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Toronto-based Ting Successful in US, But Can’t Buy Network from ‘Big 3’ in Canada

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Ting is a wireless provider in the US which currently offers a unique set of mix and match plans many customers have gushed about, since many “save significantly” according to company CEO Elliot Noss, to the CBC.  The company is a division of Toronto-based Tucows (remember them?).

The company doesn’t have contracts and only operates on month to month plans which has proved to be popular. What’s interesting about Ting is it doesn’t have its own wireless infrastructure–it purchases network from Sprint at wholesale to resell to its customers.

As for Ting trying to start up in Canada, the company says it has been unable to purchase network from Rogers, TELUS or Bell to offer their low-cost and affordable wireless services here. Why? Because the ‘Big 3’ won’t sell it to them:

“We would love to be in Canada,” said Ting CEO Elliott Noss. “Nobody will — at least at this juncture — sell us network.”

Steve Anderson of Open Media says without access to networks from the Big 3–which hold 90% of the wireless market in Canada–this limits competition and is exactly what the incumbents want to accomplish:

“The big three cellphone companies control access to the digital roads that independent service providers require to reach Canadians,”

“And they’re preventing them from accessing those roads so they can keep prices high and under-invest in customer service.”

However, this is set to change as Ottawa’s revised wireless policies will force Rogers, TELUS and Bell sell access to their network to a new national carrier, which at this point looks to be Verizon Wireless.

Below is a breakdown of Ting’s mix and match wireless plans. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, tethering and no activation fees, plus voice roaming on Verizon as well.

Screen Shot 2013 08 02 at 10 09 47 AM

Have you used Ting in the US before?

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  • Chrome262

    their prices are lower, but if you boost it to 1gig of data its close to what people pay now, but then again it looks highly customizable, would of bee nice to see here.
    I don’t get when the government required cable to sell network access they didn’t do the same with cellular as well. The more you learn about the telecommunication situation in Canada, the more you realize how far behind we are. sure infrastructure is good, but the rest awful.

  • Erik Kappel

    On their rates page: “bill you at the end of the month for whichever “buckets” you fall into.” Well there’s a concept. This would be pretty good for someone like me who from month to month has very different voice minute needs. However yea, the data rates get terrible above 1GB and that would just be a bummer for listening to Rdio on the go…

  • Erik Kappel

    Oops I meant to reply to you, see above (or bellow?) 😛

  • Sven L

    Perhaps some consideration should be given to nationalizing the mobile network infrastructure and have all carriers in the country operate as MVNOs. Then leaves the question of who looks after development, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the network…

    There isn’t an easy solution to deal with this, but having multiple different towers broadcasting the same (or slightly different) signal so that more than one operator can provide service in an area seems like a waste.

  • Brandon

    No matter what your opinion is about pricing, coverage or whatever, the important idea here is that TING doesn’t force us to sign a corrupt, ball-grabbing contract that backs it’s customers into a corner. Their revolutionary idea will eventually force these greedy contract forcing comm. corps. to do the same in the future. At least, once everyone realizes they don’t have to sign an eye-gouging overpriced contract!

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