What’s special about the data in SpinTel’s plans ?
SpinTel have one of the fairest approaches to data that we’ve seen. As you’ll see in the article below, we ran a survey recently which showed that 28% of phone users have been charged $10 or more for data, on top of their plan fee, in the last month.
SpinTel let you put a stop to that, if you’d like. Uniquely, in Australia, SpinTel allow users to set a limit or ‘cap’ to the amount of data in your plan. For example, if you buy a plan from them with a 6GB a month data entitlement, you can ‘cap’ it so that when you have used that 6GB, no data is automatically added.
We have more details of how SpinTel’s data management features work in the article below.
Do SpinTel Sell Mobile Broadband Plans?
Yes. SpinTel have two different sorts of mobile broadband plans in their range. You can see their mobile broadband offering on our dedicated page.
The primary difference between the two sorts of mobile broadband plans that SpinTel offer are their portability. With one mobile broadband plan type, targeted at home users, you’ll get larger data allowances each month but the service is less portable. They’ll give you a wireless broadband router for home use which you plug in to the mains. This sort of plan is a competitor for the NBN.
SpinTel’s other mobile broadband plan is designed for more mobile users, who value portability. These plans are for use in tablets or laptops (with a ‘dongle’). Data allowances are smaller but this sort of service is completely portable.
How do SpinTel compare against the competition?
SpinTel shape up well against the competition. Their data inclusions are some of the best in the market and their ‘data cap’ facility is unique. We compare them against their main rivals in the article below.
SpinTel sell postpaid plans, what is postpaid?
Postpaid plans are plans you pay for after you’ve used them. To get a postpaid plan, you’ll need to pass a credit check. Billing is monthly on a day of the month (usually the 1st, 12th or 15th of the month).
Can I keep my existing phone number if I love to SpinTel?
Yes you can. Learn more here.
Who should I be comparing with?
- Unique user set 'Cap' so you won't use too much data
- Established brand with multiple products including fixed
- 'Fair' approach - especially to data charging
- Nothing you don't need (e.g. included TV streaming.)
- Spintel only offer postpaid plans
- Some strange sign up fees e.g. $10 to activate SIM
- 3-4 Business Day Delivery for SIMs
Everything you need to know about SpinTel in less than 60 seconds
- SpinTel sell postpaid SIM Only and Mobile Broadband plans.
- They are a network reseller. Their plans will give you access to the full Optus 3G and 4G Plus network.
- SpinTel’s key point of difference is the way they sell data. Their approach is fairer than most.
- SpinTel offer you the chance to set a limit (they call it a) ‘cap’ on your data usage. (We explain how it works, below.)
- Their plans are voice and data only, you won’t get anything you won’t need. (Such as included streamed audio or streamed video – again, we explain what these things mean and which phone companies do provide them, below.)
- SpinTel are an award winner – they picked up Money Magazine’s ‘Best Value’ award this year.
- Make sure you compare SpinTel’s data inclusions, especially with their closest competitors, Vaya and Moose Mobile.
Introducing SpinTel – Competitive plans with a unique method of charging for data
SpinTel are a sizable Australian phone company. They’ve been around for a good deal longer than most. SpinTel offer a full range of phone company products including fixed broadband connections and fixed landline voice services.
SpinTel operate in an insanely competitive Optus reseller market, (see chart, below) differentiating on price and customer service, not entertainment inclusions. That’s a very different strategy to the way Optus, Telstra and others are starting to provide alternatives to basic plans such as streamed entertainment.
Comparing Speeds SpinTel Customers Will Get vs Telstra, Optus and Vodafone’s 4G speeds
SpinTel’s pricing is generally very good, and that’s especially true about their data inclusions. Their plans also have some International Call credit, starting at a price point which is lower than most of their competitors. SpinTel are not a company which invest heavily in introductory offers, however, in the way we have come to expect from Boost Mobile or Moose Mobile.
SpinTel’s unique approach to helping you manage your data
Importantly, in our view, SpinTel are ‘fair’ about how they manage their data. There is such a range of options available now, for people looking to buy a SIM Only plan, that we’re starting to see the right sort of behavior generated in (at least some of) the phone companies out there. SpinTel are one example. Overall, phone companies are becoming fairer about all their fees and that’s especially true when it comes to working out how they charge their users for data.
SpinTel’s plans have a unique ‘data cap’ feature – a fairer treatment of data in a plan.
How are Australian phone companies becoming fairer?
- They are passing on price reductions / data increases without you having to ask:
When price changes are released these days, some phone companies will pass them on to their customers without being asked to. ( See competitor section below for the two examples of this we mention – Lebara and OVO Mobile.) In the past, reduced pricing was often only provided to new customers. If existing customers wanted the new pricing, they had to take a new SIM or leave the phone company and then buy a new SIM to ‘come back.’
- SpinTel allow you to set a ‘hard limit’ or ‘cap’ on your data cap:
The industry standard for postpaid data charging these days is $10 GB per GB, for every GB of ‘overage’ you incur. If, for example, you have a 12 month postpaid SIM Only contract with Optus, and your plan entitles you to 2GB per month, but you end up using 2.5GB, you will be charged the plan fee for the 2GB and an additional $10 for the extra half GB you need. With SpinTel, if you’d like, you can set your own limit to be the plan limit. i.e. You can tell SpinTel, at the point you buy your plan from them that you want the data to STOP at 2GB.
We think facilities like this should be standard offerings from phone companies. SpinTel is the only Australian phone company we’re aware of, which offers this sort of hard stop on a data plan. Here’s why SpinTel’s data charging makes sense. (See image, below.) We conducted a survey of excess data charging late last year. We found that 28% of people in Australia had been charged that extra $10 for data (or more) in the previous month. SpinTel’s facility to set a limit can prevent these charges.
(Note, SpinTel do not insist you use this feature, you elect to turn it on or off when you buy the plan).
28% of Australians have been charged more for extra data. You can avoid that with SpinTel.
What network do SpinTel Use?
SpinTel use the full Optus 3G and 4G Plus network. That means, with a SpinTel SIM, you get access to exactly the same coverage and speed as anyone would if they went in to an Optus store and bought a SIM from Optus themselves.
In a recent National Australian survey, Optus customers had access to a 4G signal 90.5% of the time, compared to Telstra’s 88.06% of the time .
Comparing Telstra, Optus and Vodafone’s 4G population coverage
As Optus increases its network footprint and speed, those benefits are passed on to SpinTel customers. For example, Optus have rolled out LTE-A, an enhancement to the 4G network which offers double data speeds, also known as carrier aggregation, in a number of places around Australia. With the right phone, you will get double data speeds over your cellular connection. You can find out more about LTE-A, LTE-B and the Optus network on our coverage page.
Comparing Speeds SpinTel Customers Will Get vs Telstra, Optus and Vodafone’s 4G speeds
What is SpinTel’s Mobile Broadband offering?
SpinTel are unusual when it comes to their Mobile Broadband offerings. They have two different types of plan. The difference between them is the level of portability they offer.
- SpinTel ‘Home’ wireless broadband:
SpinTel’s home broadband is the less common mobile broadband facility you’ll find. You’ll need to buy a broadband router for $70 per month from SpinTel, if you want to use it. When you do, you’ll get a mobile data allocation of 230 GB – about average Australian home broadband usage – for the price of a fixed connection. This sort of facility will suit those without a growing reliance on home streamed media accounts like Netflix and potentially, those who prefer not to move to new NBN plans. This plan is less portable than their alternative because it requires a fixed router to be in place and connected to mains power, to function.
- SpinTel Mobile Broadband:
SpinTel’s second offering is far more common. A variety of phone companies now offer mobile broadband, it’s one of the fastest growing and newly popular sections of the phone company market. This sort of SIM can be inserted in to a tablet or ‘dongle’ device to give your computing power access to the mobile data network. This sort of plan is more flexible than the alternative SpinTel offer – it can be physically moved daily or even by the hour.
What’s not so good about SpinTel
No phone company is perfect. Here are the things we suggest you bear in mind if you’re considering taking a SIM from SpinTel:
- SpinTel charge a $10 activation fee:
It’s not unheard of for a phone company to charge you an activation fee when you sign up. SpinTel’s is $10. It’s a strange charge from a customer point of view. Most phone companies these days do not include this sort of activation charge, so it can come as a surprise if you’re not expecting to see it on your bill. From inside the phone company, it seems like a reasonable charge to apply – because there are a lot of costs associated with attracting and connecting customers. From the individual’s point of view, however, the feeling is usually ‘they’re lucky to have me – why would they charge me $10!’
- 3-4 business day delivery:
SpinTel will take 3 to 4 Business Days to deliver our SIM to you. That can feel like a long time, especially for a phone company with no retail presence (so you can’t even pop down the shops and pick a SIM up if you’re in a real hurry.) 3-4 days is also a problem given that Amaysim, one of their key rivals offers same day delivery in metro areas. (Although they do charge for the facility.)
- No entertainment options:
An ever larger number of plans, especially those form the bigger phone companies, are being provided with included entertainment options like Streaming Video On Demand or streamed audio. If you consume a lot of content on your phone, these included plan features can be worth having.
Comparing SpinTel to other Australian phone companies
SpinTel vs Optus and OVO is Included Entertainment
The key point of difference between both Optus and SpinTel and OVO and SpinTel is the entertainment which OVO Mobile and Optus include in their plans. Both Optus and OVO have the rights to stream sports event videos to your phone. Each provides the service as part of their phone plan offering. SpinTel do not.
SpinTel only offer postpaid plans. Optus, in contrast, sells both prepaid and postpaid plans. OVO is a prepaid SIM provider. It’s worth bearing in mind these prepaid options if, for some reason, you find it difficult to get through SpinTel’s checkout. You need a decent credit history to take out a postpaid phone plan. You’re effectively signing a credit agreement when you buy one. Prepaid plans can be a bit easier to pick up.
OVO are one of the phone companies who pass on their price cuts to all existing customers. When they drop their prices or raise their data inclusions, those will often be passed on to existing customers.
Optus offer data rollover on their prepaid plans which many people also like.
SpinTel vs Amaysim
SpinTel and Amaysim are very similar phone companies, which both operate in the very competitive Optus reseller market. Both are known, reliable brands.
SpinTel is a postpaid provider with a slightly smaller range of plans. Amaysim now sell only prepaid plans. Amaysim offer faster delivery of new SIMs, especially if you live in cities. (They sometimes charge to get it to you same day.)
Amaysim also have a decent range of mobile broadband plans and won our ‘Best for Mobile Broadband’ award in the 2018 WhatPhone Awards.
Spntel vs Vaya and Moose Mobile
Vaya and Moose are both postpaid phone companies, again, just like SpinTel. Moose, Vaya and SpinTel all use the Optus network. Neither Vaya or SpinTel offer ‘unnecessary extras’ (non core features like entertainment in their plans.)
Moose are developing a reputation for going hard on promotional offers, especially dropping the price of the first month for new users. SpinTel tend to keep their core data inclusions strong and avoid introductory offers.
SpinTel vs Boost Mobile and Belong
The key difference between SpinTel and Boost Mobile is the network they use. Boost is the only phone company in Australia which uses the full Telstra Mobile Network. Boost is a bit of a hidden gem. They’re a prepaid provider but, because of their network advantage, a SIM from Boost is often the cheapest way to get data on the Telstra network.
Belong resell access to a proportion of the Telstra network and offer postpaid plans. Like SpinTel , they have a useful data management feature, which acts as a tool to keep you hooked on their service. Belong’s plans come with a ‘data vault’ which means that, whatever data you buy, is yours forever. The data doesn’t disappear at the end of the month, if you don’t use it, it rolls over forever.
SpinTel vs Lebara and Kogan Mobile
Lebara use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network. The main reason to consider them is the international calls in their plans. Our analysis shows that if you make more than an hour of calls to overseas numbers, from within Australia, you should consider a dedicated plan, with unlimited international minutes.
Lebara are also one of the other phone companies which will pass on a price cut to you, whether you are an existing customer or signing up to a new SIM.
Kogan Mobile do with their Prepaid plan brand, what they do with their electronic goods. They sell a lot of them at affordable prices. Kogan’s data just keeps getting cheaper. If you live in a metro area and are open to the Vodafone network then you should be considering Kogan Mobile.
Both Kogan and Lebara offer a type of plan which Spintel don’t. Lebara and Kogan both have ‘multi-month’ or ‘long expiry’ plans. Unique to prepaid plan variants, ‘long expiry’ plans allow you to pay upfront for your usage and get a discount.
Summing up SpinTel’s Australian Plan Range
The Koala mascot Spintel have is about the cutest telco emblem we’ve seen. It’s a nice distraction from the frenetic pace of the market SpinTel operate in. SpinTel’s data pricing is, as I write this, about the best there is among the MVNOs who resell the Optus network. Of course, that could change tomorrow, with a new promotion. SpinTel jostle for position against OVO, Moose, Vaya and Amaysim – they all operate on the Optus network, a very competitive market sector.
We visit many of the offices of the companies we work with. SpinTel are one of the most efficient we’ve seen, which, especially, when you’re an Optus reseller, is a sign of good things. Simply put, inefficient phone companies (with lots of expensive staff) operating in such a competitive arena would not last long.
As we move ever closer to 5G being a national product set, SpinTel are ahead when it comes to mobile broadband. They already have 2 versions of this service. We can see them performing very well when it comes to the launch of 5G and mobile broadband becomes a serious competitor for fixed broadband connections.