UPDATED 2/17/17 – RingPlus has let members know that Ting has offered to park numbers for all RingPlus members beginning on February 21, 2017. At that time, any account that is moved will be given a $35 credit. If the top up balance of your RingPlus account is higher, you will immediately receive the $35 credit up front and $5 a month until your entire balance is recovered. Ting will email users when the process is complete.
In yet another blow to low cost cellular service, Sprint has informed one of their MVNO’s that they will no longer offer service to them after February, 10, 2017. The shutdown comes as a complete surprise to most users, many of whom are running on free or ultra-low cost offerings from RingPlus. RingPlus has been operating since 2012 on the Sprint network and will leave users looking quickly for places to port their number too before they lose service next week. Unfortunately, those tied to the RingPlus network will find their options for new MVNO’s rather limited as very few Sprint MVNO’s offer anything close to the value that RingPlus did.
For starters, there is FreedomPop, which offers users a free plan that includes 200 minutes of VoIP talk, 500 texts and 500 MB of LTE data on the Sprint network. Those old Sprint phones should transfer over without any issues once they are released by RingPlus. FreedomPop also offers various upgraded service plans and add-on services for those that need a bit more than the basic plan. There is a $19.99 charge for activating your own device on FreedomPop, but stay tuned to see if there is a special on RingPlus transfers in the coming days. Next up is Ting Wireless. Ting offers up users a pay by the usage system that can cost as little as $6 and moves up only with usage. Republic Wireless is another option that utilizes hybrid calling, or both cellular and WiFi calling. Republic plans start at just $15 a month for unlimited talk and text, but then add a flat $10 per GB of data. Both of these carriers do not offer free plans like many RingPlus users enjoyed.
RingPlus has stated they will fight Sprint to keep lines active with a 30 day notice, but chances are even with that reprieve most users will want to move on to another carrier long before then. For now, RingPlus users will need to start looking hard at the options and make a move sooner, rather than later, especially if they want to keep their numbers after RingPlus shuts their doors.