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Device Update: Galaxy Note II, Home Phone Connect 2, LG Optimus G, LG Mach plus a device sale!

Competing in the category of Longest Headline Ever, we present this, our latest device update.

It’s been a busy week! We’ve added several new devices to our lineup and we’ve dropped the price on some other devices. Just in time for the holidays.

Home Phone Connect 2

If you’re looking to get rid of your home phone bill without getting rid of your home phone number, Home Phone Connect 2 is just what the doctor ordered. It’s the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas (just in case our longest headline gambit doesn’t pay off, that’s our entry into the Cliche Combo category).

Port your home phone number to Ting and save a mint in so doing. It’s a compelling argument, if we do say so ourselves.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The quintessential phone meets tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note II in both grey and white is now available in the Ting lineup at $625. Sure, it’s a lot of money… but with its 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED screen and quad-core 1.6GHz processor, it’s also a lot of phablet.

LG Optimus G

Another quad-core device (1.5 GHz), the Optimus G hasn’t received quite the same attention as some other “superphones.” It’s strange considering that this is the most crazy powerful smartphone we’ve seen. With 32 GB of internal storage, a 4.7-inch screen and 2 GB of RAM, it blows past other devices in its price range. That price range? A little south of $550.

LG Mach

We could plumb the depths for a series of supersonic puns. It’s tempting but we’ll abstain. Instead, we’ll just tell you that we added this slider QWERTY device with its 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, easily expanded with an inexpensive microSD card.

Devices on sale now

The LTE-ready LG Viper and the white HTC EVO 4G LTE are both around $75 off. The HTC EVO 4G LTE in black is $65 off the original sticker price.

If you find yourself in a mobile network dead zone, you might want to check out the Airave at almost $90 off the original price.

Devices on sale are while supplies last. One of the sales guys is asking me to say “don’t delay! Buy today!” I have refused.

Wait a second…

    BYO(S)D – Progress report and wider beta launch announced

    With customer meetups, conferences, travel and all, it’s been a couple of weeks since we offered a proper update on our BYO(S)D progress. Let’s set that right.

    First off, we’ve been asked several times about the activation fee for BYO(S)D-ing your device to Ting. There isn’t one. Once your BYO(S)D is activated on the Ting network, it will act like (indeed, it is) a regular Ting device sharing pooled minutes, messages and megabytes at the Ting standard $6/mo. per device. Beyond that, there’s no cost associated with BYO(S)D.

    Much to report

    Since we released our video detailing the complicated and highly technical process for the first ever BYO(S)D, we’ve made some further leaps forward.

    We’ve brought over dozens Sprint devices in our alpha testing phases and we’ll begin rolling out our beta next week. With the first phase beta we’ll be counting into the hundreds of devices BYO(S)D’d to Ting. Our next major milestone will be when we’re counting into the thousands.

    The alpha testing has helped us focus in on some of the issues, roadblocks and unforeseen problems that bringing an eligible, inactive Sprint device over to the Ting network can present. That’s kinda the point of alpha testing.

    Our alpha testers have challenged us with everything from active devices to ancient devices, number ports and much more. These are precisely the kinds of scenarios BYO(S)D will face when it is released more widely.

    The ambition

    Our goal is to offer everyone that expressed interest in the Ting BYO(S)D beta by filling out the BYO(S)D beta sign up survey the opportunity to port their device(s) as soon as possible. More exact timeframes will become clear as we progress through this early beta.

    On this note, we’ll be getting to everyone that signed up for the beta as soon as we possibly can; we’re hard at work. Please watch your inbox and don’t call us, we’ll call you πŸ˜‰

    BYO(S)D will be as easy as entering your inactive Sprint device’s ESN into our BYO(S)D web app and changing your MMS and possibly 4G settings. 4G WiMAX that is; LTE is not supported at present. Not to worry: We’ll walk you through it.

    3G Sprint devices will become 3G Ting devices in short order. 4G WiMAX Sprint devices however can take up to 24 hours to provision. Realistically, if you started the process before turning in for the evening, your formerly Sprint WiMAX device should be a Ting WiMAX device by the time you wake up.

    Once we’re through this early beta phase, we’ll have the BYO(S)D process perfected for “simple” activations which means inactive devices from among the top five most popular Sprint devices comprising around 80% of the BYO(S)D-able devices by volume. Those devices are:

    1. HTC EVO 4G
    2. Samsung Galaxy SII (Epic Touch 4G)
    3. LG Optimus S
    4. HTC EVO 3D 4G
    5. Motorola Photon 4G (not the Motorola Photon Q)

    For devices not on this list, the BYO(S)D web app that we’ll be beta testing would, in all likelihood, still work as planned and our testers will be welcome to use it to bring over a device that’s not explicitly supported. For these devices, we’ll be requesting your feedback during the beta phases so we can build out our support to cover the remaining 20% of devices.

    Who’s out of the (early) running?

    • Devices that are already active on Sprint cannot yet make the move.
    • The blacklisted devices we’ve mentioned before (Google Nexus devices, iPhone, BlackBerry, PTT handsets).
    • LTE devices can not be BYO(S)D’d at this time.
    • Devices reported lost or stolen to Sprint cannot be brought over.

    We are sending out an updated BYO(S)D beta update survey to help us get the BYO(S)D ball rolling. If you opted not to receive further BYO(S)D updates by email (or really, even if you did), you can also find that survey embedded below.

    Final note: Some 600 of the thousands of people that filled our our initial BYO(S)D beta sign up answered “no” to whether or not they wanted to bring an eligible, inactive Sprint device to Ting. Thanks for taking the time to fill out the sign up survey but, in the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld, what’s the deal with that? πŸ˜‰

    As always, we’ll keep you posted as soon as we have new and important information. Until then, watch your inbox for a BYO(S)D beta invite (no promises at this early beta stage though). We’ll get invites out to everyone as soon as we possibly can. Thanks for your patience.

    EYO(S)C is now live!

    There hasn’t been a ton of anticipation surrounding our Embed Your Own (Savings) Calculator initiative, but I’m excited about it. If any of you are telling friends about Ting – either to earn yourselves $25 service credits or just to be good friends – and you have your own blog or website, you can now offer up your very own savings calculator.

    Here is the embed code:

    <iframe src=”https://ting.com/fb/calculator_wl” width=”900″ height=”500″ frameborder=0></iframe>

    If you don’t know what to do with that (or have any problems) and you would like to have a Ting savings calculator on your site, we are happy to help. Just comment here and we will have someone geeky get back to you.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to give it a try myself here:


    Hey, look at me! I’m a coder! By the way, we intentionally stripped out any “Get Started” buttons after the calculation so that you can just include a button that links to your unique referral URL. Enjoy.

    Ting control panel rolls out en masse

    A couple of months ago, we opened up the new Ting control panel in preview mode to anyone interested in a sneak peek and willing to help us kick the tires. The feedback we received overall has been great (thanks for that!) and has helped to shape a few tweaks and updates to the control panel.

    It’s now ready for prime-time: Effective today, the Ting control panel 2.0 takes over where the previous iteration left off for all Ting accounts. In other words, it’s time to say goodbye to the Ting control panel and its multicolored usage charts and hello to the new dashboard with its Pokemon Pokeball-looking usage charts… among other improvements too numerous to mention but not so numerous that we won’t mention a few in the next paragraph. While dashboard 1.0 will be remembered fondly, we’re much happier with this, the new version of the control panel.

    The new Ting account control panel was designed to make it easier to manage multiple devices under one account. However, we also added things like more customizable alerts for individual devices under an account and even added the option to suspend a device that’s using more of your shared minutes, messages and megabytes than it should. In the new control panel you can also set global standard device settings. For example, rather than going with the default settings that we provide you can create a ruleset for each new device activated on your account. For example, turn international calling and tethering off and turn picture and video messaging on in the global settings and each new device you activate will automatically have these settings applied. You can still administer services on each device individually and changing your global settings will only affect new activations, not devices currently activated on your account.

    While the switch to the new account control panel might feel a little jarring at first, we can assure you that we’ve learned a lot about how people use the Ting account control panel in the past year or so and have implemented all that we’ve learned into this new version. It’s more user-friendly, it gives you more granular control over your usage and your devices, it’s quicker, more logically laid out and overall, it’s a great step forward. We hope you’ll agree.

    We’re not done (it’s the Internet… it’s never done!) The control panel is very important to us and it’s vital that it do the things that you need and want it to do. There are more improvements we’re planning for dashboard 2.0 and we’re always looking to implement your feedback, primarily provided via the survey embedded below, into this and subsequent versions of the control panel.

    Device Update – Let’s get back at it!

    Our apologies for the two week lull in device updates. A member of the team decided to get married and had the gall to take a two week honeymoon. This team member also happens to be the one that tends to the blog. It also happens to be me.

    Let’s not beat around the bush (also, let’s agree that’s the last well-worn cliche that will appear in this device update).

    Actually, one more cliche: There’s good news, which is most everything that follows this sentence, and there’s bad news, which is down the bottom of the page. It relates to the Nexus and we’re sorry.

    New devices coming soon

    Home Phone Connect 2

    This device isn’t so much sexy as it is entirely logical. Especially, we’d argue, on Ting. Home Phone Connect 2 lets you plug in an analog phone, including cordless base stations, and ditch the landline phone bill without ditching the landline phone or phone number.

    The Home Phone Connect 2 acts like any phone on your account, sharing pooled minutes. If your home phone rarely gets used, there’s a good chance it won’t even push you into the next bucket for Ting minutes meaning your landline phone would effectively only cost the Ting standard $6/mo..

    We’ll be adding Home Phone Connect to our device lineup and begin shipping as early as next week.

    Samsung Galaxy Note II

    We have the option to offer the Samsung Galaxy Note II. While this “phablet” certainly isn’t for everyone (most specifically, it’s not for people who wear skinny jeans and / or are opposed to carrying around a man bag / purse) but its devotees are quite, well, devoted.

    We asked the Ting Facebook community whether this is a device they’d be interested in. The response was largely no, but there were enough ayes that we’ll be adding it to the lineup. We’ll order a small quantity and see how they do.

    Aside from the polarizing form factor, the fact that it’s over $600 when purchased without a large subsidy (and the requisite contract) makes it a bit of an anomaly in the Ting lineup. However, in the Ting lineup is exactly where it’ll be in the next couple of weeks, supply chain willing.

    LG Eclipse AKA LG Optimus G

    The LG Eclipse 4G LTE, better known as the LG Optimus G, occupies a bit of a weird spot. It’s awesome with its huge 4.7-inch IPS display at 1280×768. plus its 2GB of RAM, and S4 quad-core processor plus a 13 MP camera and, of course, super fast network speeds on the LTE network. However, people aren’t getting too worked up about it. We’d argue they should: It’s a killer handset… and we’re not just saying that because it’ll be in our device lineup soon. It should be available for pre-order soon, shipping before the end of the month. As always, these timeframes are supply chain willing.

    LG Mach

    Supersonic puns are almost too tempting here… but I’ll try to avoid sounding them all off.

    The LG Mach is an interesting device: It’s very capable with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor, LTE capability, 4-inch touchscreen and slide-out five-line QWERTY keyboard. However, at below $350 it fits in nicely, offering an excellent choice in between the mid-range Android devices and the top-end superphones in our lineup.

    We should have this device available in the next two to three weeks at less than $350. Do I even need to address the supply chain at this point?

    Further out

    Windows Phone 8 devices

    We’ll add two Windows Phone 8 devices by the second quarter of the new year. We will do everything we can to get these devices sooner rather than later. We can’t say which specific WP8 devices these will be at present but they’re coming.

    The bad news

    Leading with bad news was not a fun blogpost make. That’s why we’re stuffing it down here at the bottom of this entry.

    No Nexus

    After many, many positive signs that made it look like Google and its manufacturing partners for the Nexus line would be making their next flagship device MVNO friendly, it seems that’s not the case.

    We’re trying to track down someone at Google so we can grill them ask the pertinent questions. We’ll be pulling together a full Nexus vs as it relates to Ting and other MVNOs as soon as we have a more solid understanding of exactly what is happening and why.

    Tri-band LTE hotspot delayed until 2013

    Manufacturing issues mean that we’ll have to wait until 2013 to offer a tri-band (LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G as the fallback) hotspot. We do expect to have LTE-ready data sticks and other such devices in the near term. However, the do-it-all hotspot we’ve been waiting for is still a way out.

    A new manufacturer has been tapped and the as yet unannounced device is expected in the first quarter of 2013. Sorry we can’t say anything more about it right now.

    Let them have cake
    … and a promotion too!

    Way back in the early days of launch, a core team of customer-focused individuals worked day and night, smoothing out and sweating all the little details around the kind of service and support we hoped to offer Ting customers.

    Over time, it became apparent that a couple of individuals could be counted on time and again to help build a support offering we could be proud of.

    Today, I’m happy to share with you all that yesterday we celebrated the promotions of Mike Whitman and Monte Shen, two members of the Customer Experience team who have earned the title of Senior Customer Advisor; with their help, our task always seemed a little bit less daunting, and a heckuva lot more fun.

    I hope this blog post finds a place on their respective parents’ refrigerators and their moms will brag to friends and family about how their sons are improving the way customer service is delivered by a mobile company.

    Thanks for your hard work fellas!