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Ting was launched in 2012. It’s a subsidiary of Tucows Inc. which owns other brands that are also making the internet a better place. We respect them tremendously for what they have done for the internet and the carrier space in the US.
Ting is similar to US Mobile in many ways. Ting cares deeply about the customer experience treats customers like family, provides coverage on the Verizon and T-Mobile networks, and lets you build your own unlimited talk & text plans with any amount of data. We’re pretty similar on the surface, but let’s drill down a bit.
The jury is still out on what their recent acquisition by Dish.com will mean for their pricing and customer service, but I’m hopeful they’ll be able to stay true to who they are.
Ting plans vs US Mobile plans
For most people, plans and pricing are the most important things about picking a wireless carrier. Our plans are a major differentiator for us. At US Mobile we have four main plan types—Unlimited All, Unlimited bundles, Family Plans, Custom plans (and Pooled plans coming very soon as well). At Ting, all plans come with unlimited talk and text, and different data buckets, including one that allows you to share the data between lines.
US Mobile Custom plans
Our custom plans can be a bit confusing if you’ve never paid attention to your phone bill or usage, but if you know exactly what you need you can tailor a plan for it. All our plans also come with Usage Analytics that shows you how you use your talk, text, so you can always pick the best plan.
US Mobile Unlimited Bundles
These plans come with Unlimited Talk & Text with different amounts of data. Ludicrous and Warp speeds are included, and hotspot could be added for $5 more. You could read about what different speeds mean in our Speed Guide.
US Mobile Unlimited All plans
Unlimited All plans come with unlimited talk, text, and data. It includes Fast speeds and you can unlock Ludicrous & Warp speeds for $5 and 10GB of hotspot data for an extra $5.
The first 50GB of data will come with Fast, Ludicrous, or Warp speeds, and then you’ll get unlimited data at Standard speed (compared to Ting’s 2G—128 Kbps). On top of that, you’ll also get complimentary access to 10 GB of international high-speed data monthly for travel worldwide.
US Mobile Family plans
US Mobile’s family plans let you get Unlimited All plans for as little as $20/month per line. Each line still gets the complimentary 10 GB of free high-speed international data per month. On top of that, you can also get amazing extras through our Smart Perks program. You choose the perk that’s right for you, from Apple Music to HBO Max and a lot more.
US Mobile Pooled plans
If you need family plans, but don’t use a ton of data our pooled plans are going to be a perfect fit for you. See below for a sneak peek.
We don’t have the details finalized yet, but you can sign up below to get updates.
Ting’s old pay-as-you-go plans
Ting was known for their unique approach to plans. They used to only charge you for the minutes, texts, and data that you used instead of having plans with set amounts of talk, text, and/or data. This used to be a great option for users who did not use a lot of talk, text, or data; but these were scrapped when Ting got acquired by Dish.
Ting’s new plans
Since their acquisition by Dish, Ting has introduced plans that have unlimited talk & text baked into all the plans—when you’re choosing between their plans what you’re really choosing is the amount and type of data that you’d like.
Ting Flex Plan
The Flex plan is essentially a shared data plan. You get unlimited talk & text for $10/line and shareable data at $5/GB.
If you’re looking to get lines with at least 1 GB per line our unlimited talk & text plan with 1 GB for $12/mo (which also includes complimentary access to up to 5 GB of high-speed international data) is more affordable.
The only way this plan is a better option is if you need multiple lines with unlimited talk & text, and want to share 1 GB of data.
Key takeaway: Ting Flex plans are optimal for groups who need a lot of lines with the tiniest amounts of data (less than 250MB/mo) that can be shared from a bucket. For all other cases, US Mobile’s Unlimited Bundles are a better fit.
Ting Set 5 plan
With this plan, you get unlimited talk & text with 5 GB of high-speed data for $25/mo. After the high-speed data is used up you get “unlimited” data at 2G. Sure you get unlimited data at 2G speeds, but how much of that can you really use. At those speeds the most you can do is use iMessage, or Whatsapp for sending texts.
If you only need 5GB of data our Unlimited Talk & Text and 5GB plan for $15 would be a better value. We don’t give you “unlimited” 2G afterwards, but you can get Top Ups if you need more. The Top Ups are not free like but they’re actually usable, and you’ll still be paying less than $25. Or you can also get Unlimited Talk & Text with 12 GB for $20 or with 18 GB for $25.
Ting Unlimited plans
With the Unlimited plan, you get unlimited talk & text, and 22 GB of high-speed data followed by data at 2G speeds. 12GB of the high-speed data is available for hotspot, and you can pay $5/GB to restore full speed. Unlimited Pro comes with unlimited talk & text and 35 GB of high-speed data followed by data at 2G speeds. 30 GB of the data is available for hotspot and you can pay $5/GB to restore full speed
If you only need 22GB of data our Unlimited Talk & Text and 30GB plan for $30 would be a better value. We don’t give you unlimited 2G afterwards on our bundles, but you can get Top Ups with full speed data if you need more and you’ll still be paying less than $45. Our Unlimited All plan with 50 GB of Ludicsorous Data and 20 GB of Hotspot is $45. If you need more than 20GB of Hotspot data than Ting is a better option for you.
Ting customer service
US Mobile customer service
Ting’s customer service is super friendly, knowledgeable, and fast. If you reach out you’ll get real answers quickly, and if you don’t their user-driven support communities on Reddit spring to action whenever you post a question. Also based on a comment by a Ting employee it seems like Dish will continue relying on Ting’s tools so you can expect the same or similar level of service as they fully transition.
However, customer service has never been an obsession for them the way it is for us. Customer service is a core tenet of US Mobile and instead of looking at it through an expense-minimizing lense, we look at it through a branding lense. This means we are maniacal about it.
- We don’t measure support reps’ performance on how long it takes them to solve an issue. We don’t have scripts. Our only directive to employees is to delight our customers.
- We couldn’t find a tool that cared as much about the customer support experience as much as we did so we built our own chat and support stack.
- Our customer service approach is apparent on our site. Ting hides their chat button a few links deep. We put our chat widget on the top and bottom of every page. And we’re also available 24/7.
- We layered self-support, AI-enabled proactive support, and human support to help you get answers the way you want as quickly as possible. You don’t have to look at an FAQ or speak with a bot to get to a human.
- You can have a seamless and asynchronous conversation with us wherever you are. For example, you can start a chat with us on your laptop, and later text our number, and pick up that conversation where you left off.
We completely understand Ting not going this route. They are a telco, and picking an off-the-shelf customer service tool makes sense. Amazing customer service would have to be pinned to the top of your prioritizations list to go the route that we are on. It requires significant upfront and continual investments in tech and talent, and the path to ROI is not direct. But we know that investments now will pay off later —whether that means being able to 10X our customer base without worrying about support’s scalability or incrementally and continuously adding new ways to make the customer experience better with more features and capabilities.
Fun fact: we built our chat so well that people keep asking us if we are a chat company. We enjoy hearing it, but if one more person asks us this, we’re going to pivot!
Ting coverage vs US Mobile coverage
Ting and US Mobile provide coverage on the same two networks. At US Mobile we call our networks the GSM LTE and Super LTE networks. Unfortunately, you can’t switch between networks as our international eSIM plans do. But being able to pick a network give you more control over your wireless service, and the features you need.
4G LTE Coverage in the US
Ting and US Mobile provide coverage on the same two networks. Although our network partners are the same, differences in the backend allow our speeds to be faster. Here’s a video showing how our speeds are faster even though our competitors are on the same network.
Call and texting performance works great on both carriers. But even with its uncapped LTE speeds, the average speed for US Mobile’s uncapped data is usually higher. Speeds for Ting are good enough for browsing, streaming, and listening to music, but if you want the fastest speeds US Mobile is always the better choice.
5G Coverage in the US
Both Ting and US Mobile include 5G at no extra cost in our plans. All plans will give you access to 5G wherever it is available. However, US Mobile’s plans are a better way to access 5G because for two reasons:
- US Mobile’s plans give you up to 50GB of Warpspeed data (with plans to add more) compared to Ting’s plans come with 22 GB of high-speed data.
- US Mobile’s 5G plans and fallback coverage on 4G LTE is of the highest priority.
Ting offers Wifi Calling on both their networks across all devices. At US Mobile we offer WiFi calling on our GSM network for Android devices. We’re working on getting WiFi calling on Apple devices.
We currently don’t have immediate plans to offer WiFi calling on our Super LTE network. This choice is driven by customer feedback (or lack thereof). We almost never hear about our Super LTE network needing that kind of last-mile connectivity support.
International Calling & Texting
Ting has a pretty solid and affordable outbound international calling and texting program. They used to offer outbound calls to some countries for free, but it seems like those may have been scrapped after their acquisition by Dish.
We currently don’t have an international outbound calling and texting program but you can receive texts and calls from an international country just like regular calls and texts at no extra cost.
Ting give you access to calling, texting and data when you are abroad but it is extremely expensive. Because rates are so expensive, think $200 for 1 GB of data in the UK, this sort of coverage is basically emergency use only.
At US Mobile we don’t offer calling or texting abroad, but we do offer eSIM enabled high-speed data abroad. Users on Unlimited All plans do get up to GB for free and users on smaller unlimited bundles get up to 5GB for free. And if you need more you can buy data at better-than-local rates too. For example you can get 1 GB of data in the UK for $5. That’s 40X better than Ting’s rates. Not only that, that same data plan can also be used across Europe without having to worry about changing SIMs, plans or rates.
Ting Features vs US Mobile Features
Besides the plans and coverage Ting and US Mobile offer features that make it easier for users to manage their connectivity and their phone plans. Here are the main list and features.
Ting Dashboard and User Settings
Ting’s dashboard and apps give you easy visibility into your usage and expose a few settings that let you turn services like MMS capability, or caller ID, on or off. I’d argue that these sort of settings that are not used or changed very often. For example, why offer a setting for a hotspot when you have the ability to turn off tethering natively from your phone? Or how often do you need to turn MMS on and off? If these are settings that you need to turn on and off quickly and frequently then Ting’s features are good for you.
In addition, they also give you a really easy and simple way to customize your alerts and settings based on line-level usage. It’s incredibly powerful and still easy to use. This tool was great for when they had the custom pay-as-you-go plans but for the current set of plans with the unlimited data that they now have, this feature is not as applicable anymore.
US Mobile Dashboard & User Settings
We don’t expose as many line-level settings as Ting does, and quite frankly, by and large, our customers have not needed it or asked for it. Instead of just exposing settings that allow people to essentially twiddle with the features on their lines, we think it makes more sense to work on features that automate that sort of manipulation based on your preferences. For example, instead of calculating what sort of cap you need to put on a line, we’d rather give you one simple option like Data Saver mode that tweaks a bunch of settings for you at once.
Our Usage Insights gives you analytics not only on how much talk, text, and data you’ve used per billing period, but also how you’ve used talk, text, and data over a few weeks, and months, so you can easily spot trends and patterns and pick the best plan for yourself.
And, we’re already working on features that intelligently automate a lot of that work for you. For example, Autopilot AI will look at your usage and recommends the best plan for you based on how you use your talk, text, and data. Auto Top-Up will add minutes, texts, or data in pre-set increments to your lines if you’re ever running super low.
Ting vs US Mobile: Which one should you get?
Ting is a great fit for people who need lines with unlimited talk & text with tiny amounts of data or make a lot of international calls. It’s let down by its new plans with barely any high-speed data, and a 2G throttle for unlimited. Additionally, I’ve seen Dish scrap Ting’s beloved plans, and get rid of their free international calling, and I’m not quite sure yet if we should continue to expect more changes.
US Mobile takes the lead as a better overall pick, thanks to our new plans, cutting edge-customer support, better 4G LTE & 5 G coverage, and our constant drive to build and release features. While our plan offering is diverse and complex they make saving straightforward. And as a company, we’re always working on building features that make connectivity a better experience. For example, by next month we will have release pooled plans and made our existing plans even better.