Ting Mobile said it added 22,000 former RingPlus customers during the first quarter, but just how many of those it can convert to paying subscribers has yet to be determined.
And Ting hopes to get a big boost from the demise of RingPlus, a Sprint MVNO that stopped providing service in February. RingPlus claimed 100,000 customers late last year after a little more than a year in business, and 90% of its base was on free, ad-supported calling plans.
But Sprint pulled the plug on RingPlus, and Ting struck a deal to move many customers to its service.
Ting added roughly 5,500 net customers organically during the period, Tucows CEO Elliott Noss said, and another 9,000 have migrated from RingPlus and established a Ting account using a credit card. Thousands more may sign on, Tucows executives said, but some former RingPlus members are sure to drop off.
“We were told by the parties that there were 80,000 (RingPlus) accounts, and it turned out that something like 35,000 of them were dormant” or otherwise irrelevant, Noss said during the post-earnings conference call. “We do expect there to be significantly more churn, and we’re seeing that in the first few weeks,” of the second quarter.
The company aims to ultimately keep between 5,000 and 7,000 former RingPlus customers as paying Ting users.
Tucows provides mobile and fixed-line services as well as domain names. Ting uses Sprint's network but in late 2014 added support for a GSM network, almost surely T-Mobile's.
Tucows also announced that Ting will carry Apple’s iPhone for the first time starting Friday. The MVNO will offer the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as well as the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and iPhone SE.
“iPhone is unparalleled in its user experience and we have heard loud and clear from our customers how important that is to them,” Noss said in a press release. “We are excited to be able to combine the most advanced iPhone with our own great usability and customer service.”
Tucows said revenue from mobile services came in at $18 million during the quarter, up from $16.1 million during the previous year. Shares of the company fell, though, after its overall revenue of $69.57 million fell $14.73 million shy than analysts had expected, according to Seeking Alpha.