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). Since those early days, Lebara has established over five million customers in eight different countries. Lebara prides itself on streamlining prepaid mobile plans, with uncomplicated and fuss free offerings – a true Norwegian style. In Australia, Lebara operates on the Vodafone 4G network and all of its plans are SIM-only. Lebara is a multinational company, so what does it offer to its Australian customers, and how do these plans compare to other carriers in this great brown land?
Lebara Mobile Phone Plans
|Plan Name||What’s Included||Price Per 30 Days|
|Save||Cheap call rates both domestic and international, cheap data rates||$10|
|Mini Mega||Up to 1000 international minutes, 1.5GB data, cheap call and text rates||$24.90|
|National||Unlimited calls and texts, 5GB data, up to 250 international minutes||$29.90|
|Mega||Unlimited calls and texts, 7GB data, up to 250 international minutes||$39.90|
|Unlimited||Unlimited calls and texts, 10GB data, unlimited international calls to 60 countries, $5 bonus international credit||$49.90|
Source: Lebara website
All of Lebara’s mobile plans are 30 day recharges and like many other MVNOs the plans are prepaid. These are great for flexibility and allow you to recharge when you want. This is a viable alternative to lock-in postpaid contracts where you can be subject to a hefty monthly fee over the course of (usually) 24 months, or postpaid SIM-only plans where you can be charged extra for exceeding your plan’s limitations. 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?
As you’ll see, Lebara is a specialist in international call inclusions. So if being able to make calls to friends and family overseas is important to you, you should take a close look at what’s on offer.
Lebara ‘Save’ Plan
If you need saving from an expensive phone plan, then for just $10 Lebara might have you covered. For $10 you’ll get access to cheap rates for everything. It’ll cost you 6c a minute plus 29c flagfall for international calls. Both national and international texts are 10c each, while additional data is 2c per megabyte. International call rates start from just 1c a minute, including popular destinations like the USA.
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. Calls are 10c a minute, while national and international texts are also 10c each. You also get 1.5GB data as standard, and 1000 international minutes to boot. While countries under this umbrella are limited, most of those included are popular destinations like Canada, the US, and the UK and so on. It should also be noted that the 1.5GB of data is only given if you recharge, so you’ll probably have to go your first month without any data.
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. This is perhaps the first plan to excite customers that primarily only need to call and text within Australia.
Lebara ‘Mega’ Plan
This is for the serious smartphone addict. If you are constantly 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 travel, exchanges or business trips, then this plan might suit you. You get a pretty generous international calling allowance, with unlimited standard international calls to 60 countries. Also included are unlimited calls and SMS, as well as 10GB of data. However, to get 10GB of data, you must elect to auto-recharge online, instead of recharging instore or through manually recharging. If you don’t auto-recharge online the plan reverts to 5GB data. You also get $5 of credit for other countries not included in the 60-country list. This is a do-anything kind of plan that has an edge over the competition due to the unlimited international calls.
Lebara Mobile Data Plans
|Data Included||Price Per 30 Days|
Lebara offers a very concise range of prepaid, SIM-only mobile data plans also on the Vodafone 4G network. Starting at just $5, Lebara’s options are evidently pretty cheap. However, as Lebara is an MVNO with SIM-only plans, you’ll have to source a compatible and unlocked dongle or mobile modem from somewhere else. Or, alternatively if you’re using it in your tablet you can probably just plug it straight in.
How does Lebara compare to other providers?
Lebara’s plans compare favourably in terms of inclusions. Though surprisingly its cheapest plan does not really favour as well with the competition. Other telcos frequently offers at least unlimited SMS for a comparable price, with 1GB of data or more.
Lebara ‘Save’ Plan Compared
- $10 over 30 days, cheap national and international rates
As far as cheap phone plans go, $10 from Lebara seems pretty cheap, but the fact is if you only need to make domestic calls and texts there are a number of providers all offering a range of much more competitive plans. OVO Mobile for instance offers 1GB of data plus unlimited texts and $200 call value for less than $10 over 30 days. Coles Mobile also offers an enticing plan but it’s over 10 days only, and Boost offers the same but over only 7 days. For a little extra Woolworths offers a 30 day plan with some call value and data included.
Lebara ‘Mini Mega’ Plan Compared
Again, unless you’re making a lot of international calls and texts then you can probably find better value elsewhere. For just under $25, Lebara at the end of the day only offers 1.5GB after your first recharge. However, if you’ve got loved ones overseas or you’re an expat then Lebara is hard to beat here. Domestically though, Lebara fails to stack up to the likes of ALDI Mobile, Coles, Amaysim and OVO. If you’re only calling and texting within the country, there’s probably a better deal out there for you.
Lebara ‘National’ Plan Compared
As a significant step up and for just under $30 for 30 days, Lebara has seriously stepped it up a notch. Here Lebara sits in line with the likes of Yomojo and Kogan Mobile, of which the former offers 6GB. OVO also comes to play again with a massive 8GB for only $5 extra a month. On a broader scale, it’s hard to beat these four in terms of prepaid value.
Lebara ‘Mega’ Plan Compared
Lebara at this price range is pretty competitive overall, with 7GB working a treat. However, TPG Mobile offers a similar deal also on the Vodafone network for about $5 per month cheaper, but Lebara does have 250 international minutes, which also goes down well. ALDI Mobile also offers a plan fairly competitive on the Telstra network, while Kogan is tough to beat with a massive 10GB data.
Lebara ‘Unlimited’ Plan Compared
- $49.90 for unlimited calls and texts and 5GB of data – 10GB if you auto-recharge online
At this price – for the data included – there aren’t many providers assailing these lofty demands. However, as has become the theme in this review, is that there are other providers consistently upping the ante. Here you can see that once again if you want 10GB of data, it’s hard to beat the likes of OVO Mobile and Kogan Mobile, the latter of which offers a massive 14GB for less than $50. Woolworths Mobile on the Telstra network is also pretty compelling with 10GB. At the end of the day your decision may lie in what network you prefer – Optus for OVO Mobile, Vodafone for Kogan and Telstra for Lebara and Woolworths.
Lebara Mobile Data Plans Compared
Generally Lebara fares pretty well against the competition here. In the prepaid mobile data sphere, Lebara seems to be one of the few to offer over 1GB of data for only $10. The closest plans are from Amaysim, Yomojo and OVO, which all offer 3GB of data for about $15-$16. Lebara’s 5GB also stands out for just $25, as Amaysim offers 6GB for $35. If you’re after a SIM-only, prepaid mobile data deal then Lebara is tough to beat, but its limited offerings might be a bit of a turn-off.
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 its entry-level ‘Save’ and ‘Mini Mega’ plans leaves a lot to be desired, this is likely to get you to pay $5 extra and see so much more value in the $29.90 plan. Lebara’s game-winning attraction is the inclusion of international call minutes. While Lebara is pretty on par with other providers with data, calls and SMS, the plans’ international minutes inclusions are sure to entice some customers over.
If you’re someone seeking value and someone who needs to call internationally more than on the odd occasion, then Lebara could be the service provider for you. Beyond that, Lebara is akin to many other low cost providers on the market, so it pays to shop around – the right plan out there for you is probably lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered.