Review of Lebara mobile phone plans

Founded in Norway by a group of friends in 2001, Lebara is a leading mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). In those 15 years, Lebara has established over five million customers in eight different countries. Lebara prides itself on streamlining prepaid mobile phone plans, with uncomplicated and fuss free offerings – a true Norwegian style.

In Australia, Lebara operates on the Vodafone 4G network, so you can rest assured that you’re being fed a quality service. As a multinational mobile carrier, Lebara specialises in international call inclusions, in addition to its strong-value calls, text and data features. So let’s review Lebara’s suite of mobile plans and compare them to similar providers.

How does Lebara Mobile work?

Three of Lebara’s four main prepaid mobile plans are 30-day recharges which provide 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. These are great for flexibility and allow you to recharge when you want. This is a viable alternative to lock-in contracts where you can be subject to a hefty monthly fee over the course of (usually) 24 months.

As well as its locally-focussed prepaid plans, Lebara also offers recharges focussed on international calls, plus three data add-ons should you require a little extra web browsing before you recharge again. Like every MVNO, Lebara lets you bring your own phone to the party, 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?

What does Lebara offer?

This low-cost carrier sets a good first impression by offering a free starter SIM with $2 credit included. The basic rundown of its 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 cost you 25c?! Lebara’s offerings are stripped down and many users are sure to appreciate the simplicity.

For the light user

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 of included calls and text value, with national call minutes billed at 2c a minute and SMS charged at 20c each. Plus, if you purchase online, you get 1GB of data included. Otherwise, data is charged at 15c per megabyte and this comes out of the $24.90 equation.

For the moderately hungry phone user

The next level up is the ‘Lebara National Plan’ costing $29.90 per month. 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 150 international call minutes that are included can also come in handy.

For the discerning data-hungry

This $39.90 offer 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 ‘Lebara Mega Plan’ could be for you. It features unlimited national calls and SMS, as well as 7GB of data. Also included is 150 international call minutes, which makes calling overseas colleagues easy.

For the international aficionado

If you’re the type of person who has exotic friends scattered across the globe, then the ‘Lebara Unlimited Plan’ plan may suit you. Keep Fabio on the line for longer, with unlimited standard international calls to 60 selected countries. You’ll also get unlimited local 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.

International plans

As we mentioned, Lebara is big on international inclusions. Not only does it boast the Unlimited Plans with never-ending international call minutes, but it also provides the ‘Save Plan’, which brings “great value international rates”, the telco says. You’ll have to specify which country you want to call to find out more about these rates.

What about other deals and discounts?

Another thing to consider is that as of September 2016, Lebara is offering 50 per cent off your first month’s prepaid plan if you purchase your SIM card online. With the $24.90 plan, this also includes 1GB of data, which would come in handy for the occasional Google Maps or web browsing to find your way.

Also consider the value of data packs. If you’re the type of person to be in limbo occasionally without data, but not wanting to jump up into a more expensive plan, then these data packs could be for you. Currently, you can purchase the following:

  • 250MB of data for $5
  • 1.5GB of data for $10
  • 5GB of data 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?

Most of Lebara’s mobile plans compare favourably to other low-cost carriers in terms of inclusions. Though, surprisingly its cheapest recharge does not really favour as well with the competition which frequently offers at least unlimited SMS for a comparable price, along with 1GB of data or more. The likes of Kogan Mobile, ALDI Mobile and Amaysim are hard to beat at this price print.

Lebara’s other deals are more than a match for its competitors, however. 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, TPG and Kogan on included value, while having a slight edge on other providers who are either more expensive, or offer less data.

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 provide. The same goes for the Unlimited plan, with few other providers supplying as much international credit at such price points.

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 150 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 others, its inclusion of unlimited international calls to 60 countries is a serious kicker.

Is Lebara right for me?

Despite Lebara’s relative anonymity – certainly compared to other service providers in the local market – it’s a serious player in the value stakes. While the entry-level $24.90 plan leaves a lot to be desired, the extra $5 you need to pay for the Lebara National Plan makes up for it. This is a seriously good value deal.

Lebara’s game-winning attraction is the inclusion of international call minutes. While they are on par with other providers with data, calls and SMS, Lebara’s international inclusions are sure to entice some customers over. If you need to call internationally more than on the odd occasion, then Lebara could be the service provider for you. Beyond that, they are akin to many other low cost providers on the market, so it pays to shop around.

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