updated 04:19 pm EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Age of device likely overriding concern
Sprint-based MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) Ting will start supporting unlocked iPhone 5 units on its network by next week, sources say. The carrier's iPhone support has so far been limited to the iPhone 4 and 4S; iPhone 5 support has allegedly been held up by Sprint, which often avoids allowing phones on MVNOs until they're a generation or more behind. Because the iPhone 5s and 5c have been available for several months already, the iPhone 5 has reportedly been given the go-ahead.
Unlike most carriers, Ting charges on a mainly usage-based system, meaning that base costs can run as little as $3 a month. The catch is that subscribers only have access to a limited range of new and used phones, and the bring-your-own-device option is restricted to unlocked Sprint hardware.