Ting, a virtual mobile operator, using the Sprint network, will launch a bring-your-own-device program in the fourth quarter, reports Fierce Wireless. It will allow customers to bring any Sprint device onto Ting’s service rather than buying a new phone with Ting.
Ting, an MVNO run by Internet domain company Tucows, launched service in February with Sprint’s CDMA network and Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX network. Ting plans to take advantage of Sprint’s nascent LTE network. It also offers roaming on compatible CDMA networks from Verizon and MetroPCS.
The MVNO offers minutes, text messages and data in different buckets. If customers use more than they have paid for in a certain month, they are not charged an overage fee, but instead are bumped up to the next usage tier for that month. Likewise, if customers use less, they are bumped down and will receive a credit on their bill. Ting smartphones with hotspot capabilities won’t have tethering fees.
So far Ting has not disclosed how many customers it has, but Ting CEO Elliot Noss told AllThingsD that the number is not large enough to be material to parent company Tucows.
The company said in June it expects to release a number of LTE devices “sooner than later,” including the LG Viper 4G LTE, the LG Optimus Elite and HTC Evo 4G LTE. Later on, the company said it expects to sell the Samsung Galaxy S III, and possibly the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as well. Apple’s iPhone, BlackBerry devices, and certain push-to-talk devices will not be eligible, but Ting said the final list of eligible devices has not been finalized.
Ting customers can also switch their Ting phone over to Sprint service. “This BYOD development makes the leap of faith more of a hop and people are more likely to give us a chance when Sprint is there as a fall-back plan,” Ting’s Andrew Moore-Crispin wrote in a company blog post.
Sprint has created a new service for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) on its network. With their new service, Single Source Enablement, Sprint manages every aspect of the business, from customer care to the distribution of devices. The only thing the MVNO has to worry about is acquiring customers.