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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****I deleted the whole original post because it was out of date and did not apply anymore.***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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with Chrome, right click on the zip code box,
inspect item,
then change the maxlength=8 to 9
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Quote from alohajoe View Post :
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.
From Their Terms & Conditions, it seem you only need to make a voice call, send a message or data every 120 days to keep the service active. You don't have to purchase another top-up card.


3.4 If you do not use your SIM Card to make a voice call, or send a message or data, or if you do not purchase a top-up using the Top-Up Services, for a period of ninety (90) days from the date you registered or activated your Account or your last use of the Services (whichever is later), Lycamobile will contact you by SMS or e-mail advising you that your SIM Card will be deactivated. Lycamobile will then provide you with an additional thirty (30) days to make a voice call, send a message or data, or purchase a top-up using the Top-Up Services.
3.5 If you make a voice call, send a message or data, or purchase a top-up using the Top-Up Services within the additional thirty (30) day period, your SIM Card will remain active. Any previous credit balance in your Account will remain available for you to use, and you will be able to access and use the Services.
3.6 If you do not make a voice call, send a message or data, or purchase a top-up using the Top-Up Services within the additional thirty (30) day period, your SIM Card will be deactivated. If the SIM Card is deactivated, your specific telephone number will be reallocated to another Customer, you will not be able to access or use the Services, and you will not be entitled to a refund of any credit balance in your Account.
Last edited by tjphoton March 28, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
cool, enjoyed hacking the form Smilie
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
How do i find my full zip code? I only know the first 5 numbers...

Last edited by ubiquitous March 29, 2013 at 05:06 AM
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Does an MMS count as data or does it count the same as sms text ? hmmmmmm
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Looks like a really good deal - now let's see if this company manages to stay in business Smilie

Thanks OP!
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Quote from JAXXBOSS View Post :
Does an MMS count as data or does it count the same as sms text ? hmmmmmm
Can't speak for them, but usually MMS is considered data.
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Quote from teetotaler View Post :
Looks like a really good deal - now let's see if this company manages to stay in business Smilie

Thanks OP!
Not a bad record despite headwinds from Vodafone et al in Europe.

"In 2006 Lycamobile launched its mobile brand, since then Lycamobile has grown rapidly with 8 million customers in 15 countries (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Ireland). Further market launches are planned throughout 2013."
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Quote from JAXXBOSS View Post :
Does an MMS count as data or does it count the same as sms text ? hmmmmmm
I use this with Wifi.
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Quote from SonofZeus View Post :
I use this with Wifi.
What exactly is this.
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any chance of porting over your number from T-Mobile currently?
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I'm interested and ordered a free sim, if only to see if it'll work in my T-mobile phones. Would be great for a cheap emergency/low use phone for the kids at that price.
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A LycraMobile customer service rep told me you only need to use the phone (minimally) once every 120 days to keep it active. No need to add additional funds.

Besides being dirt cheap for low usage customers, I don't know any other provider that offers non-expiring airtime purchases.
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I'm sticking with PTEL..great US based C/S reps who know their stuff, use the PTEL discount coupon PTELSLICK20 to get their $40. unlimited talk/text, and 250mg data and free international text for $20. a month. And with a T-Mo branded phone, I'm getting 4G everywhere available with my Optimus L9. Love this company.
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Just ordered the SIM, thanks OP. Unlimited calls to 10 numbers, for landline only, included in the price $29 or $39 plan is a great deal. Mobile numbers are different. Currently to call Irish mobile, for example, runs between 20 & 30 cent a minute with any of the major providers out there. Simple Mobile (another MVNO & my current provider) have an 800 number to call & then you have to punch in the entire number that you are going to call & the cost is 10 cent to irish mobiles. Lyca charge you 5 cent a min (confirmed by CS rep Jose) to Irish mobiles and you just dial straight from your phone, which is so much less hassle. I'll definitely be switching when my month is up with Simple Mobile. Also confirmed is that it's free to receive calls & texts when roaming in Ireland, UK or Italy (for example). It is currently not possible to receive calls or texts abroad with Simple Mobile.
Super Thanks again OP, this is a superb deal!
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