Mobile virtual network operator Ting in the U.S. will soon allow Sprint’s devices onto its network. The move would at least allow Sprint’s customers who are looking to get their service and billing through Ting to save money on devices as they can re-use their device. This would also be more eco-friendly as devices from Sprint could be reused on Ting’s network.
The policy isn’t a fully open door policy, however, as certain devices are not eligible. Those devices include iPhones, BlackBerry smartphones, and iDEN push-to-talk smartphones. It’s unclear why iPhones are excluded as they are basically smartphones without any additional provisioning. BlackBerry smartphones may have additional BIS or BES server-side provisioning, which may make them hard at this time to port over, and iDEN devices are being discontinued as Sprint is migrating to a CDMA-based Direct Connect system for push-to-talk and re-provisioning that spectrum for 4G LTE deployment in the future.
By allowing users to bring Sprint’s devices to its service, Ting could have a broader selection of phones for users to choose from. Users would either need to pay an ETF to get out of their Sprint contract, pay full price for an unsubsidized Sprint handset, or use an older Sprint smartphone.
Additionally, Ting makes it clear that devices from Sprint’s wholly-owned prepaid subsidiaries Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile are excluded from its network as well.
Right now, Ting is welcoming Android devices and those running Windows Phone. Sprint has to date only launched one Windows Phone smartphone from HTC in the form of the HTC Arrive, which is basically a re-badged 3G edition of the HTC 7 Pro that was released internationally.
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program will go into effect in the fourth quarter of this year. You can read more about it from the Ting blog.
Essentially, MVNOs like Ting use Sprint’s service and buy voice and data wholesale from Sprint. Sprint provides the infrastructure and Ting will provide Sprint with customers. Billing can either be handled directly through Sprint or from MVNOs like Ting and service may be cheaper with an MVNO. You can read more about Ting’s service plans and pricing here.