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

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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.

Ting at CES 2015

‘Tis the season to see what people will be begging for when ’tis the season much later this year.

That is to say, we’re here at CES 2015, the annual outpouring of consumer tech in Las Vegas, NV. We’ll be roaming the show floor, looking for what’s interesting and we’ll be reporting back to you here on the Ting blog as we go.

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Hey, remember that time you asked us to fix home Internet access too?

Why yes, that is a fiber optic cable of the sort that delivers blistering gigabit access speeds to homes and businesses that are plugged in. Thanks for noticing.

Can Ting fix home Internet too?

No doubt Internet access (whether for home or business) is a space ripe for a little disruption. Traditional cable companies approach Internet service with the same “if it ain’t broke…” mentality as telcos, even though many among us would argue it is, in fact, ‘broke.’ They tend to operate with that same opacity and complacency that inspired us to make mobile service more fair, friendly and approachable.

So, yeah, let’s give it a go.

Making sense

Today, we’re excited to announce that we bought the majority stake in a small, independent Internet service provider (ISP) in Charlottesville, Virginia called Blue Ridge InternetWorks (BRI). Just like that, we’re starting our new mission to bring the things that people love about Ting for mobile to the world of fixed access.

Ting to offer service on a GSM network

Early in 2015, Ting mobile service will come online on a GSM network. We’re targeting February, for the launch.

This is not us announcing we’re moving away from offering service on Sprint’s CDMA network. Rather, this is us announcing that we’re adding GSM network access to Ting.

Internet rockstar Robin Chase joins our Board of Directors

We announced yesterday that Robin Chase, best known as the founder of Zipcar, has joined our Board of Directors. You can read about why we love her and she loves us in our press release.

Also check out her Ted talks to get a better feel for her passion and how freaking cool she is.

I am really, really excited about this. It says so much about how we define ourselves and how we want to challenge ourselves. I also think it says something about what we have accomplished.

When we first started building Ting, we talked a lot about the sort of brands we wanted to emulate. Right from the beginning, that list included Zipcar, as well as ING, Netflix, Etsy and Skype. In my mind, each of these brands did three very special things:

What’s new in the Ting control panel

The Ting customer control panel and account tools have always been a fundamental part of the Ting experience. Whether in a laptop browser window or on a smartphone or tablet, we strive to put customers in complete control of their accounts.

With that in mind, we’ve completely redesigned the Ting control panel.

We don’t do things just for the sake of doing them. We approached this, our latest (full) redesign of the Ting dashboard as an exercise in making life easier for our customers. We wanted to make monthly usage easier to understand. We wanted to make it easier to see which device on your account used what. We wanted to make monthly bills clearer and easier to understand and manage.

There’s a lot we could say on the subject of the Ting control panel. Instead, though, we’ll just say this:

Log in to your Ting account control panel to see what’s new and improved. We’re always happy to hear your feedback. Hit the official feedback thread to share your thoughts. You can, of course, also share thoughts here, in the comments section of this blog post. Wherever your feedback comes, we’re listening.