Review of LycaMobile phone plans
LycaMobile is one of the few mobile plan providers to really centre its business model on cheap international call rates. Beyond that, it’s a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) offering several reasonable-value SIM-only prepaid phone plans on the Telstra 4G Network. Its headquarters are in London, but the telco operates in many countries around the world, including Australia. However, LycaMobile does more than just offer the usual fanfare.
In the prepaid mobile plans race, many providers are offering increasing amounts of data in a bid for your dollars. However, what many providers fail to consider is international inclusions. Seemingly a forgotten relic of a bygone era, international calling and text rates are still a desire by many mobile phone users. In the world of Skype and easy online chatting, it may seem like a redundant inclusion, but the fact is many people would still rather pick up the phone than dial in online. LycaMobile offers many interesting international inclusions, so if you’re feeling ‘lyca’ new prepaid phone plan, LycaMobile could be up your alley.
LycaMobile Phone Plans
LycaMobile offers seven prepaid plans, with most fairly similar in price differing by what international calls and texts you’ll get. All barring the cheapest $19.90 plan come with unlimited calls and texts. All plans share some common traits:
- 28-day billing periods
- Generally you sacrifice data inclusions for international calls
- Keep an eye out for data and other bonuses that LycaMobile offers from time to time
|1000 minutes & 1000 texts, 1GB data||$19.90|
|2GB data, unlimited calls to 10 countries||$24.90|
|3GB data, unlimited calls to 10 countries||$29.90|
|7GB data, unlimited calls to 10 countries||$39.90|
|7GB data, unlimited calls to 40 countries||$44.90|
|10GB data, unlimited calls to 40 countries||$49.90|
Source: LycaMobile website
For less than 20 bucks, you stand to get a healthy smattering of calls, texts and data. For those on a budget, or light users, 1GB is enough for some social media browsing, Google Maps, and uploading that Instagram pic. 1,000 minutes is also a lot of minutes – ask yourself if you really need ‘unlimited’ calls as chances are you might not! 1,000 texts is also a fairly large amount, but for the younger crowd who love a good texting session, having the peace of mind of unlimited texts may work better. Luckily, the rest of LycaMobile’s plans have just that.
The $24.90 plan is outrageously simple, and this is a huge benefit. It has 2GB of data to see you through your days. We envision this would be enough for that putrid bus commute, and for getting you out and about at weekends. With 2GB you can browse all kinds of social media and listen to the odd podcast or three. Having unlimited talk and text at this price point is also handy, as none of us want to be left out in the cold.
The $29.90 plans are where you’ll most likely come to a crossroads: Do you want more data, or more international calls? Chances are if your calling tastes are on a more domestic level then we suspect you’ll want to opt for more data. However, if you’re an expat, on exchange or want to talk to your manly ranch handler boyfriend from Wisconsin, then sacrificing some data for international calls may be the best bet. By opting for this route you’ll sacrifice 2GB of data for unlimited calls to 10 countries. Yes, the US is included in those 10 countries. The countries include:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
This is how the plans look.
For just under $40 a month, this is a ‘jack of all trades’-type plan that offers a bit of everything. From data to international calls, this plan can do a lot of things. With 7GB of data on tap, this may prove enough for podcasts, music streaming, plus the odd Netflix video or two. You also get unlimited calls to 10 countries, which has become pretty much standard across a lot of LycaMobile’s plans.
If you want to have your cake and eat it too, then the $44.90 plan includes both a great amount of data and an impressive amount of international calling. With 7GB of data, that’s enough for some streaming, many podcasts and all social media you could wish for. The international calling allows for calls to 40 countries, which includes the 10 listed above, plus many European countries, as well as some South American ones. This is the plan for the true jetsetter, so if you’re big on data as well as international calls, this could be the plan for you.
For about $50, LycaMobile throws quite a bit in, including unlimited calls to 40 countries. This is the Big Momma of LycaMobile’s plan range, as it includes a lot of everything. 10GB data is enough to do nearly everything and will make your bus commute fly by. Add calls to 40 countries, and you have yourself quite an impressive plan. If you’ve ever wanted to call Latvia for an unlimited amount of time, now’s your chance.
Other plans and inclusions with LycaMobile
With LycaMobile, beyond just great international value, you’ll also get the option of data plans and data bolt-ons to tide you over if you feel your supplies are rather austere in the data department.
The data plans work best for a home tablet or device that gets used primarily for data and not calls or texts. All three plans are over 30 days. They are:
- 250MB for $5
- 5GB for $10
- 3GB for $25
As far as data bolt-ons go, LycaMobile offers a few to tide you over if you find yourself using excess data for the 28-day period:
- 250MB for $5
- 1GB for $10
- 3GB for $25
Beyond data packs, you’ll also receive unlimited free calls to other LycaMobile customers in both Hong Kong and USA. Also keep an eye out for bonus offers like free SIM postage, free calls to other countries, as well as various other special offers. LycaMobile is certainly a telco for the internationally-minded.
How does LycaMobile compare to other prepaid providers?
LycaMobile is in an interesting segment in the market in that its plans are significantly boosted up by its international call inclusions – something of which a lot of other providers lack. However, you’ll have to contend with a 28 day billing period, which works out to be more expensive over a given year than a 30 day plan. Nevertheless, LycaMobile still compares pretty well to other prepaid MVNOs in the traditional call, text and data departments.
$19.90 Plan Compared
This is the only one of LycaMobile’s plans to not include unlimited international calls of any kind, and for this reason it may prove a bit lacklustre compared to other providers. Other providers also commonly offer unlimited calls and texts at this price point, and while you may not exactly ‘need’ this, unlimited anything is nice to have. OVO Mobile and TPG offer cheaper plans with 1GB data, while Kogan Mobile is one of the cheapest in the prepaid circuit to offer unlimited calls & texts. If you’re set on the Telstra network, LycaMobile may be still worth your money, however.
$24.90 Plan Compared
At this price point, you can easily expect unlimited calls and texts for your money, and 2GB of data is pretty normal too. Luckily LycaMobile competes pretty well. In the prepaid segment, Coles Mobile has an offer with the same inclusions for nearly $5 less. OVO Mobile’s plan is also quite similar, but if you go for Yomojo you’ll get a tempting plan for under $20.
$29.90 Plans Compared
This is where the international calls first make their name be known, and LycaMobile seems to be especially good value here. For the same price, you’ll get that Yomojo plan discussed earlier with 1GB extra over LycaMobile’s best data offering. It also competes with Kogan Mobile, Lebara – which also offers great international call rates – and Amaysim. All are exactly the same price with data similar to LycaMobile’s. Most of these providers also offer some form of international calling, but LycaMobile’s unlimited calls to 10 countries may prove to be better value for some.
$39.90 Plan Compared
At this price, you have to look out for bonus data and other limited-time features that may inflate a plan’s value temporarily. For around $40, 10GB of data comes pretty much as standard these days, and LycaMobile sits right among the cheapest of the cheap. Look out for Kogan Mobile and TPG once again, while Optus also comes to the game with a pretty enticing plan. Optus also provides things like data-free music streaming and other features from time to time.
$44.90 Plan Compared
The $44.90 plan seems well-suited to become LycaMobile’s best value. Not only do you get a healthy smattering of data, you’ll also receive generous international calling inclusions to a lot of countries. In this price bracket, Coles and OVO come into the picture once again with some very competitive plans, while Amaysim also has a pretty noteworthy offer. At this stage if a provider isn’t offering 10GB then they are probably falling behind; LycaMobile may be forgiven, however, because its international credit can’t be ignored.
$49.90 Plan Compared
If you’re willing to spend $50-odd, there are some great plans out there with lots of data. Kogan Mobile stands out as offering a pretty compelling option over 30 days with 14GB of data. Amaysim also comes to the game with a very competitive plan, while LycaMobile’s 10GB as standard is comparatively a little bit lacklustre. Unless you can actually see yourself using LycaMobile’s generous international credit, there are plans with more data out there for a similar price.
Is a LycaMobile plan a good deal?
LycaMobile is a telco for international calling fans, however, that doesn’t mean there is not value to be had in regular old calls, text and data. Operating in the prepaid sector, LycaMobile competes fairly well with all of its plans and the prices they operate in. Its cheapest plan is solid value, if nothing special and its dearer plans really ramp up value with unlimited calls to selected countries.
In this vain, LycaMobile competes most directly with Lebara as it also offers generous international inclusions. In this case, it’s a pretty tight race, and it all comes down to if they include your desired country on the list. For popular countries like the USA, LycaMobile may have a slight edge. In any case, it’s worth comparing a range of different providers because chances are, there’s a plan out there that ticks all the boxes.