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BYO Sprint device to Ting's new cell phone network

The newish, little-known cell phone carrier is inviting potential customers to bring their own Sprint phones, which clears one major hurdle to adoption.

Ting calculator
Ting's online calculator encourages you to sniff out savings.
Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Ting, a newish, little-known cell phone carrier, wants to stand out by mixing and matching your cell phone plan. Today the mobile virtual network operator, which rides on Sprint's network, announced plans to let you bring your own Sprint device to the network.

As it stands now, you have to buy one of Ting's 10 compatible handsets from the carrier -- including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Motorola Photon Q -- but starting sometime in Q4 all that will change. When the bring-your-own plan rolls out, most Sprint phones will also work with Ting, except handset like the iPhone, BlackBerry, and push-to-talk phones using Sprint's DirectConnect service.

For Ting, giving potential customers the green light to bring over their own Sprint phones reduces a major barrier to adoption. Customers who want to take advantage of the offer will either need to register devices with expired contracts, or terminate their contracts with Sprint before activating the phone on Ting's network.

Ting's network lets phone owners pay for different chunks of voice minutes, text messages, and data per month, and unconventionally credits for unused services at the end of the month.

The nascent network, which launched this past February, prides itself on its customization, but heavy users may still save money with a more traditional plan or shared data approach.