It appears that in the next few days, mobile virtual network operator RingPlus will be no more. But another MVNO, Ting Mobile, will be looking to benefit from major US wireless carrier Sprint’s upcoming shut down of RingPlus. Ting (which is operated by Tucows) currently provides coverage to 245,000 devices across 151,000 accounts, and during the final quarter of last year, it managed to gain over 4,000 new customers and 10,000 handsets. Elliott Noss, the chief executive officer of Tucows, was quick to point how Ting also improved upon its customer turnover rate, posting churn of 2.5 percent in Q4 2016 compared to the 2.8 percent churn recorded in Q3 2016 and better than the 2.7 percent churn registered in Q4 2015.
Similar to what RingPlus used to do, Ting Mobile leases network capacity from Sprint, while adding support for a GSM network (most likely that of T-Mobile) starting in 2014. With the discontinuation of RingPlus, more than a hundred thousand of its customers will have to find another mobile service provider, and Ting should be looking to capitalize. Nine out of ten RingPlus users have availed of free, ad supported mobile plans, and a significant percentage of them will likely migrate to Ting.
Noss also took the opportunity to explain that Ting Mobile has reached a tentative agreement with RingPlus to move the soon to be defunct MVNO’s customers to Ting. Noss also made it clear that the agreement made will not involve any transfer of resources or assets, but more of a marketing agreement.
Of course, it is difficult to estimate just how many of the customers will be making the move. Even more tricky to determine is how many of the former RingPlus users on free plans will be open to the idea of migrating to a paid Ting Mobile plan. But as stated by Noss, even if Ting gets some 5,000 to 7,000 new customers coming from RingPlus, the carrier will not be complaining.
Tucows (which operates Ting Mobile) recorded close to $49 million in revenues during the last three months of 2016, managing to post a 9 percent year over year improvement. On top of that, the company registered rising revenues for the whole year, increasing 11 percent to nearly $190 million in 2016. In light of what has happened to RingPlus lately, Tucows will certainly be eager to check its next quarterly results, just to see how much it will have gained from RingPlus’ demise.
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