If you haven’t heard of Ting by now, that’s ok, most people haven’t. If you have, you might understand how Ting could save you money, if you don’t use your device too much. Ting operates on the T-Mobile GSM/LTE and the Sprint CDMA/LTE network, giving users their choice of which network they would like to activate their devices on. What makes Ting different from most wireless providers is that they sell tiers of service based on your usage rather than an unlimited bucket that costs more. For example, if you are a texter, but not a talker, you can get a larger text package and a few minutes for far less than an unlimited plan costs elsewhere.
Ting’s pricing structure is interesting to say the least. For just a $6 access fee, your device is live on either of Ting’s networks. If you have a family of four, then your starting bill is $24. You then begin to select how many minutes, texts and how much data you think you will use each month. Don’t worry if you go over though, they just move you to the next tier instead of cutting you off. For example, if you are a single user that talks about an hour a month (a few minutes a day), sends about 10 texts a day and checks in on social networks when out and about, your bill would run about $20 a month. If you are a bit heavier user, that bill climbs up to $42 pretty quickly. At this point, those unlimited plans start to look good, but for the lighter user, Ting can save some serious cash each month.m
Another advantage to Ting over other ‘by the minute’ programs is that you don’t run out of time or credit on your account. There is nothing worse than having your PayGo account run short of credits when you are out and about and can’t recharge. Ting simply bumps you from the Small to Medium cycle when you exceed your limit instead of cutting you off.
Now the down side to Ting comes in when heavy users come on board. Here’s where using your actual usage numbers will save your or cost you long term. Most people over-estimate their usage, especially when it comes to data numbers. You see the major carriers release statements all the time about the ‘average user’ using 300MB or 500MB of data. The important thing to remember there is that phones have a mind of their own and need to be restricted to keep data usage low. For example, during a review one of our editors for got to check the ‘restrict background data box’ in Google Play Music and blew through 250MB of data as it synced an album they purchased on a special deal. On Ting, that move, that one album would have taken him from the Medium to Large plan and cost an extra $7. Keeping certain App’s data restricted keeps usage lower and keeps your bill lower as well. If you really do use more than a GB of data and more than 2000 texts a month, you probably want to look somewhere other than Ting.
For the lighter user, Ting is a decent option. They tout the savings that their users have offered up against Verizon and AT&T, but that isn’t really a great comparison to make. Comparing the stock package that Verizon Prepaid offers users today, their $45 smartphone plan gives users unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data. A Ting package featuring 500 minutes, 2000 texts and 1000MB of data will run $42. While Ting is great if you don’t use your device much, it’s not the best value for those that actually use their phone for keeping in contact with others – unless you use additional Apps for messaging or VoIP services.