UPDATE: New Boost Mobile and Sprint prepaid devices can no longer be activated on Ting. This is due to Sprint’s new unlocking policy. When attempting activation you may receive the following message:
We no longer recommend buying a Boost or Sprint prepaid phone unless you do so in a store where you can run the MEID on the box through Ting’s MEID checker before purchase.
Sprint will not allow used prepaid phones to be activated on Ting unless they have been active for over 12 months on the original provider (i.e. Boost or Sprint prepaid).
The best option for most people will be to use Ting’s GSM network instead. You can purchase a Moto G that will work perfectly on Ting’s GSM network. For more information read our comprehensive Ting review.
Alternatively, you can buy a refurbished CDMA Moto G directly from Ting. Those models are guaranteed to work and are only $91. If you are a new customer, you can $25 credit to your account by using this promotional link prior to purchasing it.
If you have had trouble activating a Boost or Sprint prepaid device you can let us know by voting here.
The Motorola Moto G is an excellent “low-end” smartphone that has been available since the end of last year, but has recently dropped in price from its already low retail price of $180 to an astounding $80. Unfortunately, Ting, my mobile service provider, does not officially support the Moto G.
However, since Boost Mobile is a Sprint MVNO similar to Ting and some of Boost’s phones have been known to activate just fine on Ting, I thought I would give it a try. I assumed that if it just wouldn’t activate – the worst case scenario – all I would have to lose is a few minutes of time.
If you are interested in other inexpensive devices that can be used on Ting, check out the Sharp AQUOS Crystal and LG Volt – both of these device offer similar performance to the Moto G with the addition of LTE data and expandable storage.
I am happy to report that the Boost Mobile version of the Moto G will activate on Ting. Everything works as intended, except for creating a WiFi hotspot. Please note that creating a WiFi hotspot and tethering on this phone do NOT work (Edit: rooting the device and installing a custom ROM resolves this issue). Voice calling, texting (including SMS and MMS), and 3G data work perfectly. The Moto G does not have LTE.
Do you have concerns if this procedure still works or need to know if tethering is possible? Check out the FAQs at the bottom of the page.
Ting Activation Guide for the Motorola Moto G:
The short version:
- Buy a first generation Moto G (the Boost Mobile version).
- Go to the Ting activation page and enter the information they ask for.
- Turn on the device and let it activate automatically. You may need to connect to WiFi first.
- Change the network settings to allow domestic roaming for voice.
This phone activates no differently than any other Ting device. If you are familiar with activating a device on Ting just follow the usual steps. For those who are new to Ting check out the detailed version below.
If are becoming a new Ting customer you may use my referral link just before starting the activation guide to get a free $25 credit to your Ting account. If you use it, I will also receive a credit, so thank you!
The detailed version for beginners:
Check the bottom of the box for the MEID (DEC) number and have it handy for the next step. If you have another smartphone you can scan in the barcode with a barcode scanner app.
On a computer, go to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) page on Ting and follow the steps, entering your MEID (DEC) when prompted. After entering your MEID and clicking the “Check” button, the next screen should come up, saying that “Your device can come to Ting!” with a button to “Activate now.” Click the activate button, then decide whether to swap numbers, port your number in or get a new number, followed by verifying your billing details. At the end of this your new Motorola Moto G should be activated online.
On the last step, it tells you to open the phone dialer and enter ##72786# which will reset the carrier settings to default – if the phone has never been activated before you probably won’t need to do that. I just turned mine on, and the self-activation sequence started on first boot as shown below. During the hands free activation, it will notify you it is updating the “PRL” and “Profile” – do not press anything, just let it finish this activation sequence.
If for some reason activation fails, go ahead and turn on WiFi and connect it to your network, open the phone dialer and enter ##72786#, and then restart. When activation is completed the
Moto G will restart.
- Check to make sure your Moto G has activated successfully on Ting by placing a test call, sending a text message (SMS), a picture message (MMS), and make sure you are receiving data by opening a web page in the browser with WiFi off. Voice, texting (SMS and MMS), and data should work at this point.
- To make sure picture messaging is turned on go to the Device Settings section of your Ting account, click on your Moto G, and make sure “Can send and receive picture & video messages” is turned on under the “Megabytes” section.
- Because this is a Boost device, roaming is turned off by default. To be able to use Ting’s roaming on Verizon we need to enable domestic voice roaming. To do that go to Settings → More… (under Wireless & Networks) → Mobile networks → and change Network Mode to “Automatic.” Now tap CDMA Roaming Settings and make sure Domestic call is checked and Domestic data is unchecked as shown below.
All of this may seem like a lot if you have never done it before, but that is because I have spelled everything out to the last detail. From opening the box, to being completely set-up with everything working (except the WiFi hotspot), should only take between 5-10 minutes.
Just to show what happens when you try to activate a WiFi hotspot on the stock ROM, as I said before, it does not work:
The Moto G is the perfect device for people who do not want to spend much, but want to have a decent smartphone on Ting. It is incredibly inexpensive, but is relatively powerful, and runs near-stock of version of Android 4.4.4 Kitkat and should be receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does this activation guide still work?
- Yes, it still works. I will update this guide if there are any changes. You can check out the Ting forum posts to see how others have followed this guide and their experiences with the Moto G.
- Is there any way to get tethering and WiFi hotspots to work?
- Yes, installing a custom ROM such as Cyanogenmod will resolve the tethering issue. Just make sure to fully activate the device before installing any custom ROMs.
- Since this is an unsupported workaround could Sprint or Ting deactivate the device at some point?
- Essentially no, this is not a major concern.
- A Ting employee on their official Reddit page stated, “if we ever have to restrict the activation of Moto G’s, everyone who has already activated with Ting won’t be affected… That being said, we’re pretty confident that it won’t happen :)”
- After a system software update, my phone is no longer roaming… what happened?
- You need to update the PRL (preferred roaming list) so that your Moto G will fetch Ting’s PRL settings that allow voice roaming on Verizon instead of Boost’s settings that do not allow any roaming. When you updated, because the software is designed for Boost, the PRL version was overwritten with a Boost specific version.
- To update the PRL go to Settings → System update → and tap Update PRL.
- My phone is getting a “MIP error 67” all the time, what is that?
- That error seems to occur when data roaming is turned on (data roaming is not supported on Ting, only voice). To turn off data roaming go to Settings → tap “more” under the Wireless & Networks section → Mobile networks → CDMA Roaming Settings → and make sure “Domestic data” is unchecked.
- What about the new second generation (2014) Moto G or the first generation 4G LTE model? Will they work on Ting?
If this activation guide and FAQs was helpful for you please let me know by hitting the “1+” or “like” buttons.