Ting becomes the first LTE MVNO. Next step: The iPhone

With shipments of the Galaxy S III beginning this week, mobile virtual network operator Ting has broken the curse of the budget operator: It not only has the latest iconic handset, it has the access to the latest network technology, LTE. One hurdle remains: the iPhone.

Virtual carrier Ting gets its first LTE phone, the Galaxy S III

Sprint isn’t holding anything back when it comes to supporting its MVNO partners. Ting will not only get access to a device Sprint started selling only last month, but it will gain immediate entry onto Sprint’s brand new LTE network — permissions other carriers would never grant.

Why are MVNOs so hot right now? Thank the carriers

Mobile virtual network operators are sprouting up like crazy all over the U.S. after becoming nearly extinct a few years ago. Why the renaissance? According to two of those new virtual operators, GSM Nation and TIng, the big carriers are finally letting MVNOs spread their wings.