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When is an S4 not an S4?

We recently launched support for folks to bring their inactive Sprint iPhone 5, HTC One (M7), and Samsung Galaxy S4. All three have proven to be hugely popular on Ting, which is awesome. Unfortunately, we were (unintentionally) unclear about not yet being able to support the triband models of the Samsung Galaxy S4, which caused a lot of hassle for some of you.

We’d like to try to make it right for those of you who got stuck in a bind as a result.

Here’s our tl;dr plan… If you bought a new or used triband edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (model L720T) from February 6, 2014 through May 5, 2014 to bring to Ting, we’ll exchange the one you bought for a brand new Ting-compatible triband S4 at no cost. The one you’re exchanging needs to be in good condition with a clean ESN (which is to say it can’t have been marked as lost or stolen or currently be active elsewhere). We’ll send you an insured FedEx label to get the device to us.  Once we get it, we’ll ship you a Ting S4 triband model via FedEx along with our sincere thanks for your patience with us through all this. If you’re ready, go ahead and start the exchange, or read on for the backstory…

So here’s the background… Last year, our network partner launched Sprint Spark. Given how awesome our marketing geniuses are, we have a much slicker name for the same concept: Ting Triband. (We experimented with Ting Tempo, Ting Turbo, velociTing, and Ting Full Tilt, but decided Ting Triband was the most exciting option. Alright, I’m kidding… We’ve always just called it plain old triband.)

The point of triband is that supported devices can take advantage of faster data speeds and more reliable coverage by leveraging all three of the major frequency bands that our network partner owns (legacy iDEN/ESMR, legacy PCS, and the frequency used by Clearwire for WiMAX).

Sorry for geeking out on you a bit there, but there was a reason…

In December, Samsung announced a “refreshed” Galaxy S4 model that would support triband. The old and new S4 models look and (mostly) act the same, but unfortunately only the non-triband models (L720) are eligible to be activated on Ting. We expect the S4 triband models (L720T) will be able to be brought to Ting roughly a year after they launched — sometime late this year at the earliest, but more than likely early next year.

In the meantime, some of you Tingfolk bought an inactive Sprint triband S4 thinking you’d be able to bring it to Ting on April 30.  And you were rightfully surprised when things didn’t go as planned. We worked behind-the-scenes to try to figure out a solution that would let you keep the S4 models you already acquired and still activate them with Ting, but we didn’t get far. Hence this slightly more convoluted, but most honest way we could think of to try to get you up and running and hopefully happy again with Ting.

Again, we’re sorry. And although the S4 triband refresh models were an unusual exception, we’re going to work to make sure we’re clearer on supported (and unsupported) devices ahead of their BYOD eligibility dates in the future.  Thanks for bearing with us.