Prepaid Faceoff: BYO Wireless and PTel Mobile

BYO logo


With the massive number of prepaid MVNOs and carrier options, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all and even harder to compare and decide which company is the right one for you. So, every once in a while we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two popular companies, comparing plans and services to help you better decide. Today, we’ll look at BYO Wireless and PTel Mobile. Both carriers offer service through T-Mobile, while BYO also offers Verizon service as well. However, BYO is also lacking some features. Here’s how they compare:

Plan Prices  Price range? What is included?

BYO Wireless – Plans range from $5 – $70

BYO has a variety of plans for consumers to choose from and a 5% discount for customers who sign up for the auto renew program. Many of the plans are geared towards light users, but there are some decently-priced unlimited options as well. Check out the plans here.

PTel Mobile – Plans range from $20 – $60

PTel has a wide range of plans, some of which offer high speed data while others do not. All of PTel’s plans include unlimited talk and text as well as Wifi calling. See the plan options here.

Unlimited Talk/Text  Is it offered? What is the lowest price?

BYO Wireless – Yes, $25 is the cheapest plan with both unlimited talk and text. This plan includes no data.

PTel Mobile – Yes, $20 is the lowest unlimited talk and text, and it includes 250 MB of 2G data

Data Ranges  What is the most and least data available?

BYO Wireless – The cheapest plan includes 20 MB of data, but there is an unlimited plan with no data. The most data available is 5 GB. LTE is not yet supported.

PTel Mobile – Data ranges from 250 MB to unlimited low speed data with 10 GB of high speed. LTE data is, obviously, available but is not included on plans priced under $30.

Pay-As-You-Go Rates  What are the pay-as-you-go per minute rates?

BYO Wireless – Pay-as-you-go is not offered

PTel Mobile – Airtime is charged at a rate of $0.05 per minute, $0.02 per text (local and international) and $0.10 per MB.  Top-up options range from $10 – $100 with the expiration date increasing with the value of the top-up. Refills last between 60 days and 1 year.

International Calling  What options are available? What does it cost?

BYO Wireless – None; BYO does not support international calling

PTel Mobile – International calls deplete your regular airtime and also cost per minute. PTel offers around 40 destinations for one cent per minute, and several other countries for varying rates. Monthly plans include $1 – $10 Cash Bucket which can be used for international calling. The amount varies depending on which unlimited monthly plan you have. For more information, see this page.

Activation Fees  How much do they cost?

BYO Wireless – No fees

PTel Mobile – No fees

BYOD  Can you activate your own device?

BYO Wireless – Yes, in fact BYO does not sell devices at all. Both CDMA and GSM phones can be activated, provided they meet compatibility requirements.

PTel Mobile – Yes, provided you have a compatible GSM phone

Network/Coverage  What network does it use?

BYO Wireless – T-Mobile or Verizon | Coverage Maps

PTel Mobile – T-Mobile | Coverage Map