Review of Lebara mobile phone plans
Founded in Norway by a group of friends in 2001, Lebara has become a leading mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) around the world, with more than five million customers in eight different countries. It specialises in prepaid phone plans with stacks of unlimited value and a focus on international call inclusions.
In Australia, Lebara operates on the Vodafone 4G network, so you can rest assured you’re being fed a quality service. In fact, in September 2016, Vodafone bought out Lebara, but you still get the same Lebara service and plans, so not to worry. So, what’s on offer from Lebara, and how does it compare to other SIM Only plan providers Down Under? The Scandinavians are praised for a lot of things, but do they know how to give us great phone plans? Let’s find out.
How does Lebara work?
All of Lebara’s mobile plans come on 30 day recharges which give you access to unlimited standard national calls and texts, making them great value for those who love to keep in contact with friends and family. All plans come on a prepaid basis, which is great if you like the flexibility of being able to recharge whenever you want. Short on money one month? Then don’t recharge. You don’t have the same luxury with postpaid plans where you are automatically charged every billing period.
Lebara prepaid mobile lets you ‘BYO’ device, which is sure to please a lot of consumers. Though, beyond this, it’s what’s on the inside that counts – so what’s under the hood of Lebara’s prepaid options? Let’s start digging!
What does Lebara offer?
There are four key Lebara plans, comprising of:
- The $24.90 ‘Mini Mega Plan’ which brings $24.90 worth of value and 1.5GB data
- The $29.90 ‘National Plan’ which brings unlimited calls and texts, 5GB data and up to 250 international minutes
- The $39.90 ‘Mega Plan’ which brings unlimited calls and texts, 7GB data and up to 250 international minutes
- The $49.90 ‘Unlimited Plan’ which brings unlimited calls and texts, 5GB data, unlimited international calls to 60 countries and $5 international call credit
This low-cost carrier sets a good first impression by offering a free starter SIM card with $2 credit included. The basic rundown of these plans is that as data goes up, so too does the price. Rarely are SMS or call limits a factor with a lot of carriers these days – remember when a text message cost you 25c?! Lebara’s offerings are stripped down and many users are sure to appreciate the simplicity.
Let’s take a closer look at each Lebara plan.
Lebara ‘Mini Mega’ Plan
Called the ‘Mini Mega’ plan, this is for the user who perhaps doesn’t need many calls or texts, but likes a bit of data for social media and the odd cat video. We mentioned before calls and texts aren’t really limited, but this is the only plan where they are. With this plan you get $24.90 value; national call minutes are billed at 10c a minute and SMS are charged at 10c each. Plus if you purchase online, you get 1.5GB data included. Otherwise, data is charged at 15c/megabyte and this comes out of the $24.90 equation.
Lebara ‘National’ Plan
The next level up is the National Plan. Jumping into this bracket, you are now unbound by call or SMS limits. Plus, you get a whopping 5GB of data, which is sure to make any train commute more bearable. If you’ve got loved ones overseas, then the 250 international call minutes that are included can also come in handy.
Lebara ‘Mega’ Plan
This is for the serious smartphone addict. If you’re constantly on Pokemon Go, Snapchatting your friends or Skyping or Facetiming a lot of business contacts, then the Mega Plan could be for you. It features unlimited national calls and SMS, as well as 7GB of data. Also included is 250 international call minutes, which makes calling overseas colleagues easy.
Lebara ‘Unlimited’ Plan
If you’re the type of person to have exotic friends scattered around the globe that you’ve made from your travels, exchanges or business trips, this plan might suit you. Keep Fabio on the line for longer, with unlimited standard international calls to 60 countries. Also included is unlimited calls and SMS, as well as 5GB of data. This is a do-anything kind of plan that has an edge over the competition due to the unlimited international calls.
What about other plans and packs?
- The $10 ‘Save Plan’ brings 250MB data, calls to mobiles 10c/minute, landlines 6c/minute (29c flagfall for each), cheap international rates – New Zealand from 5c a minute
- Data packs from $5
The Save plan comes as a bit of an anomaly in that you are essentially paying $10 for the 250MB of data. Apart from that, you pay-as-you-go (PAYG) for everything else, but these PAYG rates are quite cheap.
Data packs are also handy if you need an extra boost, or if you have too much ‘month’ at the end of your ‘data’. Currently, you can purchase 250MB of data for $5, 1.5GB for $10, or 5GB for $25. These packs can be handy if you’re in a pinch, and offer great flexibility month to month.
How does Lebara compare to other providers?
Lebara’s prepaid plans compare favourably to most other carriers in terms of basic inclusions, and stands out for its cheap international call rates and generous international inclusions. Let’s assess each plan individual against other similar deals.
$24.90 ‘Mini Mega’ Plan Compared
Surprisingly Lebara’s cheapest plan does not really favour too well with the competition. Other providers frequently offer at least unlimited SMS for a comparable price, with 1GB of data or more. Keep an eye out for providers like Kogan Mobile, ALDI Mobile and Amaysim that all offer plans that are either cheaper or better value than Lebara here.
$29.90 ‘National’ Plan Compared
However, Lebara’s other deals are more than a match for its competitors. The National Plan is right on the money with the 2.5-3GB of data offered by most plans around the $30 mark. It competes with the likes of Yomojo on included value, while having a slight edge on other providers who are either more expensive, or offer less data. Carriers like OVO Mobile and TPG are competitive, but here Lebara is pretty hard to beat when you consider international inclusions.
$39.90 ‘Mega’ Plan Compared
Lebara’s Mega Plan also hits the spot with its data and credit inclusions, whilst the international minutes allowance is a game-changing feature which few other plans match. The same goes for the Unlimited Plan, with few other providers supplying as much international credit at such low prices. In this price bracket, look out for Coles Mobile, Boost Mobile and Amaysim. However, if it’s calling abroad you desire, Lebara leads the charge.
$49.90 ‘Unlimited’ Plan Compared
The most noteworthy edge Lebara has over its competition is the inclusion of international call minutes. Both the $29.90 and $39.90 plans have 250 international minutes included, which is an excellent offer if you have loved ones overseas. This brings us to Lebara’s Unlimited international plan. While it offers less data than some of the competition, its inclusion of unlimited international calls to 60 countries is a serious kicker. Again, look out for familiar faces like Boost Mobile, Amaysim and Kogan Mobile when comparing offers, but Lebara is again tough to beat.
Is Lebara right for me?
Despite Lebara’s relative anonymity – certainly compared to other mobile providers you always hear about – it’s a serious player in the value for money stakes. While the entry-level $24.90 plan leaves a bit to be desired, an extra $5 brings much more value with the $29.90 plan. From here on, it’s really quite hard to find carriers who can match Lebara on sheer dollar price versus inclusions.
Lebara’s game-winning attraction is the inclusion of international call minutes. If you’re someone seeking value and someone who needs to call internationally more than on the odd occasion, then Lebara could be the provider for you. Beyond that, they are akin to many other low-cost providers on the market, so it pays to shop around.