Saturday, February 6, 2016

My transition from T-Mobile to Ting

Do you even ting? 

Smartphones these days have advanced so quickly and manufacturers are constantly swapping out expansion possibilities and maybe even the headphone jack in the case of the next generation iPhone but one thing still remains, the SIM card is still something that you need to make call, get data, send text messages and also to receive voicemails. SIM cards themselves have evolved quite significantly in the last few years with the card becoming smaller to fit the needs of ultra slim and compact smartphones of this generation.

But one thing has not changed, wireless carries (or telcos if you prefer that) are still charging users a premium for data, messaging and calls. Particularly in America, both T-Mobile and AT&T are among the popular options for those coming by the US for a holiday or for a short period of time just because they support GSM devices. I find it quite silly that the most cheapest prepaid plan from either AT&T and T-Mobile offer only 1GB of speedy 4G LTE data and unlimited text and calls. However you could always just opt-in for a pay-as-you go plan but that'll require some tentative tracking of what you're using.

That rounds up to about $40 a month for the most basic prepaid plan that either carriers offer. I could understand why someone would benefit from unlimited calls but really, unlimited texts makes it sounds like text messaging is still a hip thing these days. But that is what the big players are offering, if you look on the other end of the spectrum, we have smaller carriers like Ting and FreedomPop which utilizes the same network from either Sprint or T-Mobile but in a much cost effective price range. Essentially, both Ting and FreedomPop have this pay-as-you go plans which are priced more affordable than what you get from the big four

Specifically, I am going to run you through my first hand experience of swapping out my T-Mobile plan for a one from Ting. If you have heard of Ting, you will know that the carrier works on both GSM and CDMA networks and runs off T-Mobile for GSM connections and Sprint for CDMA phones. One of the biggest drawbacks of Ting compared to say AT&T or T-Mobile is that you can't just walk into a Ting shop and get a SIM card.


Ting doesn't do any brick-and-mortar shops (not that I know of), the company is fully digital with everything from activating your SIM card to contacting customer service all done through their website. This also means that you will need to wait for the shipment of your SIM card before you get started. For me, even with expedited shipping, my GSM Ting SIM card took about 3 days to arrive. That is why I had the first hand experience at trying out T-Mobile's prepaid plan with 'unlimited calls and texts' for a about a month.


For the month of January, I was on T-Mobile's $40 prepaid plan which offered a measly 1GB of data, but I only managed to use about 300mb of data. My data consumption on a smartphone isn't too crazy high as I usually just use it for twitter and swarm check-ins and every now and then I do check up on instagram. Also, the beauty of Wi-Fi sense on Windows Phone is that it'll automatically pair me up with free wireless hotspots which is quite a norm in the city these days and I could save on some data there too. But that's about it, I don't stream videos on YouTube on my phone just because I don't (no particular reason to it).
So, moving on to the process of migrating from T-Mobile to Ting. The process was very quick and simple but before that, I did try out Ting's savings calculator on their website which cross references the prices you pay on what you have been using and how much you are paying. From what I dialled in, by using about 300MB of data an making a 100 minutes and 10 text messages, the savings go up to $16 a month and exponentially grows to about $384 in a two year period. That's enough to pony up a new phone like the Nexus 5X or something like the OnePlus 2. Your mileage might vary.
As I mentioned before, Ting runs off a pay-as-you go plan in which you only pay for what you use at a reasonable price. Depending on your usage, Ting's payment chart might not be that beneficial to you but for me, it is a solid deal as the only thing I will use is the data and maybe make some calls and text messages but that'll stay at the lowest tier which essentially saves me a lot of money.

The pricing seem to be just right with Ting and the next thing to do is activating the SIM card, depending on your existing carrier or SIM card type, these steps may vary. The first thing you want to do is to go over to ting's website and sign in to the account which you purchase your Ting SIM card from and click on the option to activate that SIM card. For my case, I will be transferring my T-Mobile line to Ting and the process is actually pretty simple, you'll just have to fill in details like your number, T-Mobile pin, update the payment address and you are all set to go.

The process for T-Mobile should be instantaneous and you shouldn't feel too much of downtime. But at most, the process will take up to 24 hours and varies from each person. You should receive an email from Ting about your account transfer and the Ting will begin calculating your bill from the day you receive that email.

I'll probably fill in the exact details about my savings through Ting in the next few months, but until then, see you next week.

Step #1: Go over to ting.com/go

Step #2: Either transfer your existing number or get a new one

Step #3: Transfer your existing carrier's data

Step #4: Confirm the details