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

WackyP 1,812 March 28, 2013 at 04:47 PM in Tech & Electronics (5)
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****I deleted the whole original post because it was out of date and did not apply anymore.***


Common questions:

Q: Who is Lycamobile? http://www.lycamobile.us/en/
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. http://www.lycamobile.us/en/national-plans

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: http://slickdeals.net/f/6210666-at-t-samsung-a157-prepaid-gophone-5-free-shipping?v=1&p=61248212#edit61248212 . 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. http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2...-text.html

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.
https://account.lycamobile.us/get...px?lang=en

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: https://www.facebook.com/lycamobi...6264290645 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 http://www.localcallingguide.com/...&npa=&ocn=
Broadvox http://www.localcallingguide.com/...&npa=&ocn=

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.

2,696 Comments

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#916
Quote from InEvX View Post :
Question: If a current AT&T customer wants to switch to Lycamobile and T-Mobile (two phones), is that possible?
I called Lycamobile and they said porting the number is done via Lycamobile, but it cancels AT&T's account immediately..

I want to keep both numbers :'(
I ported my primary AT&T line to StraightTalk (in 2 days) and the secondary AT&T line became the primary. I tried to port the secondary AT&T (now primary) to Lycamobile and gave up after 3 weeks of Lycamobile incompetence. Area code was 315-222-xxxx. I gave up and canceled the AT&T line and number and kept the Lycamobile-issued number.

Hope this helps. Be fully prepared to lose the number you are trying to port to Lyca Mad.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#917
Quote from Disturbed_One View Post :
Awesome, requested 2 micro sims.

$10 every 90 days to have a home phone?
Sounds like a sweet deal in my book...now to acquire a decent phone.
Perhaps a GS2 since I have a carry a GS3.
Disturbed - it's much cheaper than that. All you need to do is place at least 1 call every 120 days. This is from Lyca's FAQ:
"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. "
And never carry $19 or more in prepaid credit per line or they will place you in the monthly plan.
So your phone service will cost only 2 cents/ 4 months/ line Big Grin
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#918
Quote from mbick2 View Post :
I ported my primary AT&T line to StraightTalk (in 2 days) and the secondary AT&T line became the primary. I tried to port the secondary AT&T (now primary) to Lycamobile and gave up after 3 weeks of Lycamobile incompetence. Area code was 315-222-xxxx. I gave up and canceled the AT&T line and number and kept the Lycamobile-issued number.

Hope this helps. Be fully prepared to lose the number you are trying to port to Lyca Mad.
There are specific time limits on porting and is regulated by the FCC. You also can't "lose" your number due to company incompetence.

File a report with the FCC. AFAIK, this is an overseas company so the FTC might want to know about billing problems too.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#919
Quote from kaiotes View Post :
all lyca does is issue tickets and never resolve them
rampant over biling on the data
over charges on roaming
non resolution
It's almost as if the service provided equals the price you paid...
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#920
Quote from mbick2 View Post :
Disturbed - it's much cheaper than that. All you need to do is place at least 1 call every 120 days. This is from Lyca's FAQ:
"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. "
And never carry $19 or more in prepaid credit per line or they will place you in the monthly plan.
So your phone service will cost only 2 cents/ 4 months/ line Big Grin
Even better, thanks for the heads up Big Grin
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#921
Quote from mbick2 View Post :
I ported my primary AT&T line to StraightTalk (in 2 days) and the secondary AT&T line became the primary. I tried to port the secondary AT&T (now primary) to Lycamobile and gave up after 3 weeks of Lycamobile incompetence. Area code was 315-222-xxxx. I gave up and canceled the AT&T line and number and kept the Lycamobile-issued number.

Hope this helps. Be fully prepared to lose the number you are trying to port to Lyca Mad.
You should try activating a T-Mobile prepaid plan with that old phone number and port it to google voice and have GV forward all your calls from your old number to your Lyca number. There is a chance the number may still be available.
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#922
Quote from sd444 View Post :
There are specific time limits on porting and is regulated by the FCC. You also can't "lose" your number due to company incompetence.

File a report with the FCC. AFAIK, this is an overseas company so the FTC might want to know about billing problems too.
I had to let it go. Lyca was claiming AT&T rejected the port request. AT&T said they released the number after 1 day from request. While I was on the line with att, they called the incompetents at Lyca to see what's going on. Lyca could not find any record of my request. As days passed by, my new billing cycle started with att for a line I was not using and I got billed for some $40. Att could not close the account as long as the porting request was open. I could not just close the request over the phone, only Lyca could cancel the port request but the incompetents were not doing it. Calling Lyca customer service for anything is useless. I finally got an att supervisor on the line who managed to refund the charge and cancel the account and the line. So I did not lose the number - I gave it up to escape the nightmare.
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#923
Quote from DBC View Post :
You should try activating a T-Mobile prepaid plan with that old phone number and port it to google voice and have GV forward all your calls from your old number to your Lyca number. There is a chance the number may still be available.
Yes, you are right. I thought about Google voice but the number was for a secondary line and I did not want to spend $20. Oh well... Another thing I was not sure about Google - when calling out your caller ID would show the Lyca number?
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1,812 Reputation
Original Poster
#924
Quote from mbick2 View Post :
I ported my primary AT&T line to StraightTalk (in 2 days) and the secondary AT&T line became the primary. I tried to port the secondary AT&T (now primary) to Lycamobile and gave up after 3 weeks of Lycamobile incompetence. Area code was 315-222-xxxx. I gave up and canceled the AT&T line and number and kept the Lycamobile-issued number.

Hope this helps. Be fully prepared to lose the number you are trying to port to Lyca Mad.

Lycamobile just cannot port all existing numbers. They try to port every number as requested, but the general belief is that it is not possible. Landline numbers are out. VOIP numbers like Google Voice will not work either. What is left are mobile numbers. Based on the responses here and elsewhere, not all mobile numbers are possible either.

The mobile area codes that work depends on what number given to you by Lycamobile.

Enter your Lycamobile-issued number
http://fonefinder.net/

Result from your phone number will either be Broadvox or Peerless.

Broadvox users will only be able to port to these area codes:
http://localcallingguide.com/lca_...&npa=&ocn=

Peerless users will only be able to port to these area codes:
http://localcallingguide.com/lca_...&npa=&ocn=


The people who have the best experience porting are those who were given a Broadvox number and ported to an area served by Broadvox. Or, they were given a Peerless number and ported to an area served by Peerless.

So far, nobody has reported that they have been able to port a number from an area code that is neither served by Broadvox or Peerless into Lycamobile.

Even users who try to port from the other (that is they have a Peerless number and want a Broadvox-only area code or vice-versa) have not succeeded.

Note that right now, the above is just speculation on the part of the people who know more about this stuff than me..
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#925
How do you call an international number

is it 011+ country code+ number like it would be from your home phone ?
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#926
Quote from beaulieu View Post :
when you tell them your phone number do you use 1 310 555 1212 or how Lyca does it 0 310 555 1212

thanks
The latter, starts with a 0.
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#927
Ting.com has a 100 plan for $15 for light users that sounds pretty good. That's 100 talk, 100 txt and 100 mb. nod

However, if the comments below are correct. Lycamobile is "maybe" awesome or not so much. Cool

Lycamobile comments I came across in my research:
"We automatically deactivate SIM cards if you do not use them to make a call or send a text for more than 120 days." (see also /en/terms and conditions 3.4) $5 refill every 119 days (to be safe like PPC) seems like one of the cheapest PAYG. I guess only time well tell if refills are stackable.

"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."

"Customer service rep confirmed (it is also on their website) that you do not need to buy new airtime to keep the service active. You just need to make at least one call (or one text or data) at least once every 120 days. This is very unique. No other provider I know of offers non-expiring minutes/airtime."


"May 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Lycamobile has increased the minimum top-up amount to $10 for PayGo. Last month I could add $5 by using the 'Other' amount button. This time when I click on that, it says I must add at least $10. If I add less, it fails."

"I just got an lycamobile SIM (It is actually a combo regular and micro SIM). Activation was event free. I recharged with $10 (the minimum possible). I plan to initiate a port from metropcs ($20 bytheminute plan) tomorrow. I sent one SMS charged at 4c. Incoming were free. Hoewever I got billed at 12c each for 4 SMS from 4475374102x7. I got charged for data even though I was in wifi connected until I turned off cellular data. Motivation to switch to lyca was more to do with using GSM iphone 3GS which can be used abroad with local SIM. Any comments on 12c texts or why data was charged while on wifi? I will update in 10 days."
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#928
Quote from Desperadokid View Post :

Hoewever I got billed at 12c each for 4 SMS from 4475374102x7. I got charged for data even though I was in wifi connected until I turned off cellular data. Motivation to switch to lyca was more to do with using GSM iphone 3GS which can be used abroad with local SIM. Any comments on 12c texts or why data was charged while on wifi? I will update in 10 days."
Old news. You want somebody to blame for the charge? Blame Apple for making all their users send text messages to the UK in order to activate Facetime & iMessage .
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#929
Quote from observer_m View Post :
There is no local store that carries them, I tried. Whatever physical location found on Lyca's website is totally BS. Mad

There is however an Ebay item which worked for me.

Ebay Item [ebay.com]

Let me know how it goes.
am I doing something wrong on your Ebay link ?

there is no way to purchase ??????
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#930
Quote from beaulieu View Post :
am I doing something wrong on your Ebay link ?

there is no way to purchase ??????
Sorry, it is now an Ebay Classified Ad. You'll need to contact the Seller directly to buy this item now.

Click the "Email the seller" link below the price to see how to purchase this item.
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