MVNOs, Mobile Virtual Network Operators, have taken off in the last few years in the US. By offering a simpler, streamlined service for consumers savvy enough to seek them out, networks like Ting have been offering customers better value for some time now. Of course, running such a lean business model is never going to be that easy, and Ting found out that the network you rely on still has a lot of say in how you still run your own business. After Sprint changed some of their polices regarding devices that can be bought to the network, Ting decided to bring on a GSM element to their network as well.
According to a report from FierceWireless, this seems to be working well for them. Speaking on their Q2 earnings call, CEO of Tucows – Ting's parent company – Elliot Noss has said that "GSM is now just a solid part of the business" and that "we now have a greater abundance of prospects to convert." Sprint now requires devices that want to be moved to another network be fully paid off, including that final bill that usually arrives a month or so after you are done with the network. This made things a little trickier for Ting, but they've cleared everything up and even though it's not perfect, Noss is glad that at least "it's settled".
Ting is a company that does things a little differently than other MVNOs out there, by offering modern ways for customers to monitor their usage and they're also starting to roll out fiber internet throughout parts of the US. During Q2 of this year, Ting added 10,000 accounts and 15,000 devices during the quarter which was good, but down from the 12,000 accounts and 18,000 devices from the same period last year. Ting is a small company of course, and everyone has to start from somewhere, the MVNO now has 113,000 accounts and 178,000 devices. For Ting, the issue seems to be how lean a company they are. Ross said during Q2, the company was struggling to keep up with their customer service side of the business, which led to a halt in marketing activities. Customers should be at least grateful that Ting is so focused on their customer service, but getting the balance right will be essential going forward.