How to Activate the Moto G on Ting

Posted: October 2, 2014

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:

Sorry, this device can't be activated right now. Sprint says there's an unpaid balance associated with it.

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.


Moto G stock photo

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:
  1. Buy a first generation Moto G (the Boost Mobile version).
  2. Go to the Ting activation page and enter the information they ask for.
  3. Turn on the device and let it activate automatically. You may need to connect to WiFi first.
  4. 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:

  1. Buy a Boost Mobile Moto G (other versions will not work). I bought mine directly from Amazon for $79, but you can also buy one directly from Boost Mobile or from local stores like Target or Best Buy.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

    Ting Moto G Activation

    Ting Moto G swap, port, or new number

  4. 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.
  5. Moto G activating on Ting
  6. 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.
  7. SCRTN carrier settings reset
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

WiFi hotspot fails

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?
    • No, the first generation LTE model and the second generation Moto G are GSM variants only and will not work on Ting. If a CDMA (the technology Ting uses) version is released by Motorola, I will be sure to test it and post that information here and on social media.
If this activation guide and FAQs was helpful for you please let me know by hitting the "1+" or "like" buttons.

17 comments:

Daniel Keys Moran said...

Thanks much. I've been looking to upgrade four of my seven lines on Ting -- this is exactly what I was looking for.

Cam Medlin said...

I am happy to help. Yes, this is a great way to upgrade a large number of phones with minimal expense.

Me said...

Cam, thank you for this

Jerri Mason said...

Is it normal for the service to show up as Motorola instead of Sprint. I uploaded a picture here... https://imgur.com/Gn6NaCJ

Cam Medlin said...

Yes, that is normal. While on Sprint it says Motorola. It will show a roaming indicator when it is roaming: a little triangle above the signal icon and it says "Domestic Roaming" instead of "Motorola" in that pull-down menu. When roaming it looks like this.

Jerri Mason said...

Thank you!

thed said...

Can you still hook up to wifi with this Moto G at home or nowhere at all?
Was hoping for a second gen Moto G but this might be too good of a deal to pass up.

Cam Medlin said...

This will connect to Wi-Fi just fine anywhere. It just can't create a Wi-Fi network for others using mobile data (a hotspot). Connecting to your home, coffee shop, or employers's Wi-Fi works just like any other Android device.

Yeah, I was also hoping for the 2nd gen Moto G, but so far they haven't released one compatible with Ting... Who knows if it will happen at all?

Jerri Mason said...

Do I need a sprint/ting SIM card?

Cam Medlin said...

Nope. No SIM required.

thed said...

Thanks!

alyce ujihara said...

Activation is failing for various reasons (bad_url, comms_socket_error, etc). Any chance I got a second generation phone? How would I be able to tell? Any ideas?

Cam Medlin said...

Did it activate on Ting online okay (the MEID went through successfully as above)? No, if you bought a Boost Mobile Moto G, it is the first generation. If you have not already done this, connect to WiFi, open the phone dialer and press ##72786# let it restart and see if it activates. Are you in an area that has decent Sprint service?

Andrew Ladlie said...

Tried this based on all the positive responses. Activation without a hitch. Test calls worked. 3hrs later I can't make calls. Ting walked me through several reset and updates with no success. Eventually resorting to it's not supported. Thought I would reach out to the community for suggestions. Thanks for any ideas.

Cam Medlin said...

I am very sorry to hear this. I am sure Ting walked you through most of what I would suggest, but I'll try to help... I have never heard of that happening after activation going through okay.

What happens when you try to make a call? What specific problems are you having?

I assume you have already updated the PRL, Profile, and made sure you have the correct settings in your Ting dashboard? Make sure "can send and receive calls" didn't get accidentally unchecked or something easy like that.

I would deactivate the device and reactive it (swap your number to another phone in the interim to avoid losing your number)... after deactivating it do a full factory reset on the Moto G. Then try re-activating and see if that sorts things out.

Martin said...

It appears that Sprint has made a change (again), and that it is now again possible to activate Boost Moto G phones on Ting.

Cam Medlin said...

That is good to hear. Did you buy a new Boost Moto G and successfully activate it? I have one that still fails, and the vast majority of people who voted also couldn't activate Boost phones anymore, so you may have gotten lucky.