Author Topic: Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket  (Read 2991 times)

terran

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Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket
« on: February 25, 2015, 01:37:46 PM »
Now that Ting GSM has entered public beta I'd like to switch from verizon. I have an old non-sim iPhone 4, so this means a new phone. If the Ting GSM (tmobile) network ends up not working out out I'd like to be able to fall back on switching to cricket instead. My preference would be to stick with an iPhone (probably a 5s or 5c), but if that won't work, maybe I'll go with a nexus 5.

What carrier's iPhones will work with this plan? It sounds like at&t phones have to be unlocked to work with Ting. Is it possible to get a phone you buy used unlocked? Will a tmobile iphone work on cricket (and and is there such a thing as locked/unlocked)? What about verizon and sprint -- are they able to run on the at&t and tmobile (cricket and ting) networks or are they different? Looking at swappa and glyde for used phones it is possible to select unlocked phones, but they don't necessarily say what network they were on -- if they're unlocked, does it matter?

Thanks!


Daley

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Re: Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 01:50:37 PM »
Yes, you'll need a carrier unlocked GSM iPhone, but it won't technically matter which one (excuse Sprint on a technicality). The Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 5/5c/5s are all technically the same handset. The Verizon models will be GSM carrier unlocked by default, but the AT&T and T-Mobile branded handsets could be locked and you'll need them carrier unlocked if you desire to use any GSM MVNO. The Nexus handsets when bought from Google directly are typically likewise unlocked. Carrier unlocked means any GSM provider, though with the iPhone, data configuration with AT&T based MVNOs can be potentially problematic. As for if you can buy them unlocked, of course you can! You just have to make sure it's one of the criteria you search for, along with clean IMEI (not stolen) and overall condition.

Regarding your choices of Ting and Cricket, I have to ask why exactly? Ting isn't a bargain by any stretch of the imagination on the GSM end unless you're doing multiple handsets with minimal usage, especially on the T-Mobile MVNO end, and Cricket's customer service is like AT&T's but more abusive. Data isn't everything. Look into P'tel, Puretalk USA, H2O Wireless and Airvoice.

I suggest you read the guide (unabridged here) if you haven't already.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 01:56:03 PM by I.P. Daley »

terran

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Re: Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 03:08:05 PM »
Thanks for your expertise I.P. Daley!

We do have multiple handsets (wife and I) with minimal usage. I looked into your suggestions and given our usage over the last 6 months Ting, H20 and P'tel would average out about the same. The 90-day recharge cycle of H2O and P'tel and the fact that usage wouldn't be shared make things a little harder to figure out, so I just based this on the per minute, text, and MB rates they quote, but as long as we don't consistently let the 90day usage lapse it should work out. We currently pay per text with verizon (and hardly use it), so Ting would leave quite a bit of extra texting capacity if we texted more (which my wife is interested in so she can stop telling people not to text her). I like the "buckets" approach of Ting a little more so I won't feel quite as constrained as if we went to a complete usage based model. I think if we end up needing to be on AT&T then H2O could be a good option though, so thank you!

Airvoice's website makes my web developer eyes bleed, so they'd have to result in some significant savings to get me to use them. Puretalk seems a little more confusing to figure out what we'd end up paying. Again, if we end up needing the AT&T network I'll put some more time into trying to figure them out though.

Now, back to the phones, just to make sure I understand: Any verizon iPhone 5/5s/5c should work on any tmobile or at&t mvno whether it's unlocked or not? And any iPhone 5/5s/5c (except maybe sprint) that is sold as unlocked should also work regardless of original carrier?

Thanks for your help!

Daley

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Re: Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 06:15:38 PM »
Airvoice's website makes my web developer eyes bleed, so they'd have to result in some significant savings to get me to use them. Puretalk seems a little more confusing to figure out what we'd end up paying. Again, if we end up needing the AT&T network I'll put some more time into trying to figure them out though.

Don't judge a book by its cover. Airvoice probably has some of the consistently best customer service support amongst all the AT&T MVNOs.

Puretalk takes a little bit to understand, but it's not difficult. Focus only on their Simple (no rollover - overkill plans) and Family (rollover) plans.

P'tel has a beautiful auto-top-up system for their PAYGO customers. You set a recharge amount, a date and/or credit threshold limit, and just let it do its thing.

Quote
Now, back to the phones, just to make sure I understand: Any verizon iPhone 5/5s/5c should work on any tmobile or at&t mvno whether it's unlocked or not? And any iPhone 5/5s/5c (except maybe sprint) that is sold as unlocked should also work regardless of original carrier?

Yes and yes.

NotJen

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Re: Phone for Ting GSM and Cricket
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 08:03:42 PM »
I just switched over to Ting today on my AT&T iPhone4.  So, it will be a while before I can report on the experience.

Looking at the prices of all the options, Ting will certainly cost the least.  I use very little voice and text, mostly data.  Should I be that worried about customer service?  I have never had to use AT&T's customer service in my 7 years with them.