Got friends and family overseas who you like to chat to? Lebara Mobile could be the mobile network for you.
It's a SIM-only provider that specialises in cheap international calling, offering SIM deals that let you buy minutes and packs for phoning numbers around the world. It's great value, easy to use, and incredibly flexible.
What can I get from Lebara Mobile?
You get a pay-as-you-go SIM card. When you want to use it, either pick a plan above, or top it up later and buy a bundle (or 'plan') of calls, texts, and data - almost all of which include some calling minutes to international numbers. You'll also get free calls and texts to other Lebara Mobile numbers.
You can just pay as you use, but since rates are quite high, we wouldn't recommend it. You're better off getting a 30-day or seven-day plan.
Plans can be bought either online or by texting the right code to 38885. They auto-renew when they run out - which is great if you want the ease of a pay-monthly contract, but remember to cancel if you don't want to continue a plan.
And, because the whole system is PAYG, Lebara Mobile doesn't require a credit check before you sign up.
All In One plans
These have got a bit of everything: minutes, texts, 4G data, and international calling minutes for over 40 countries. They're available on a variety of tariffs so you can pick one that suits your use.
The countries you can call with your international minutes are: Aland Islands, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pitcairn, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the USA.
Lebara's national plans are ideal for those months when you don't need to phone abroad as much. You get some UK minutes, UK texts, and 4G data, plus a handful of international minutes to sweeten the deal, which you can use to call EU countries.
You can also buy Data Passes - bundles of 4G data for the UK that you have 30 days to use.
Here's where Lebara gets good. There are absolutely loads of 30-day and seven-day International Plans that you can get, each of which give you a bundle of minutes that you can use to call certain countries.
You'll find them in various sizes too, so you can choose one to suit your calling habits or your budget.
Some of the International Plans available include:
- Unlimited International - Nothing but unlimited calls to around 40 countries - the same ones covered in the All In One plans
- Flexi World - Minutes that you can use to call numbers either in the UK or any of the 40+ covered countries, plus UK texts and data
- Flexi China & South East Asia - Minutes you can use to call numbers in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, plus extra minutes that you can use to call either those countries or the UK
- Flexi Western Europe - Minutes to call numbers in the UK and 23 Western European countries
- Flexi Pakistan - Minutes to call UK and Pakistan numbers
- Pakistan Power Pack and Bangladesh Big Bundle - 500 minutes to either Pakistan or Bangladesh respectively, 500 UK minutes, and 1GB of data
- Ghana plans, Nigeria plans, and Jamaica plans - Minutes to call numbers in each given country that you have 30 days to use
Remember that all of Lebara's plans are flexible. You can sign up to one, then switch to another plan the next month if you want to call some different countries.
What's Lebara Mobile coverage like?
Lebara Mobile piggybacks on Vodafone's network and shares its coverage. That means that around 99% of the population can get signal for calls and texts, and 4G mobile internet coverage isn't too far off either. In other words, you can call your friends and family abroad wherever you are in the country.
What's good about Lebara Mobile?
- Excellent for international calling
- One of the cheapest ways to call Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China from the UK
- Free calls and texts to other Lebara numbers
- Flexible pay-as-you-go system
- Good value
- No credit check necessary
- Get extra credit if you top up £20 or more, set up auto top up, or transfer your old phone number
What's bad about Lebara Mobile?
- Bolt-ons and out-of-plan tariffs are expensive
- No phone contracts or long-term SIM plans
- Not the strongest customer service around
- Data allowances aren't very high