit for fear of disappointing you. We’ve since realized that wasn’t very Ting of us. Please take these device update posts for what they are: an update on our efforts to get the latest and greatest devices. Not a set in stone device roadmap. With that said, please do take a look if you’d like to know what we’re working on on the device front.

The Ting No Contract Mobile Service Experience Explained

We’ve got a video to share. It doesn’t involve cats. There are no stunts gone horribly awry. Alas, no shirtless adonisses (adoni?) inviting you to smell like them.

Rather, it’s a cool tween animated video done in the great pen and ink drawings that you see around the ting.com website. The drawings are from our awesome and talented illustrator Steve Murray. The animation and video editing was done by the similarly awesome and talented Sean McLeod.

Perhaps you’re still hung up on “tween animated?”

When we say tween-animated video, we’re not saying it was put together by the Bieber-loving, Disney Channel watching set. We here at Ting are staunchly against tween labor. Especially in the arts. Rather, we’re talking about an animation style where the editor / animator sets a motion path and chooses start and end point for the different on-screen elements. Video editing software generates the intermediate frames between those two states to create a smooth motion. “Inbetweening” or “tweening.”

Improvements to the Savings Calculator

For the past couple of months, we have strongly encouraged anybody considering Ting to use our Savings Calculator to determine whether you would save money based on your current bills and usage.

We just released some improvements to the calculator that make it even more useful.

– Previously, you could only calculate savings on 6 devices. Truth is, you can have unlimited devices on a Ting account. But unlimited is a bit tough on the interface. So we increased it to 30 for now. (If you want more than 30 devices on a Ting account, give us call. We’ll do the calculations for you!)

– We have built the purchase price of the devices into the calculation. You choose how many devices you would need and which devices you want. We’ll look at your current bills and usage, assume you paid nothing directly for your devices with your current provider, compare that to what you would spend on devices, monthly service and the $6/month device fee at Ting and tell you what you would save in 2 years (a typical contract length).

– We made it easy for you to tell your friends about your savings discovery. (Freaking selfless, right? We’d hate for you to have to run door to door.)

– We also give you the opportunity to sign up for a friendly reminder if you love Ting but are still under contract.

Please let us know if you find anything confusing or if we can make this calculator more helpful to you.