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Lycamobile Review 2022: Low-Cost PAYG Network with International Calling and 5G

Lycamobile is an O2 powered mobile virtual network operator, specialising in international calls offering great rates and a wide variety of plans.

What is Lycamobile?

Lycamobile uses the O2 Network to provide 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G on all their SIM plans. At its core, Lycamobile is a basic mobile network as they don’t offer any special features or extras besides great international calling rates.

Lycamobile is one of the better mobile carriers if your goal is to make affordable international calls regularly. On top of great calling rates, the network’s 30-day PAYG bundles include international minutes as well, which is something rare.

The network’s SIM Only deals work on a prepaid basis, meaning there are no credit checks to pass. Their customers can buy a 30-day SIM only bundle with UK minutes, texts and data. Some specific bundles also offer international minutes allowances of up to 500 minutes.

Pro's

  • Inclusive international call bundles & great rates for PAYG international calls
  • Unlimited international minutes plan
  • No credit checks are required
  • Discounts when purchasing certain plans online

Con's

  • No free Wi-Fi, 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling
  • Not a great option, if you’re not going to make international calls
  • No fancy extras, perks or entertainment options

Latest Offer: 250GB of data with Apple Music & Disney + for £23!

O2 are offering 100GB of data bundled with 6 months free Disney + for just £20/month with a 12-month contract. The plan also includes unlimited UK minutes & texts.

Alongside, 5G coverage in certain locations, customers can also choose a premium subscription such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video to access free of charge. This deal will end soon, so hurry up!

Network Coverage & Speeds

Lycamobile Mobile 4G Coverage

Lycamobile uses O2 as its mobile network provider, this means their customers get identical coverage on 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G in the UK. O2’s 4G population coverage is over 99%, but when it comes to UK landmass coverage O2 and therefore Lycamobile trail behind the likes of EE, Vodafone and their sub-networks. O2’s network covers roughly 90% of the UK, while EE offers over 95% UK geographical coverage, and their infrastructure is newer and more reliable.

You can keep your phone number, if you want to switch to Lycamobile, it’s an easy process and shouldn’t scare you. All you need to do is to get your PAC number from your current provider and deliver it to Lycamobile. They will do the rest and your new SIM will work with your old number within a working day.

Lycamobile Mobile 4G Speeds

According to Opensignal’s latest speed test report, O2 has the slowest 4G download speeds among the four major UK networks, and since Lycamobile customers get identical coverage and speeds as O2 customers do, this means they also get the same experience.

When we look at the test results, we see that Lycamobile UK’s download speeds average around 17.1Mbps and its upload speeds are around 5.4Mbps. These speed tests are performed countrywide, so give you a good indicator of speeds to expect but your experience may differ greatly due to many reasons.

Lycamobile 5G Coverage

All Lycamobile plans now include 5G, meaning you can get the fastest internet speeds available to O2 customers. O2 and Lyca’s 5G is live in 164 UK cities and towns. If you get Lycamobile 5G in your area, all you need is a 5G SIM card (Lycamobile provides it for free) and a 5G ready phone.

You should always check the network’s coverage map before you sign a contract with any network. We can’t stress this enough. Poor network coverage will result in unreliable connection and less than desirable internet speeds.

Lycamobile 5G Data Speeds

According to Opensignal’s September 2021 test results, Lycamobile’s 5G provider O2’s average 5G download speeds are around 111Mbps; and 5G upload speeds average around 9.3Mbps. Upload speeds could be significantly better, but over 100Mbps is more than enough to support multiple heavy data activities simultaneously. We can recommend Lycamobile 5G for online gaming, as their service will offer low latency, plus a strong and reliable connection.

Remember, to enjoy 5G speeds your handset must be 5G enabled. You also have to be in an area with Lycamobile 5G.

WiFi Calling and 4G Calling

At the time of writing, neither WiFi Calling nor 4G Calling (VoLTE) is available to Lycamobile customers. Almost all O2 powered MVNOs offer these two core features, so Lycamobile UK is the odd one out in this case.

4G (fourth-generation mobile telecommunication technology) is the successor to the 3G network, but under normal circumstances, it doesn’t carry voice. 4G is a data transfer system, but if your network and phone support 4G Calling (also known as 4G LTE or VoLTE), it can be used for voice traffic. Calls made over 4G are noticeably better, plus you can continue using 4G speeds when you’re browsing the web while on a call. It also eliminates many indoor blackspots.

WiFi Calling is a network feature that allows your handset to make or receive voice calls or texts over a WiFi connection. It comes into play when your regular cellular signal strength is weak or completely unavailable. WiFi Calling can improve your voice call quality, but it depends on the quality of your WiFi connection.

Personal Hotspot

Lycamobile allows tethering which is also known as using a phone as a personal hotspot. This means you can share your mobile phone’s data with other compatible devices like laptops, game consoles and other mobile devices. However, tethering other devices to your phone means you’ll burn through a lot more data. If you tether frequently, we strongly recommend you monitor your data usage. For users who plan to tether regularly, we recommend opting for a big data plan, or even an unlimited data plan to be on the safe side.

International Roaming

Lycamobile is a decent network for international roaming thanks to their competitively priced rates. Lycamobile plans come with inclusive EU roaming, but there are no extra add-ons to increase the number of countries where you can use your UK allowances. The network’s great for international calls from the UK, however, definitely not the best option when it comes to roaming.

Lycamobile’s roaming services should automatically work the moment you travel abroad. You may have to restart your phone if roaming doesn’t activate automatically. Also, make sure that you enable roaming on your device.

Features

Unlimited International Calls

Almost all Lycamobile plans come with inclusive international minutes, and some plans offer unlimited international calls to 40 destinations. These plans almost always include unlimited UK minutes & texts too. However, they don’t offer as much data as some of the other tariffs. If you’re a heavy data user, you might want to look for alternatives.

No Credit Checks

Lycamobile plans require no credit checks to pass which essentially makes them commitment-free. This includes their long-term plans as well. You can simply pay in advance for one of their monthly bundles, or use the network’s old school PAYG service. Remember, cancelling a SIM only deal may result in having to pay a penalty fee.

Refer & Earn

You can earn up to £20 for each friend that you bring on board. All you have to do is generate your unique link and invite friends to Lycamobile. Once they make a successful purchase your reward will be on its way.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

Lycamobile offers SIM deals that provide good value, and you get free international calls on selected plans. The network’s main goal is to offer SIM only deals that connect you to the world while offering a decent 4G and 5G service. However, they do not offer any voice call quality improving features.

Also, remember that you won’t be getting any other additional perks or entertainment options you would with some of the larger networks. We give Lycamobile 3 stars out of 5. Lycamobile is not a bad choice, but there are better options available on the market.

FAQ

What network does Lycamobile use?

Lycamobile is powered by O2’s network. The mobile virtual network operator is specialised in low-cost international calls.

Is Lycamobile the best for international calls?

We think Lebara’s rates are a bit more wallet-friendly, but Lycamobile certainly has great offers, too. In some countries, giffgaff rates are the best. At the end of the day, it all depends on which country you want to call.

Does Lycamobile have 4G Calling (VoLTE)?

No, Lycamobile doesn’t support 4G Calling.

Does Lycamobile offer Wi-Fi Calling?

No, Lycamobile doesn’t support Wi-Fi Calling.

Does Lycamobile have 5G?

Yes, Lycamobile customers can enjoy 5G internet speeds and 5G coverage powered by O2. All Lycamobile deals include 5G at no extra cost.

Are there any exclusive free Wi-Fi hotspots for Lycamobile customers?

No, unfortunately, Lycamobile customers don’t get to benefit from exclusive free Wi-Fi deals.

Can I get a pay as you go SIM from Lycamobile?

Yes, you can and Lycamobile’s pay as you go rates aren’t bad either. The network offers great rates for international calling.

Does Lycamobile have an unlimited plan?

Yes, and you even get a discount if you purchase the plan online via a credit/debit card.

Can I keep my phone number when switching to Lycamobile?

Yes, you can. Just get your PAC code from your current operator and submit it on Lycamobile’s website once you get your free SIM.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Lycamobile