A year ago I started using Ting, a Sprint MVNO, as my cell phone provider. A month later I wrote an update as well as a review of my most used apps. Well, now it’s been a year and I’d like to talk about what it’s been like.
I started off the year with a Samsung Galaxy Victory. It is a decent and capable smart phone, but I like to use a lot of programs like Doggcatcher and SmartBooks and the phone was having issues working correctly when I had more than a few programs running. So I switched to a Nexus 5 and it’s working perfectly for me.
I was a bit worried about the fact that Ting was based on Sprint’s network: while it has voice roaming on Verizon (meaning there’s almost nowhere without voice), there is no roaming on data. So how has that served me? I’ve been able to get 3G or better in the following places in the past year:
- Anywhere in Maryland along the I-95 corridor
- Washington DC
- NYC: Manhattan
- NYC: Brooklyn
- Tampa to Orlando, FL area (including SeaWorld, Disney, and Universal Studios)
- San Antonio, Tx
- Denver, CO
- Honolulu, HI and all over Oahu
Basically, the only place I wasn’t able to get data was in the middle of Rocky Mountain National Park.
What about costs? I had an average monthly cost (before taxes) of $17.50 and average tax bill of $2.69. That led to an average savings compared to a no data Verizon plan of $19.81. That’s pretty awesome! When you rope in the cost of my original phone ($130) and cost to break Verizon contract ($224.24), I’ve now paid everything off. If you compare to a 2 year contract (what I would have been stuck with at Verizon), but this time next year I’ll have saved about $200-$300 depending on my usage.
Ting and other MVNOs have started to pressure the big companies, which I think may be scary since they depend on the Big Four to give them time on their networks. But now Verion has more competitive pricing; pricing that might have kept me from leaving, but which is still more than I pay now, by about double. I’d rather have control over the cost of my cell phone bill. Maybe one month I really want to use data and it’ll be worse than using one of the big guys. But for now, with my current usage, there’s no reason to leave Ting. A year in, I’m convinced I made the right decision (after having been with Verizon since around 2003ish). If all the phone companies continue their trend towards the version of LTE that makes everything compatible (instead of having to pick CDMA or GSM), then you won’t even be wasting the money of a phone to try out Ting. Right now I’d say it’s a no-brainer if you’re on Sprint and like your coverage, but wish you had a cheaper bill.
(And none of this even counts their stellar customer service and great customer website that gives you ultimate control over the account)
If I’ve convinced you that Ting is worth a shot, use my referral link – we each get some money credit towards our accounts.