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Lycamobile pay-as-you-go review

Lycamobile specialises in pay-as-you-go SIMs for international calls. It has a wide range of top-up packages geared towards different geographical areas and, compared to standard international rates, it’s one of the cheapest ways to make international calls on a mobile.

Lyca still has some uncertainty hanging over it with regards to its UK coverage and its mobile data speed. Also, UK customers who aren’t planning on making international calls might not find as much value with its domestic packages.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

Lycamobile is ideal for making international calls from your mobile. Some questions remain over its data speed and coverage, but its pay-as-you-go bundles are flexible and varied, and can be chopped and changed using the My Lycamobile feature.

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Coverage & data speed

Rating

2

Lycamobile does not have its own network, and instead uses the O2 mobile network. This means its coverage and speed are likely to be similar those of O2’s, but may not always be identical. Unfortunately, Lyca does not have a coverage checker on its website, which makes it difficult to find out if your area is covered.

Lycamobile offers both 3G and 4G data speeds. The 4G network gives you a faster, smoother connection to the internet than 3G. Lyca only offers a 4G service on its UK Plan 15, which comes with a 6GB usage limit: the biggest data allowance on offer with Lyca.

3G coverage
91%*
4G coverage
51%*
Average 3G speed*
5.6Mbps*
Average 4G speed*
15.6Mbps*
Call allowance
From 12p/min (bundles available)
Text allowance
From 19p/text (bundles available)
Data allowance
From 9p/MB (bundles available)
PAYG handsets
No
*Lyca runs on O2’s mobile network in the UK, so coverage and speed figures are taken from Ofcom results for O2.
Prices from
3G coverage 91%*
4G coverage 51%*
Average 3G speed* 5.6Mbps*
Average 4G speed* 15.6Mbps*
Call allowance From 12p/min (bundles available)
Text allowance From 19p/text (bundles available)
Data allowance From 9p/MB (bundles available)
PAYG handsets No
Prices from Free
*Lyca runs on O2’s mobile network in the UK, so coverage and speed figures are taken from Ofcom results for O2.
Info

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Data usage

Rating

2

The standard rate for data usage with Lycamobile is 9p per megabyte (MB). Lyca offers data bundles from £5, which gives you cheaper data if you need it. Data is also included in the UK Plans and International Bundles.

Lyca gives you the option of setting up an auto renewal for your bundle. This means your mobile will automatic top up once you drop below a certain amount of data. You can adjust these settings to make sure you never run out of data, but it’s worth keeping an eye on how much you’re using so you don’t overspend.

Calls & texts

Rating

4

Landline, mobile and text rates vary from country to country, and you can work out your rate from Lyca’s website. Generally, calls to other Lyca customers are cheaper, and Lyca provides cheaper rates for UK calls on its UK Plan.

Lyca offers UK and international bundles, which give you a combination of UK and international calls, texts and data for a set price. International bundles are broken down further into geographical areas. The Monthly Eastern 12, for example, gives you 1,200 minutes to landlines and mobiles in five Eastern European countries.

UK and international bundles are valid for a specific amount of time (usually a week or month) and can be purchased again after that period, or set to automatically top up once you’ve used a certain amount of your allowance.

Extra features

Rating

3

Lyca offers its customers access to My Lycamobile, an online account which lets you monitor your calls and texts online and keep track of how much you’re spending. You can also alter your automatic top-ups. Lyca has a multilingual customer service team, open seven days a week, that should be able to help with any problems you might have.

For students with a valid NUS card, there is a 10% discount available on all online top-ups, and customers can transfer credit from one Lyca account to another using the International Airtime Transfer function, so you can share credit between family and friends.

Value for money

Rating

3

Lycamobile specialises in cheap international minutes. There is an abundance of packages and rates to choose from, so you should be able to find one suitable for whichever country you’re trying to call. Lyca is one of the cheapest ways to get in contact with friends and family in another country using a mobile.

It’s a different story if you’re a domestic customer, however, as there are cheaper ways to talk and text to UK mobiles than with Lyca. Lycamobile’s value is determined more by who you need to call on a regular basis – all calls between Lyca customers are free, and there are cash incentives for signing up a friend.

International students who want to keep in touch with friends and family back home will find Lyca’s student bundles and 10% student discount good value for money compared to the international rates of a standard mobile package.

Overall Rating

2.8

Lyca offers a cheap way to make international calls from your mobile. Its pay-as-you-go SIM-only deals are flexible and varied and can be controlled using the My Lycamobile webpage. Compared to other providers, its domestic packages are not such good value and we’re left a little in the dark as to its data speed and coverage, but if you are using it specifically to call another country, it presents very good value.

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