Who are Pennytel?
Pennytel is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). They were liquidated in 2013, and were then purchased by MyNetFone. The MVNO used to resell the Vodafone Network, but switched to Telstra’s Wholesale Network in 2018 amidst a complete re-branding effort that also saw their plans revamped.
Pennytel’s revamped lineup now include more competitive plans, all of which are under $30 and include unlimited standard national voice, SMS, and MMS, along with some data.
What is Telstra’s Wholesale Network?
Telstra is the largest telco in Australia and they have the best coverage. The telco also allow smaller providers to resell their network, but typically allows only part of their network to be resold. This partial network scheme is referred to as the Telstra Wholesale Network and it offers less coverage than the full Telstra Network. Boost Mobile is the only MVNO that resells the full Telstra network.
How is Pennytel’s coverage?
Although Pennytel only resells part of Telstra’s network, this still amounts to really great coverage. Telstra’s Wholesale Network offers 4G coverage of 97% of the Australian population, and 3G coverage at 98.8%.
Are Pennytel plans postpaid, prepaid, or both?
Pennytel offer seven postpaid month-to-month mobile plans. These are SIM Only no lock-in contract plans that don’t require you to purchase a phone from Pennytel — bring your own phone and plug in the Pennytel SIM. If you’re one of the many Australians who want a prepaid plan, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Prepaid plans make up 45% of all mobile connections in Australia — the most popular single plan type — and so this reduces Pennytel’s value a bit.
Further, although Pennytel’s postpaid plans include unlimited standard national voice, SMS, and MMS, you will find better data offers elsewhere on all of their price points. For example, Pennytel offer only 1GB of data on their smallest plan; Amaysim will give you 2GB at a similar price.
Are their SIM and delivery free?
Yes, Pennytel won’t charge you for your SIM, and they will deliver it to you for free via standard post. According to Pennytel, you should get your SIM delivered within 7 business days in you’re in a metropolitan area, or a couple of business days longer in remote areas.
Will they let me keep my current number if I switch?
Yes, you can take your existing phone number with you if you switch over to Pennytel, like most other telcos.
Do they have a self-service app?
Do Pennytel’s plans have international inclusions?
We have a dedicated page where you can see all of our phone plans with international calls included.
Pennytel’s four largest plans (L, XL, XXL, XXXL) all come with unlimited international calls and SMS to the following 15 countries from within Australia: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Germany, India, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States of America.
All other plans are charged per minute for International calls and SMS, and Pennytel do not sell any international packs or add ons.
As for calls to other countries that aren’t on the list, Pennytel will charge pay-as-you-go rates. Check out their website for the exact cost per minute.
What about roaming? Do Pennytel’s plans include roaming?
Pennytel will sell you a roaming pack for $10 per day, which includes unlimited voice and SMS from eligible countries, along with 200MB of data. The pack is activated when you activate roaming and arrive at an eligible country, and this add-on expires 24 hours after activation. Note that this pack renews automatically everyday if you continue using it.
Can additional data be purchased?
Yes, but Pennytel don’t offer massive additional data packs — they offer a 1GB pack that you can purchase for $10 when your plan data is exhausted. You can actually add this 1GB pack at any time during your billing cycle, but note that it expires once your billing cycle renews, regardless of when you purchase the extra data. You can also purchase additional 1GB packs of data, but note that with each purchase, your previous pack is forfeited. There is no data bank or rollover of any kind.
Will canceling or switching plans incur any charges?
No. You can cancel or switch Pennytel plans without any fear of getting charged. However, all unused inclusions will be lost if you do.
Are there any fees I should be aware of?
If you don’t provide Pennytel with an email address, they will charge you $2.50 for a paper bill.
Do Pennytel offer any fair data features?
Do Pennytel offer entertainment content?
- Powered by the Telstra Mobile Network
- No fees for changing or canceling plans
- Unlimited international talk and SMS to 15 countries on bigger plans
- Roaming pack available
- No prepaid options (see our prepaid page)
- No entertainment options included
- An MVNO reselling part of the Telstra Mobile Network
- Pennytel offer affordable, basic, postpaid plans with nothing you don’t need
- International inclusions and roaming options on some of their plans
- You’ll get Unlimited voice, SMS, and MMS, along with some data
- Better data offers are available from other providers
- No ‘fair’ data features (we explain what we mean by that, below.)
- No entertainment content
Pennytel is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) owned by MyNetFone (MNF). You might have heard about Pennytel before — they got liquidated back in 2013 and have since been rebranded and re-built, better than ever.
Pennytel used to resell the Vodafone Mobile Network, but they switched to the Telstra Wholesale network in 2018. The MVNO made the announcement in 2017, touting the move’s advantage of better network coverage, thanks to Telstra’s wholesale scheme.
Telstra’s wholesale scheme allows MVNOs to resell part of the Telstra Network, with 3G covering 98.8% of the Australian population, and 4G covering 97%. This certainly gives Pennytel a boost over its previous Vodafone network.
Pennytel now offer more competitive deals, with all plans including unlimited national voice, SMS, and MMS (videos come at a cost, though), along with some data. They offer seven postpaid SIM Only plans, four of which are under $30. Four of their larger plans also include unlimited International calls and SMS to 15 select countries.
Pennytel landed in MyNetFone’s hands after the MVNO’s founder, Amadu Yahaya, made some questionable payments from Hi-Tech Telecom, another of his VoIP companies. The court ordered the liquidation, and MNF stepped in for the purchase and takeover. If MNF didn’t buy Pennytel at that time, the MVNO’s customers would have had their lines turned off — literally.
Any news of fraudulent behaviour by a telco (or any company, for that matter) is worth noting. However, in this case, Pennytel have since switched hands — they are no longer owned by the party accused of fraudulent behaviour. Therefore, the rebranded MVNO should be viewed in light of their current practices — their practices after being purchased by MNF — and, so far, there haven’t been much complaints made against Pennytel.
This Month’s Hot Offers
- Postpaid month-to-month, SIM Only plans with no lock-in contract
Pennytel plans are postpaid month-to-month. There are no lengthy, lock-in contracts, which is great. Bring your own phone and plug in the Pennytel SIM card.
- Free SIM and delivery
Pennytel will deliver your SIM free of charge via standard post.
- You can keep your number
Like most other telcos, you can keep your current phone number if you switch to Pennytel.
- They use the Telstra 3G and 4G network
Pennytel’s switch from Vodafone to Telstra is an upgrade. With Telstra Wholesale Network, 97% of the population is covered by 4G, while 98.8% is covered by 3G. Pennytel have a coverage checker on their page if you aren’t sure about how the network is in your area, and you can learn more about network coverage here.
- Unlimited voice, SMS, and MMS within Australia on all plans
Pennytel have included unlimited national calls, SMS, and MMS on all their plans when they originate in Australia, to Australian phone numbers.
- International inclusions on some plans, and roaming packs available.
Their more expensive plans (L, XL, XXL, XXXL) come with unlimited international calls and SMS to 15 countries: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Germany, India, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States of America. This unlimited international calls and SMS inclusion only applies when calls are made within Australia, and calls to other countries that aren’t on the list are charged at pay-as-you-go rates.
Pennytel also offer a roaming pack at $10 per day. This comes with unlimited calls and SMS from outside Australia, along with 200MB of data. If you purchase this pack and activate roaming on your phone, the pack is activated automatically when you enter another country, expires 24 hours later, and renews every 24 hours with a new $10 charge.
- Self-service app
Pennytel have a self-service app where you can monitor and adjust your plan inclusions. You can also do so online and make adjustments by calling their call centre.
- Top-up data must be purchased; it’s not automatic
A lot of telcos now tag on additional data automatically, whenever you exhaust your data allowance. Pennytel don’t do this; you have to purchase the data add-on yourself at $10 per 1GB. You can purchase this additional data at any time, but you can only buy one pack at a time. If you purchase a 1GB add-on pack before exhausting a previous 1GB purchase, that previous top-up pack will be lost and replaced with the new one.
- Terms regarding early termination
You won’t be charged any fees for terminating your Pennytel SIM Only plan early. However, you won’t be credited for the days or inclusions remaining on that billing cycle.
- Unusual fees
If you provide an email address to Pennytel, they will send your bills there free of charge. However, without an email address, Pennytel will send your bill via post and charge you $2.50 for it.
Pennytel are doing right by customers with their unlimited voice, SMS, and MMS inclusions, along with the international call and SMS inclusions on four of their plans (L, XL, XXL, XXXL). However, their data inclusions can definitely be beat.
- Pennytel offer 1GB of data on their cheapest plan, which cost less than $11. You can get a better offer from Amaysim, who offer 2GB of data at a similar price point using the Optus Network, along with unlimited talk / text and data banking.
- Pennytel offer 3GB of data on their $15.99 plan. Meanwhile, Dodo offer 2GB for $10 and 20GB for $20.
- Pennytel offer 8GB of data on their $19.99 plan. They get beat at this price range by several MVNOs. Circles.Life offer 30GB of data for $25 using the Optus Network, along with unlimited voice, SMS, and MMS. Moose Mobile offer 25GB of data for under $24 ($16.80 with current promo) on the Optus Network, along with unlimited voice and SMS. However, Pennytel inclusions and prices beat some others, including Boost Mobile (5GB at $20 using the full Telstra Network and including data-free streaming of entertainment content), and Amaysim (5GB at $20).
- Pennytel’s Large plan (L) comes with 18GB data at $24.99. Belong Mobile offer you 20GB for a similar price, plus their plan comes with unlimited data banking, which allows you keep your unused data. Pennytel doesn’t allow any such fair data features.
- Pennytel can be beat at all of their seven plans when it comes to inclusions and price points, so be sure to check out our SIM Only page for a broader comparison.
With Australians demanding fair treatment from their telcos, we’re seeing a lot of great data features popping up. Data banking/vaults and data-free streaming are two that stand out. With data banking or vaults, your unused data rolls over to your next billing cycle or recharge. Pennytel doesn’t have any such feature — whatever you don’t use simply disappears when your new billing cycle kicks in.
Data-free streaming allows users stream content without actually spending their plan data. Whatever you stream on your Pennytel plan, however, uses your data allowance.
If you’d like plans with fair data features, check out Amaysim, Telstra and Boost Mobile — they both offer data banking/vaults. If you’d like data-free streaming, check out Telstra, Belong Mobile, and Optus.
You won’t find any entertainment content in your Pennytel plan. Their services are pretty bassic — voice, SMS, MMS, and some data. For mobile offers with sports, music, and tv shows streaming included, you can check out the best mobile phone plans for entertainment.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Pennytel is another MVNO offering the unlimited services you’ve come to expect these days — voice, SMS, and MMS. They throw in some decent data inclusions with every plan offer, but nothing to get too excited about.
Pennytel have been around for a while, and went through some rough times back in 2013 that led to the ownership changing hands. Back then, the MVNO was accused of fraud and was ordered by a court to liquidate. They were then purchased by their current owner, MyNetFone. They’ve undergone a rebrand, switching from the Vodafone Network to Telstra’s wholesale network, boasting better network coverage and better deals overall.
However, there are many other deals out there that are better, and we’ve pointed them out in this article. For more data inclusions at the same price range or less, read our comparison of the best SIM Only plans in Australia.