So, after a decade or so of working in jobs that provided cell phones with personal use policies, I am now at a place that doesn't provide a cell phone. That's not a huge deal, as it is nice to be off the night time and weekend on-call list.
With a growing family, I need to be connected when I'm out and about, as well as keeping costs under control. I looked into the major carriers, and while a basic phone wasn't bad, to go up to a smartphone was cost prohibitive for something that is used sparingly.
After doing some research I found that a bunch of MVNOs that run carriers on Sprint's network and had decent pricing, but I decided to go with Ting, the wireless brand of TuCows. I looked into using Glyde to buy a phone to bring over, but didn't find what I wanted for the price I wanted to pay, so I bought a phone on eBay. It is a little riskier, but it turned out fine. Fifteen minutes after I received my phone through the mail, I had my new iPhone up and running with voice, text and data on Ting's network.
On the bad side there are a few things. There are limits on which handsets that you can bring over. I was able to bring an iPhone 4s onto Ting during their beta program, but you can't just use a CDMA handset that is meant for Sprint and bring it online. That is a risk if you buy on eBay or any other service, as if the phone doesn't have a "Clean ESN", you might not be able to use it on the network. The other issue is coverage. Sprint has terrible coverage. I'm not the first to say this and I'm not complaining. The voice and text portion of the service roams seamlessly onto Verizon's infrastructure in my area and I have had no problems with that portion of the service.
What doesn't roam is the data plan. This is why the service is less expensive and could be a deal killer for some people. In my case all the places that I need data indoors, I also have WiFi and fast Internet, so I never even use up my data plan. When I am outside, Sprint's data service is pretty decent, but nothing to write home about.
In my first month of service, my iPhone bill was $18.20. $17.00 in usage plus $1.20 in taxes and regulatory fees. So, for below the price of any of the other carrier's minimal data plan, I was able to get voice, text and data service. Hard to beat.
It goes without saying, but I will say it again, any public post that I make is a personal opinion and not the views of my employer and should not be seen as an official endorsement by any organization. 'Nuff said.
And yes, the title is an obligatory reference to The Ting Tings, better known to the parental crowd as "the people who sing that birthday song on Yo Gabba Gabba"