Dan Howdle | March 6th, 2023
Lycamobile specialises in offering international calling plans for anyone who regularly needs to contact friends and family or businesses abroad, who also wants allowances of data, texts and minutes to use in the UK.
Established in 2006, Lycamobile is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) which runs on the O2 network. It now operates in over 60 countries around the world, offering affordable calling plans to over 80 destinations worldwide.
Lycamobile offers eleven SIM-only plans, which it calls its National plans, aimed at UK customers that occasionally want to call abroad. Data allowances range from 3GB to Unlimited. All plans, apart from the entry-level Saver Plan, come with free European roaming and a minimum of 100 international minutes, ideal for customers wanting to stay in touch with family and friends abroad.
Lycamobile also offers three dedicated International Plans, two of which come with a data allowance, unlimited UK minutes and texts and a choice of 500 international minutes and unlimited international minutes. The third plan is international minutes only, but you can choose whether you want 3000 international minutes to any destination or fewer minutes to a fixed destination, such as India, the Philippines, or Afghanistan.
Lycamobile offers a single, fully unlimited data plan, which also comes with unlimited UK minutes and texts, as well as unlimited international minutes and free EU roaming, offering a huge amount of freedom. It also offers what it calls Endless Data, which comes with 150GB of data on full speed and then reduced speed thereafter.
Aimed at anyone who wants to keep in regular touch with family abroad, Lycamobile is one of just a few specialist mobile providers that offers affordable international calls bundled up with its UK SIM-only deals. Its international per-minute calls are considerably cheaper than the standard rate. The per-minute rate to India costs just 1p, compared to BT’s cheapest international landline rate of almost 7p per minute. Calls to Australia cost just 1p to a landline and 9p to a mobile, which compares favourably to the 41p per minute that it costs to make a call from a BT landline to an Australian mobile.
All Lycamobile’s National and International plans come on 30-day rolling contracts, meaning you can cancel or just change your plan from month to month. The provider also offers Long Term Plans, which require upfront payment for the contract length of your choice – three months, six months or 12 months. Choose from data allowances of 15GB, 30GB or 100GB of data, with unlimited UK minutes and texts, and 100 international minutes, all of which automatically renew monthly for the duration of your plan.
Customers finding they are short of data can add a bolt-on of 1GB, 3GB or 10GB to their plan, valid for a month.
Lycamobile offers a small selection of phones, available to buy outright or on a monthly repayment plan, which you can choose to pair with a SIM-only deal. Lycamobile does not offer pay monthly phone and airtime deals in the same way that other mobile providers do.
The latest handsets are not available, however, so if you are after the most recent iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, then you will have to look elsewhere, but slightly older models of the premium handsets are available, along with much cheaper phones from Doro and Alcatel.
If you already have a phone you want to use with Lycamobile, you will just need to check that it is unlocked first. You can do this by contacting your existing provider directly and they can arrange unlocking for you if necessary.
Lycamobile also sells a small selection of mobile accessories, including earphones and smart watches, available to buy outright or on a monthly repayment scheme.
Lycamobile customers can get in touch with customer services by calling 322 from a Lycamobile number or on 0207 132 0322 from any number. Lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and there are multilingual staff on hand to help those whose first language isn’t English. Alternatively you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the online web form to send a message.
The provider is also present on a number of social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook @LycamobileUK, where you can post a question or get in touch via direct message.
Lycamobile is too small to feature in Ofcom’s regular reports into customer service satisfaction, but there currently almost 13,000 reviews of Lycamobile on the Trustpilot website. The average score is 4.3 out of 5 stars, which is excellent when compared to the likes of O2 (with 1.3), Vodafone (with 1.3) and EE (with 2.2).
Lycamobile customers can keep track of their account on the My Lycamobile app, on which you can make payments, top-up your plan, keep an eye on data usage and benefit from special offers and discounts.
Lycamobile’s plans sit roughly mid-range when it comes to price. For example, its UK Plan Unlimited Plus comes with unlimited data, unlimited texts, unlimited UK minutes and unlimited international minutes, and is cheaper than a comparable unlimited Vodafone plan, but more expensive than a Smarty or ID Mobile plan. However, those plans do not come with the bonus of unlimited international minutes, so we’d argue that Lycamobile offers excellent value for money – if you need to regularly make international calls. If you rarely make international calls, then there are cheaper plans out there with other providers.
It’s also worth remembering that Lycamobile plans come with free EU roaming whereas, with the notable exception of O2, most other providers now charge a daily rate for using your UK data allowance in Europe.
Lycamobile has its own rewards app - Lycarewards – available to download from Google Play. By just watching the ads you can earn points to spend on gift cards for Amazon or Tesco, or earn credit to put towards your Lycamobile plan.
Lycamobile runs on the O2 network, which offers 5G in over 200 towns and cities, and 4G to over 99 percent of the population. According to Ofcom’s latest report, 92 percent of O2’s customers said they were satisfied with the network overall, which is fractionally above the industry average of 91 percent.
O2 is continuing to roll out its 5G network, but it is thus far limited to more urban areas, so if you are in a rural area, you may have to be content with 4G for the time being. However, all Lycamobile’s plans come with 5G as standard, so, subject to having a 5G-ready phone, you can benefit from 5G as soon as it becomes available.
You can check what coverage is like in your area by visiting the Lycamobile coverage checker on the provider’s website.
Lycamobile runs on the O2 network, comes with inclusive international calls and free EU roaming. It offers a good choice of SIM-only plans, with flexible data allowances to suit every budget, as well as a handful of phones available to buy outright or over a repayment period. It comes with 5G as standard (subject to availability in your area) and with all its SIM-only plans on one-month contracts, customers are free to cancel or switch plan as often as they like.
If you want a provider that will allow you to make cheap calls abroad as well as plenty of calls, texts and data to use in this country for an affordable monthly price, then Lycamobile is a good bet.