Sprint MVNO Ting, which is owned by Tucows, confirmed it is now providing service to Sprint-issued Apple iPhone 4 and 4S smartphones. The company described the support as a beta program, which Ting said means that it can provide the service to any new and existing customer but that it cannot promote it or market it on its website.
There's a new school of mobile virtual network operators that have made their debut during the past couple of years offering innovative price plans, compelling devices and alternative distribution methods. But what makes these latest MVNOs--like Solavei, Ultra Mobile, FreedomPop, Ting and Republic Wireless--interesting to me is that they are being courted by their operator partners.
The mobile virtual network operator business is booming again, with new MVNOs launching nearly every week. But unlike the MVNO craze of the 2005-2006 era--highlighted by high-profile failures like ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile, Amp'd Mobile and Helio--analysts believe that today's MVNOs have a better chance of success thanks to operator support ranging from customer service to billing and even device procurement.
Sprint MVNO Ting confirmed that as of the end of the second quarter it had 25,000 total customers, an indication of strong momentum for the company but a paltry figure in the larger wireless landscape.
In a bid to simplify its service and improve its customers' experience, Sprint Nextel MVNO Ting said it will stop requiring customers to put a deposit down at the beginning of their month of service and will instead only charge customers based on what they use.
LAS VEGAS--A top Ting executive said that around 40-50 percent of the MVNO's new customers are coming through its newly launched bring-your-own-device program. And separately, the CEO of Ting's parent company, Tucows, announced that Ting would "cross over the breakeven threshold" in the fourth quarter of this year.
A new Sprint Nextel MVNO, Zact, is taking aim at the Tier 1 carriers--including T-Mobile US' new "uncarrier" strategy--by giving customers granular control over their plans, including the ability to change them on the fly.
T-Mobile USA MVNOs Ready SIM and Solavei confirmed that they will start offering LTE service once T-Mobile launches its LTE network later this year.
Sprint Nextel MVNO Ting said it plans to add Microsoft Windows Phone 8 smartphones to its lineup later this year, following Sprint's embrace of the platform.
Ting, the Sprint Nextel prepaid MVNO, said it will pay up to $100,000 to customers who incur an early termination fee by switching to Ting.