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Lycamobile: T-Mobile MVNO with Paygo Rates of 2cents/minute, 4cents/text, 6cents/MB

WackyP 1,901 March 28, 2013 at 05:47 PM in Tech & Electronics (5)
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Last Edited by WackyP March 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM
****I deleted the whole original post because it was out of date and did not apply anymore.***

Common questions:

Q: Who is Lycamobile?
A: Company based in the UK and is a prepaid service provider in multiple countries.

Q: What kind of coverage would I get?
A: Lycamobile uses T-Mobile towers with no roaming.

Q: How much is the paygo rate?
A: 2 cents a minute for talk, 4 cents a minute for text, 6 cents per megabyte of data.

Q: I heard there is free incoming texts. Is that right?
A: Yes, that is true.

Q: I also heard calls to toll free number are free. Is that right?
A: Yes for some free area codes, that is true.

Q: Is mms supported?
A: No.

Q: Are short codes supported?
A: No.

Q: I use XXXX minutes per month, XXXX texts per month, and XX GB data per month. Lycamobile's 2 cents plan would cost me $XXX!!!
A: Obviously, people who pay by the minute do not consume such high numbers. If they do, then of course a minute plan would not be suitable for them.

Q: How is the data rounding?
A: Data is broken down to 1/6 of a megabyte or 1 cent. Any stray app that uses data will likely consume at least 1 cent. So it is best to completely disable data until needed.

Q: How is the data speed?
A: As Lycamobile is based in the UK and your web traffic is routed that way, speeds will be a little slower than your typical T-Mobile mvno.

Q: Does no roaming mean that I cannot make calls outside my area code or region?
A: No roaming means that your phone must use T-Mobile's signal. There is no roaming onto At&t or other small regional gsm providers.

Q: Is there a roaming cost?
A: No roaming means no roaming costs.

Q: Okay, I get there is no roaming, but how come my phone always shows ROAMING?
A: Lycamobile calls themselves a true mvno so all their users are "roaming". Some phones show this on their display. other phones do not. Just live with it.

Q: What kind of phone do I need? Is a locked T-Mobile phone okay?
A: Lycamobile calls themselves a true mvno and uses their own mobile network code. That means the phone must be unlocked. Almost all other T-Mobile mvno's do not do this. That is why other T-Mobile mvno's can use locked T-Mobile phones.

Q: I don't understand. Can I use a T-Mobile or At&t phone?
A: Only if is unlocked.

Q: Will a Verizon or Sprint phone work on Lycamobile?
A: Lycamobile sends you a sim card. Although there are a few exceptions, chances are those phones cannot accept ANY sim. For the few that do have a sim slot, the sim in your CDMA device is usually reserved for international travel. Sims for American cell providers do not work.

Q: Do you know of any inexpensive unlocked phones for Lyca?
A: Samsung A157 intended for At&t's GoPhone brand retails for about $15. Unlock instructions here: . Alternatively, unlock codes on ebay for the A157 run about $3.

Q: What is the minimum requirement to keep the service alive?
A: One billable event every 120 days. After 90 days of no billable event, Lycamobile will email you. A billable event is making a call, sending a text, actively using data, or adding money to your account.

-On March 6, Lyca has changed to minimum usage to 90 days as stated in this article.

Q: Does the answer to the previous question mean that Lycamobile does NOT require at least $XX every XX days?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you saying that I do not need to add some amount of money every X number of days?
A: You only add money on the 2 cents a minute plan when your balance is running low. There is no requirement to add money if you are using the service and have a sufficient balance.

Q: What is the minimum amount needed to fund the account?
A: If you already have a sim, it is $10. Alternatively, you could preloaded $5 when ordering a sim from Lycamobile. At launch, the minimum was 10 cents. Unfortunately, that is not true anymore.

Q: Are there any refill options if Lycamobile's site is not working for me?
A: Try Callingmart.

Q: Does disabling voice mail work now? Before it did not.
A: It works now. To deactivate your Lycamobile Voicemail service: dial *185# followed by the call button.

Q: Am I charged to listen to voicemail?
A: No you are not charged to listen to voicemail. However, Lycamobile does charge you when somebody leaves you a voicemail. So you get charged whether you listen to voicemail or not.

Q: How much is international calling for the 2 cents a minute plan?
A: International Rates for paygo is the amount listed + airtime minute charge. So for instance a call to Canada would be 1 cent/min (as listed on the website) + 2 cent/min (regular paygo airtime charge) = 3 cents/min

Q: Can I use Lycamobile when I am in another country?
A: Sure, but be aware the costs per call are sometimes multiple dollars per minute.

Q: Are there any hidden charges, taxes, or monthly fees?
A: No

Q: I just activated an Apple device, and now Lycamobile is sending me texts from the UK and charging for it. Is Lycamobile trying to pull a fast one?
A: Your Apple phone is trying to activate Imessage and Facetime and sending texts to the UK. You would need to ask Apple why this is done. Normally, Apple officially supported carriers cover the costs of these texts. Lycamobile does not. Therefore, you should disable these 2 features unless you enjoy getting charged for sending these texts.

Q: I want to use the 2 cents plan, should I top up with $20 or more so I don't have to worry about it?
A: When your account has enough money for a monthly plan, you might get accidently bumped to the monthly plan by mistake. Keep you balance under $16.

Q: Where is the Unlimited Talk & Unlimited Text for $19?
A: Discontinued.

Q: Did Lycamobile ever have free incoming calls when roaming internationally as was in the original post and on their website when they first launched?
A: Not to my knowledge. Most likely, the website was incomplete and/or unfinished and the numbers listed were just a placeholder until the real rates were entered.

Q: Why did everybody talk about zip codes?
A: When Lycamobile launched, their sim card ordering form was goofy. The website wanted everybody to enter their zip+4 code into the form. However, the form only allowed 9 digits. Entering 5 digits did not work. Form has since been fixed.

Q: I want to sign up. How much are the sims?
A: Previously, sims were free. Now, there is a $7 charge if you do not preload a sim with any money. Preload one sim for at least $5 and get up to 3 sims shipped free.

Q: I want to sign up, but the site gives me an error.
A: Lycamobile only can give out phone numbers from Peerless and Broadvox. Those 2 companies do not reach every part of the country. Hence, the form will reject your request.

Q: I don't care about what number I get, how do I get a sim?
A: The usual places like Ebay, Amazon, or a dealer.

Q: Those 3rd-party places still charge me a dollar. I want a free sim.
A: Go here: and use the coupon code LYCA if needed.

Q: Can Lycamobile port my old number?
A: That is a maybe. As said before, Lycamobile only issues phone numbers that Peerless and Broadvox occupy. No Peerless or Broadvox in the area means that if your number is not in that area, your old number will not get ported.

Q: Can I port my landline number to Lycamobile?
A: No. Lycamobile only ports mobile numbers.

Q: Can I port my Google Voice number to Lycamobile?
A: No. Lycamobile only ports mobile numbers.

Q: What areas do Peerless and Broadvox occupy?
A: Peerless

Q: My old number is in a Peerless or Broadvox area. How come I am still having troubles porting?
A: Nobody knows why Lycamobile sometimes has trouble porting.

Q: With the number of scary stories about porting into Lycamobile, does that mean I should avoid Lycamobile?
A: A number of people have ported to Google Voice. Then, they set all calls going to their Google Voice number to their Lycamobile number.

Q: If porting is so bad, then how come some people said they ported easily?
A: Wish I could tell you when it is okay and when to avoid porting.

Added March 18, 2014 - Some have speculated that on paygo, "for incoming and outgoing" refers to calling, texting, and data. In other words, users are charged for incoming and outgoing texts. That is because "for incoming and outgoing" was added on Lyca's website after the stating the rates.

Recently however, the phrase "for incoming and outgoing" has been moved to beneath the talk rate. In another forum, people are speculating that Lyca's is just bad at writing their terms clearly. They believe that incoming texts are free.

Added March 18, 2014 - There is a belief that the 250 minutes/$16 a month plan (not the paygo plan) includes free Lyca to Lyca calling. Since this is not specifically mentioned on Lyca's website, I will classify this as YMMV and subject to change without notice.
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by monkeybiz October 14, 2015 at 02:47 PM
'As of July 1, recharge is no longer available for old LM SIMS. To continue Lycamobile service, Swap your SIM for a new LM plus sim at or dial 612'

Lycamobile increased their rates as of MAY 2015 for New Customers and Legacy SIM:
5c to make a call
2c to receive a call
4c to send a text

Pluses of the new SIMs, which were introduced over a year ago, are:
New SIMs work in unlocked phones and locked T-Mobile phones, the old SIMs only work in unlocked phones
MMS and LTE data are only available only with new SIMs
On the pay as you go plan outgoing calls are 2¢/minute on new SIMs and 5¢/minute on old SIMs. (Incoming calls are 2¢/minute with both old and new SIMs.)
The one drawback is that data is not available on the Lyca's pay as you go plan if you are using a new SIM. Old SIM users get access to data at 6¢/MB.
  • No roaming when you leave the T-Mobile service area. (ie: If you're in an AT&T only area, your phone will display "Emergency Calls Only")
  • Auto bill debit and credit cards, Lyca turns on auto bill, and its been fairly challenging for some of my friends to get this off, its suggested/recommended you double check this and ensure that they don't have it on for you. hug
  • Text messages dont go through to nextflix and other 6 digit vendor texts
  • 6 digit numbers are considered as premium text and not supported by Lyca

***National Plan:
Lycamobile's just updated the monthly plans:
$29.00 - Unlimited USA Talk, Text & Data (250 MB at up to 4G speed) + Unlimited International texts
$39.00 - Unlimited USA Talk, Text & Data (500 MB at up to 4G speed) + Unlimited International texts
$49.00 - Unlimited USA Talk, Text & Data (1 GB at up to 4G speed) + Unlimited International texts
[/COLOR]$59.00 - Unlimited USA Talk, Text & Data (1 GB at up to 4G speed) + Unlimited International Talk & Text
National Plan []

(Note: 1. there are old, non-Plus SIMs for sale on eBay (I bought a pre-cut old nano SIM for $0.99); ask the seller to make sure the SIM is non-Plus kind. 2. Apple iMessage won't work on Lycamobile.)

"FREE SIM" has $7 shipping charge
$7 per order of 1, 2 or 3 SIM, not $7 per SIM.
Load 1 SIM w/$5 min. and up to 3 ship free - thanks OP


Note: You will need the PUK number (printed on the card that holds the SIM) for web activation.

Also not all area codes seem to be available for activation. This could be related to Lycamobile saying they are first starting out in 18 states before expanding to other states later on.

1. Per customer services: Max is 3 SIMs per mailing address.

2. READ !!! Most Of The Question & Answer at link below (Note: Lyca Mobile keep updating the FAQ, check it daily for update and change, since this company is new in US market and more things need to be improved):

LycaMobile FAQ []

3. If you see this message when Activate Online : "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later." That mean the zip code was not in Lyca Mobile data base, so you have to try others zip code in your city or near by city until it show the Next step for you to select the AREA CODE (More AREA Code had been added to data based)
To search for the city and state zip code: Type city and state ONLY it will show all zip code USPS Zip Code Look Up []

4. SELECT Online Re-Charge: Minimum Re-Charge From $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 - $50 - OTHERS, by SELECT OTHERS will allow you to Online Top-Up from the low of $10
Example: $10 A small POP UP windows will allow you to Input 10 and Re-confirm 10

Enter your Top-Up Amount: Top-up functionality to be support open denomination. Range (10-100.00) Minimum is $10
Please enter the amount you to top-up
Re-confirm the amount you wish to top-up

***Data: Speed test from
4G: 749k down, 911k up
2G: 45k down
Available area codes with States (Please Update with yours) TIA
1) Georgia - Atlanta area 470
2) Colorado - Denver - 720
3) North Carolina - Charlotte - 980
4) Maryland - 410
5) Florida - 786, 386, 904
6) California - 415, 510, 657, 858, 805, 909
7) NYC - 646, 917 (rare), 929, 914 (assigned to Westchester County)
8) Indiana - 317
9) Michigan - 231, 586
10) Virginia - Northern 703 and 571
11) Illinois - 312, 618, 224, 779, 331, 815, 630, 847, 872, 708, 773
12) Utah - 801
13) Minnesota - 507
14) New Jersey- 609, 973
15) Texas - 210
16) Arizona- 602
17) Delaware- 302

Quote from eciraje View Post :
I could not find any link on their website abount porting existing number. Tried to call the customer care and no one answer the call not even IVR Smilie

Transferring your existing cell number to Lycamobile is easy.
Just follow the simple steps below:

1 Contact the Customer Services of your existing provider, tell them you wish to change provider and ask them for your PIN code and account number, check with them that there is no charge for this.

2 Once you receive your PIN code and account number, call Lycamobile Customer Services and one of our Customer representatives will help you to begin the transfer process.You can also email using this form:

With the following info:

1.First name*:
2.Middle Name(Optional):
3.Last Name*:
4.Date of birth:
5.Zip Code*:
6.Street Name*:
9.Lycamobile Number*:
10.Lycamobile ICCID*:
10.Old Service* (Number to be ported):
11.Old Service provider name*:
12.Wireless or Wireline*:
13.Alternative Contact number*:
14.Account number*:
15.Pin Number*:

3 As soon as your number is live with Lycamobile we will send you a text to let you know. In the mean time you can still use your Lycamobile with the number that was originally provided.

Quote from netstuff View Post :
Additional feedback on Lyca
Quote from netstuff View Post :

Don't rely on Auto Recharge feature. It didn't work for me. I had it configured for recharge when balance dropped below $5. No recharge was done. I was without service for few hours on the road until I did manual recharge via web after reaching home.

Do not charge more than $10 or $20. I had recharged with $30 and my account was automatically converted from Pay As You go to $30 monthly plan. Also $30 only lasted for a week coz monthly plan balance expire at the end of each month. Recharge was done at the beginning of last week of the month. After a week when new month started they automatically charged my credit card for $30. $60 for 5 weeks of service. I have to call them again to get my money back but not very hopeful.

Don't bother sending emails to customer service. They do not respond at all. Calling is the only option if you have lot of patience and thick skin.

Online account balance sometimes show incorrect balance. Use the following to get your balance
Enter *611# (or 94#) - Balance is shown on phone screen
Dial 611 (or 95#) and listen to your balance
Quote from osv1 View Post :
Quote from osv1 View Post :
Username: lmus
Password: plus

For those using Lycamobile Data on their phones (mine is a nexus 4):

My Nexus 4 shows roaming, even though it is on TMobile's network. My Pantech Burst (ATT and unlocked ) never did show roaming.
Since the phone recognizes the network as roaming, you need to allow data on roaming to use data.
You will not be charged for roaming since it will not ever use ATT's towers. It is just a misconfiguration I hope they fix soon.

You will need to add an APN to get mobile data. Settings are:
  • Name: lycamobile
  • APN:
  • Username: lmus
  • Password: plus
  • Authentication type (you may or may not need to set this...I did): PAP
  • APN type: default, *

  • leave the rest of the settings at are good to go!
[B]Alternatives to LYCA (T-Mobile network):
GIV Mobile, GoSmart, Ready SIM, PTel, MetroPCS, StraightTalk, Solavei, Simple Mobile, Ultra Mobile
* Lyca is the cheaper for PayGo (pay per minute only)
* Others may be cheaper for monthly. Example Ultra Mobile's $19 plan: 1000 minutes (2c additional), unlimited texting (including International) and 100MB data
( [])

If you have an old sim
it can still be activated. Put the sim in, dial 622,
enter your zip and the computer will assign a phone number.
Then funds can be added via Calling Mart by using that phone number. $10 refills go straight to phone number.

Cheap unlooked phones:
More here: link []
Note: I guess Ebay sells unlocked and unlooked phonesSmilie


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there are a few people posting their experience with them in the article here and the comments that follow:
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
That zip code problem is pretty crazy... I'm sure they'll get it together.

Quote from WackyP View Post :

Rates for paygo:
2 cents - per minute of talk
4 cents - per text message
6 cents - per mb of web
This made me laugh, since one of the lines on my T-Mobile family plan had no data plan until one day they forced pay-per-megabyte on it, at $1.99/MB! T-Mobile's only grandfathered plan with overages, the 200MB plan, even charges a higher per-megabyte overage of $0.10/MB.

This seems like it would be a good plan for very light use, especially with data. The "unlimited" data cap of most popular MVNOs is 2-3GB. If you were paying 6 cents per MB, you would be paying $120-$180 for the data alone.

The texts could really add up, too.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
damn this is ridiculously cheap !
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
In 4 1.

This offer on their site looks interesting too.

"Buy a prepaid Nationwide Plan with unlimited national Talk, Text & Data from $39/month and we’ll give you FREE Unlimited International Calls. "
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
I only see one maxlength:8 Frown
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Quote from SonofZeus View Post :
In 4 1.

This offer on their site looks interesting too.

"Buy a prepaid Nationwide Plan with unlimited national Talk, Text & Data from $39/month and we’ll give you FREE Unlimited International Calls. "
That indeed looks pretty good...hopefully it's 4G data
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
very interesting, one comment:

Just got off the phone with Lyca customer service, since the service is new here in the US, they don't seem to know what is what. I asked about the # of service days you get for $5 or $50, it seems that money put on payGo (and service) will last until it runs out. But, you must make 1 call at least every 90 days or you SIM will be deactivated.
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Original Poster
For the $39 plan, "it is up to 4g for the 1st 250mb". After 250mb, it is 2g which is usually about 128kbps. The free unlimited international minutes is a promotional deal that sounds like it is only good until April.

There are 2 maxlength:8. The first maxlength is for entering your 9 digit zip code the first time to find your address. The second maxlength is only used if you make a mistake and need to reenter your zip code again. Therefore technically, only one maxlength needs editing. That is if you are editing the 1st one. There is no harm in trying to change just the one to see if it works.

People interested in Lycamobile paygo are those who pay by the minute/text/mb. It is not intended for those who need unlimited everything because as you are saying, it would not be worth it
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Quote from WackyP View Post :
People interested in Lycamobile paygo are those who pay by the minute/text/mb. It is not intended for those who need unlimited everything because as you are saying, it would not be worth it
Even if you're not interested in unlimited everything, it's not hard to imagine someone using 500MB of data and incurring a $30 monthly data charge. If you don't manage your phone settings accordingly, you may end up paying $6/mo in data for 100MB worth of app updates.

I do hear you, that it could be a better deal for very low data users, but I just wanted to illustrate that it's actually a pretty high rate at $60/GB.
Last edited by Technosquid March 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
ptel is like this?!?!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
ptel paygo is:
5 cents per minute
2 cents per text
10 cents per MB
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
I see from the original post in this thread, but can't find it on their website, that you have to spend $5 (250 minutes of calls) every four months to keep this active? Is that correct?

I did find you can set up auto recharge on your credit card to refill your minutes after they drop below a certain level. Hmmm, this is interesting.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Quote from Studly View Post :
I see from the original post in this thread, but can't find it on their website, that you have to spend $5 (250 minutes of calls) every four months to keep this active? Is that correct?

I did find you can set up auto recharge on your credit card to refill your minutes after they drop below a certain level. Hmmm, this is interesting.
From Lycamobile FAQs:

I have not used my Lycamobile for a while and it has now stopped working. Why is this?

We automatically deactivate SIM cards if you do not use them to make a call or send a text for more than 120 days. Unfortunately these SIM cards cannot be reconnected and the cell number also stops being available for you to use after this time.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
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