Three years after starting life as a CDMA MVNO, Ting has started offering GSM service.
Ting’s GSM service is now in an open beta, meaning that anyone can purchase a Ting GSM SIM card for $9, activate the SIM with an account, then slip it into their phone. Ting says that GSM and CDMA devices can live on the same Ting account, sharing a bucket of minutes, messages and megabytes. The company is also working on a solution that’ll allow customers to switch from CDMA to GSM service.
Since it’s still in beta, Ting notes that there are a couple of issues with its GSM service. Those include international roaming, which Ting says shouldn’t really be an issue since most folks roaming internationally have an unlocked phone and so they should just use local SIMs overseas, and international long distance calling. If the latter is a problem for you, Ting suggests that you use a VOIP service like Skype or FaceTime.
Ting’s approach of letting customers select their own buckets of minutes, messages, and megabytes is a unique one, but since the service only supported Sprint phones in the past, that limited the types of phones that customers could use. Now that Ting’s got GSM service, though, your phone option are wide open.
It’s worth noting that while Ting hasn’t said which network its GSM service uses, it looks like it’s T-Mobile’s. This theory is supported by the fact that Ting employee Jesse Simms says that Ting GSM customers can use T-Mobile-locked devices so long as they’re paid off, but AT&T phones must be unlocked to be used on Ting.