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Thread: Ting Moving to Verizon, Not Renewing with Tmobile

  1. #1
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    Ting Moving to Verizon, Not Renewing with Tmobile

    I looked in the forum and didn't see this posted anywhere.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mergers.../d/d-id/752673


    https://www.tucows.com/wp-content/up...transcript.pdf

    MVNO Ting Dumps T-Mobile for Verizon, Blames Sprint/T-Mobile Merger


    Ting, an MVNO that offers services on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, said it plans to dump T-Mobile for Verizon. The reason? The ongoing drama around the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile.

    "We had expected that the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger would have been resolved by now. If that had happened, we would have been able to engage with the parties and assess the financial implications of potential post-merger relationships," said Elliot Noss, CEO of Ting parent company Tucows, in a statement provided by the company. "However, because the merger has not occurred, we had to assess our relationships with Sprint and T-Mobile separately."

    As a result of the move, Tucows said it now expects its cash earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be $52 million this year, down from its previous expectations of $62 million.

    "A number of factors motivated these changes," Noss continued. "With Verizon, we will be adding the network that in our opinion has the best coverage and performance ratings in the U.S. Our contract with Verizon is better than that with T-Mobile in terms of rates, guarantees and other financial terms, which had negatively impacted Ting Mobile's past performance. Finally, our dealings with Verizon to this point have been productive and professional."

    Ting said it will retain its agreement with Sprint for another year. "We're pleased to have extended our relationship for an extra year," he said. "The economics are competitive, and we have a productive relationship with the current Sprint team. This additional year gives us time to see what happens with the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and make an assessment as to the best course for Ting after September 2020."

    Ting is one of dozens of MVNOs in the US market. Others include Consumer Cellular, TracFone and Republic Wireless. Such companies essentially piggyback on the wireless networks operated by the likes of AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile by purchasing wholesale access and then providing their own phone activation, service billing and customer service. MVNO customers may never know that they're actually using another company's wireless network.

    Noss had hinted earlier this year that Ting was not happy with its MVNO agreement with T-Mobile. "In Q1 we experienced non-product costs due to our current carrier relationships -- both penalties and other costs that were well in excess of what we have had in the past. That outsized impact was over $1 million," he said in May.

    Ting finished the first quarter of this year with 160,000 MVNO accounts and 284,000 subscribers, which the company noted was a decline of 2,600 accounts when compared with the same quarter a year ago.

    Sprint and T-Mobile, of course, are desperately working to salvage the merger they had hoped to close by the end of June. The companies are reportedly working with Dish Network and the Department of Justice on some kind of transaction that would allow Sprint and T-Mobile to merge while setting up Dish as a fourth nationwide wireless provider.

    — Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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    Wow. Big news. I'm sure everyone wants to know about pricing and transitions. But that info will take time because they probably don't know themselves what they will do.

    The fact that they are losing accounts shows that price pressures are serious. There's almost no usage pattern where Ting makes financial sense anymore now that Mint and Red Pocket and Twigby have such low prices.

    A shift to Verizon will help because of the gain in coverage. For me that would be a big plus.

    Time will tell.

    What does "non-product costs due to our current carrier relationships -- both penalties and other costs" mean? I don't understand.

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    Yeah, I liked the idea of Ting when it first came out, but I was always able to find better pricing from other companies.

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    considering how expensive ting already is, I can't imagine how much more it would be for them to switch to verizon.
    you already have US mobile that has tiers like ting, and offers verizon service. So It'll be interesting to see if/how they can compete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    Wow. Big news. I'm sure everyone wants to know about pricing and transitions. But that info will take time because they probably don't know themselves what they will do.

    The fact that they are losing accounts shows that price pressures are serious. There's almost no usage pattern where Ting makes financial sense anymore now that Mint and Red Pocket and Twigby have such low prices.

    A shift to Verizon will help because of the gain in coverage. For me that would be a big plus.

    Time will tell.

    What does "non-product costs due to our current carrier relationships -- both penalties and other costs" mean? I don't understand.
    It means they did not meet their volume commitments to TMobile so TMobile hit them with penalties provided for in the contract for under-performance.

    So they turned around and terminated their contract with TMobile in retribution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    It means they did not meet their volume commitments to TMobile so TMobile hit them with penalties provided for in the contract for under-performance.

    So they turned around and terminated their contract with TMobile in retribution.
    Wow. Mobile is a hard business.

    The freemiums (RingPlus, FreedomPop, CellNuvo, FreeUp) die because their business model isn't sustainable.

    Ting was the other end, sort of premium service at a illusory low price, good for a small segment of people. I don't see them surviving without a price cut and then service will have to take a hit.

    The main survivors seem to be Mint, Red Pocket, etc who have low prices but issues with service when things go wrong, poorly trained CS, etc.

    So the price pressure will basically kill customer service.

    (The shared buckets are still a draw for people like me with a bunch of elderly family members to manage who don't have much usage. It's almost at the point where it's more price-effective to get each person a Twigby PAYGO or Red Pocket account. The ease of account management all in one place is still worth something, however.)


    That said, I really don't miss the old days when $20 PER LINE got you 300MB on top of the base price, and you still got no customer service. So thank goodness for MVNO's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    (The shared buckets are still a draw for people like me with a bunch of elderly family members to manage who don't have much usage. It's almost at the point where it's more price-effective to get each person a Twigby PAYGO or Red Pocket account. The ease of account management all in one place is still worth something, however.)
    I'm curious, have you tried red pocket? It is nowhere near as fancy or polished as Ting OLAM, but each line on RP can be seen individually, and you can buy separate top-ups etc. For example, I manage 3 on RP and theres a dropdown box for each line that shows renewal date, how much usage so far in the month etc.

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    Yes, I have used Red Pocket too. It is also a good strategy especially as it has deals on all the networks.

    I had one bad experience with their GSMA (ATT) service where I couldn't get data working and eventually returned it for a refund. That soured their reputation with me .

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    It means they did not meet their volume commitments to TMobile so TMobile hit them with penalties provided for in the contract for under-performance.

    So they turned around and terminated their contract with TMobile in retribution.
    Maybe not so much in retribution as in the realization that they were going to continue to be hit with further non performance penalties down the road.

    Verizon must have given them a soft contract - higher rates but not much in the way of penalties.

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    Sum ting wong..............

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    >The freemiums (RingPlus, FreedomPop, CellNuvo, FreeUp) die because their business model isn't sustainable.

    I somewhat disagree with this. The main reason these above died (or are dying) is because of bad execution, not so much the viability of their business models.

    R+ came into being on the largesse of Sprint. Its business model, audio ads on the 5 secs of dialing out, never made sense and never had a chance in reality. That it lasted as long as it did was, again, due to Sprint willing to dish out free bandwidth. R+'s myriad "plans" only added to the chaos and tech support burden. It never should've existed as a business.

    For ad-supported models (CellNuvo, FreeUp, Surge, et al), there are 3 requirements: a stable and robust ad-serving platform, which includes the app, a steady input of advertisers or ad network as customers, and a large userbase as assets.

    The easiest requirement is getting users. Pretty simple: Let known that free service exists, and people will naturally flock to it. No real advertising necessary.

    The other 2 requirements are harder, and none of the above had achieved them. FreeUp is still handing out(?) free accts w/o requiring ads, which spells out to a failure of the platform or lack of advertisers. It'll die once seed money runs out. CellNuvo similarly never had a stable platform or enough advertisers. Its userbase dwindled to hardcore freeloaders who gamed the system, and led to the collapse of the payout scheme. The jury is still out on Surge, but only 100+ installs of its Moolah app thus far doesn't bode well.

    FreedomPop's extra-cost services scheme IMO was the most viable, and it got the most investor money. But again, it never had a stable system or a well thought-out scheme, with paid services/plans not competitively priced, and poor treatment of its users. It gained a bad rep, which constrained its userbase to hardcore freeloaders, with reduced prospects to monetization.

    I think that $10/mo (33c/day) is a doable goal for ad-supported service. $10 nowaday will get you enough minutes for normal use, and perhaps with some data as well. Somebody will figure it out eventually.


    >The main survivors seem to be Mint, Red Pocket, etc

    The main survivors are still the Big 4 (or 3). MVNOs are known only to a minority of people.


    >So the price pressure will basically kill customer service.

    Only to price-sensitive users, which are most everyone here. Stability and service still rank high for the majority, which is why MVNOs are still relegated to the price cellar. Certain MVNOs like Consumer Cellular which caters to older people have done well despite "higher" prices. And we have to say that Ting itself is doing OK despite its "noncompetitive" prices (relative to other MVNOs).

    Speaking of CS, this forum and those like it (networked knowledge) are the primary source of support for those here, replacing the companies' actual CS to a great extent. Without the networked knowledge, dealing with MVNOs would be much harder, and it's safer to stay with the Big 4. Which is where most people are.


    As for Ting's change of providers...who cares? Nobody here use Ting anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    It means they did not meet their volume commitments to TMobile so TMobile hit them with penalties provided for in the contract for under-performance.

    So they turned around and terminated their contract with TMobile in retribution.
    They still planning on using Sprint along with VZW?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by thotguy31 View Post
    They still planning on using Sprint along with VZW?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
    Correct.

    They just signed a new one year contract with Sprint at the same time.

    They say that, if the merger does through, they will re-evaluate the potential after they have some experience with the new company in the context of the Sprint contract.

    Hmm, maybe part of the motive for this is that they figure the Sprint contract can be broadened out later once it becomes a contract with new TMobile after the merger under better terms than they had under the old TMobile contract.

    But there will sure be a lot of disruption to their users in the meantime.

    Could it be partly a bluff in which one (secret) contemplated outcome is that many of their TMobile users end up staying on TMobile after all, but under the better terms of the Sprint contract?
    Last edited by comintel; 07-12-2019 at 08:37 AM.

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    >But there will sure be a lot of disruption to their users in the meantime.

    Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how Ting presents this to its T-Mo users. Many will have to get new phones, and coverage differences would mean that some will lose coverage. That won't go over well.

    The rationale of this is that Ting likely doesn't have many T-Mo users. That would make sense. Ting has been ambulance chasing only Sprint users up to now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >But there will sure be a lot of disruption to their users in the meantime.

    Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how Ting presents this to its T-Mo users. Many will have to get new phones, and coverage differences would mean that some will lose coverage. That won't go over well.

    The rationale of this is that Ting likely doesn't have many T-Mo users. That would make sense. Ting has been ambulance chasing only Sprint users up to now.
    I suppose it is possible that Verizon has agreed to contribute to buying new phones for the TMobile users where necessary.

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