In the last few months, little Sprint MVNO Ring Plus has been getting a lot of media attention for its recent plan overhaul and the almost weekly promotions. I’ve had a lot of questions about Ring Plus in the last few months. So, due to popular demand, today I we’ll do a brief overview of the company and what it currently offers.
Keep in mind that Ring Plus has been making a lot of changes to its plans, and while I am going to write this based on what is available at the time of publication, it’s totally conceivable that within a week or so, the numbers I give will be not quite correct. Please bear that in mind. I am going to include links to RP’s website so you can double check the figures for yourself!
Despite only recently hitting the radar of most sites (this one included) Ring Plus has actually been around for a while. There isn’t a lot of information available on Ring Plus, and I wasn’t able to get a hold of their PR department in time for this article. However, Bloomberg reports indicate
that the company has actually been around since 2006. So, while the growth seems sudden, in reality it’s probably only because the build up from a small company to one with competitive offerings went unnoticed by most.
Ring Plus has two different kinds of plans available to different kinds of consumers. The first kind is your normal monthly option which spans 30 days and gives customers a set amount of minutes, texts and data to spend. Prices for the monthly plans range from $2 – $50 depending on if you need unlimited or not. There don’t seem to be any family plan options and all plans have a handful of included features. Plans are all codenamed with names like “Harmony” or “Mint.” There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the naming, so I suppose it’s just one of those small-business quirks at this point. Check out the current plans here.
The second kind of plan that Ring Plus offers is the free tier. There are three to four free plans that are available at various points, all of which are supported by something called Ring Plus Radio. Ring Plus Radio basically plays advertisements instead of a ringing noise in order to support the free calling. Reportedly, the advertisements won’t slow down the call and will stop immediately upon answering. There are three free plans currently listed on the website, but several are only available during promotional periods which seem to be nearly weekly, usually on Sundays.
Call Features and Devices
Ring Plus offers various features including streaming radio (not to be confused with the ad service Ring Plus Radio), wifi calling and voicemail transcription. The company also offers international calling at a select minute per rate which varies from country to country. Check out the calling features here.
As far as devices goes, Ring Plus is able to activate most Sprint devices. However, as you all likely remember, Sprint is pretty Nazi when it comes to phones allowed on its network so make sure you double check before you jump in. Ring Plus also has phones for sale although the options are extremely limited and the prices are all over the place. You might be better off to do an unlocked Sprint device. Some customers reported being able to activate unused Boost phones on Ring Plus, but it seems to be a case-by-case basis and likely not something that’s technically allowed so I wouldn’t bank on that.
Network and Roaming
Ring Plus uses Sprint’s towers which, if you’ve ever had Sprint, you know is kind of a bad thing. And, while Ring Plus does allow for roaming on to “partner networks” (read: Verizon) it is going to cost you. If you are roaming, then Ring Plus will charge $0.14 per minute and a whopping $0.55 per MB while you’re roaming. The roaming status will be indicated on your device, but is not available for all devices and is not turned on by default. To turn on roaming, customers must change settings inside the dashboard on your Ring Plus account. For more information, call customer service and they can walk you through it, although personally I don’t know that I’d want to pay that much per minute.
I’ve dealt with the customer service at Ring Plus a little bit and for the most part they have been pretty helpful, if not slightly hard to get a hold of. However, Ring Plus does have a very knowledgable and active community behind it and any questions you have can be asked in the Ring Plus forums. Additionally, Rung Plus CEO Karl Seelig has an active presence on the forums, so it can be a pretty neat sneak peek into the company and a great way to be heard. Check it out here.
Personally, I can’t express enough how much I wish that Ring Plus was on basically any network other than Sprint. The customer service seems pretty great, the support is great and the plans the company offers are actually fairly competitive–I mean, $20 for unlimited talk and text plus 1 GB of data isn’t too shabby. The free plans, especially, certainly are something worth looking at and the idea of listening to radio advertisements to pay for free minutes is certainly an intriguing idea.
However, while all of those things are fantastic, unless you have really good Sprint reception in your area, I’m not sure I’d be able to recommend this company too strongly. For me, the $0.14 per minute roaming is understandable but a little hard to swallow when it would be just as easy to go to an MVNO with better reception and get better coverage for similar prices.
For those of you living in one of those places with great Sprint coverage, hopping on the Ring Plus bandwagon while it’s still growing is definitely not a bad idea. It seems like Ring Plus has been gaining quite a bit of momentum recently and while the weekly promotions are starting to seem a bit like a gimmick, the savings could be fantastic for light users. This is definitely a company I’ll be keeping my eye on.
If you use Ring Plus, chime in below and let me know your experiences with them!]]>