Added 2/18/2020: Ting has found a way to continue offering service over T-Mobile’s network going forward. The parts of this post about Ting’s plans to migrate subscribers away from T-Mobile’s network are no longer accurate.
Yesterday, it was made public that the mobile virtual network operator Ting will soon cease offering service over T-Mobile’s network and begin offering service over Verizon’s network. It was also announced that Ting had extended its existing agreement with Sprint through September 2020.1
Based on my understanding of yesterday’s SEC filing, I expect Ting will continue to offer service over T-Mobile’s network to existing subscriber until at least late 2019 and possibly late 2020.2 I’m less sure whether new customers will be able to sign up for service over T-Mobile’s network for much longer.
The new arrangement with Verizon is based on a five-year agreement that Elliot Noss, CEO and president of Ting’s parent company spoke positively about:3
I’ve previously raved about Ting’s customer support, but I’ve been reluctant to strongly recommend Ting since its rates have been fairly high for access to mediocre networks (Sprint and T-Mobile). If Ting’s rates don’t increase as a result of moving to Verizon’s higher-quality network, I think the case for recommending Ting becomes a lot stronger.
Ting anticipates some friction migrating its T-Mobile subscribers to new networks:4
When Ting drops T-Mobile, it will no longer offer service over a GSM network. I expect the move from T-Mobile (and GSM) to Verizon makes more financial sense today that it would have a few years ago. As operators gradually replace their 3G networks with LTE networks, support for older GSM and CDMA technologies is becoming less important.
Added 2/26/2020: Ting officially launched service over Verizon’s network in February 2020.
- “Ting Mobile also extended its network provision agreement with Sprint through September 2020.”
From Ting’s press release. I’m curious whether Ting intends to continue its relationship with Sprint beyond 2020. I haven’t seen anything about that yet.
- My impression is based largely on this excerpt from the SEC filing:
“The T-Mobile Agreement expires on December 19, 2019. Under the terms of the T-Mobile Agreement, the Company has a twelve-month run-off period to migrate the customers on the T-Mobile network to another network. The Company will continue to have minimum spend requirements with T-Mobile through December 19, 2019 with current wholesale pricing remaining in effect during the run-off period in 2020.”
- The excerpt comes from a Tucows call transcript.
- The excerpt comes from pages 5 and 6 of a Tucows call transcript.