Freemium Sprint MVNO RingPlus stopped activating new lines on Wednesday, January 25. Concerned RingPlus users have been posting about the stoppage on RingPlus' forum and asking for an explanation from from RingPlus management. So far there has been no response from the company.
There is some precedent, back in October of last year, RingPlus also halted activations. But that time RingPlus posted a notice saying that the activations would be back soon and they were after six days.
An MVNO stopping activations is usually a bad sign. It often means that the mobile operator that powers the MVNO has stopped allowing new activations because the MVNO is behind in its payments. RingPlus not offering any explanation makes encourages speculation that the business is in trouble.
There have been signs of financial stress at RingPlus lately. In December it cancelled most existing plans and required users on the canceled plans to switch to new "Mad" plans that offered fewer minutes, texts and less data at most price points than the old plans. Unlike the cancelled plans, the Mad plans are not ad supported. RingPlus said that it was developing new ad-supported dialer apps and that users on free plans would be required to use the dialer apps as soon as they were available. Initially the dialers were supposed to launch by the end of December, but there's still no sign of them a month later.
RingPlus service for current users is up and running. Although its "free" services aren't completely free as they require initial top ups and in most cases, activation fees, RingPlus is one of the lowest cost mobile services available. I sincerely hope that RingPlus is able to resolve whatever issues are preventing activations and delaying the dialer apps so they can resume offering affordable mobile phone service to new users.