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Ting Activation Guide & APN Settings

Here's how you sign up for Ting's service and make sure your calls, messaging, and cellular data are working properly.
photo of hand holding Ting GSM and Ting CDMA SIM cards

So What is Ting?

Ting is a mobile virtual network operator and internet service provider launched in February 2012 by Tucows Inc. Ting provides cellular service in the United States using Sprint's CDMA, EV-DO 3G, and 4G LTE nationwide network as well as GSM service via the T-Mobile network. 

How is Ting Different Than Sprint?

Ting offers you rates not plans based on how much data, talk, and text you use. You can build your plan based on your needs. Not a talker? No problem. You won’t be paying for all those extra minutes you don’t use. Are you a data guzzler? Ting lets you select all the data you want to meet your needs; stream away!

What Makes Ting Unique

What sets Ting apart is its unrivaled customer service. In an increasingly hostile online environment, a super friendly customer service representative creates a lasting impression that becomes representative of the Ting brand.

How to Sign Up For Ting - Bring Your Own Device

The sign up and activation process for Ting contains three major steps:

  1. Order a Ting SIM card (we’ll cover how you can get one of these for free)
  2. Activate your device
  3. Setup APN settings (these let you send & receive group and picture messages)

Let’s get started!

Step  - Order a Ting SIM Card

The first step in any activation process is to order a SIM card compatible with your phone. 

  1. Head over to
  2. Enter Device ID including IMEI or MEID
  3. Check the captcha box
  4. Click “Check”
  5. Depending on your device it will either be compatible with Ting’s GSM or CDMA network. Ting’s GSM Network uses T-Mobile for coverage. Ting’s CDMA network uses Verizon for coverage. In my case, my unlocked iPhone SE is compatible with both of Ting’s networks, so I can choose between the two. 
  6. CDMA = activate now
  7. GSM = click get a SIM card
  8. Brought to page to order CDMA and GSM SIM card pack
  9. $9
  10. 2 sim cards
  11. Click buy
  12. Create an account and place your order

Sign-up Pro Tips And How To Get A FREE Sim Card

Here are little-known secrets on how you can get a deal on the Ting activation kit.

Get a SIM card for $5 instead of $9

On the device compatibility page, if you just want GSM SIM card, you can click GSM network at the bottom right. This will bring you to a page where you can buy just the GSM SIM card for $5.

Get a the $9 Ting SIM card for FREE

To get a FREE Ting SIM card instead of paying $9, all you need to do is click “signup / sign-in” in the top right, create a new account, and then wait a few days. 

In a few days, you should receive an email that reads something like this:

“Simply reply to the email, and you should be able to get a free SIM card”.

Reply to the email, and you’ll be able to get a Ting SIM card shipped to your house for free.

Step 2 - Activate Your Sim Card

Once you have your Ting SIM card, which you hopefully just got for free, the next step is to activate it. 

For the activation process you will need the following:

  • Your phone
  • Your phone number (if you wish to keep your existing number and transfer it Ting)
  • Credit or debit card (yes, Ting wants your money)

Here are the steps for the activation process:

  1. Go to and sign in to your existing account.
  2. Select activate either your CDMA device or your GSM SIM card.
  3. Choose if you are bringing your existing phone number or getting a new number. If you choose to activate a new number, Ting will ask you where you primarily use your phone so it can assign you a phone number with the correct area code. 
  4. Once you click continue, Ting will ask you to confirm your information is correct and you will be given a dropdown option with your suggested area code. You can also choose other area codes if you wish. 
  5. Once you click continue, you will be asked to confirm your billing info. Ting, again, is a carrier offering rates and not plans, so you’ll be charged for your usage after 30 days. 
  6. Lastly, Ting will ask you to confirm all information is correct and to agree to their terms of service. 
  7. Once you click continue, Ting will activate your phone. 
  8. After your phone has been activated, pop in the SIM card and perform the test call to make sure things are working properly. If your call goes through, select Yes, and Ting will confirm your phone is on their network before providing you with some next steps. 
  9. You will need to enter some APN settings to get group and picture messaging to work. 

Step 3 - Set Up Group and Picture Messaging

The final step is to make sure your device has the correct APN settings, or Access Point Name settings, so group messaging, picture messaging, and cellular data work properly. 

To configure your APN settings for Ting, follow the steps below:

  1. First, head into your settings app and go to cellular, cellular data options, and then cellular data network. 
  2. Under the APN section for cellular data, you’re going to want to delete the word ‘alpha’ and instead enter ‘wholesale.’ 
  3. Enter  ‘wholesale’ under the APN section for LTE setup and MMS as well. 
  4. For MMS under MMSC enter this url
  5. Click the back arrow and then go back into cellular data network to make sure you’ve entered all the information correctly. 
  6.  Restart your device and everything should be fully activated and functional. 
  7. You can monitor your usage from your online account, and set limits so you only use certain amounts of talk, text, and data.

Looking For Even Cheaper Phone Service?

Ting’s plans appear affordable, but the truth is they can add up quickly. If you value excellent customer service, than paying a slight premium for Ting’s plans may be worth it. They have some of the nicest representatives in the mobile industry. 

However, Tello offers incredibly affordable plans on the Sprint network with 1GB of LTE data starting at just $7 per month. A similar plan from Ting would be a $30.

Check out our comparison of the best cell phone plans on the Sprint network to see all plans and carriers that use Sprint for coverage and explore even more affordable offerings.

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Written by:
Stetson Doggett profile picture
Stetson Doggett

Stetson graduated from Ithaca College in 2019 with a degree in Communication Management and Design. He launched as part a senior project in school. He loves helping people find great, affordable cell phone plans that meet their needs. When he’s not reviewing cell phone plans on his YouTube channel or website, Stetson is out hiking in the crisp Colorado air, playing board games with friends, or competing in an epic game of pickleball.