European based Lycamobile, which just launched in the US last week as a T-Mobile MVNO, has been busy with some very aggressive price cutting. The former $39 and $40 monthly plans are now $29 and $39. There's a brand new $19/month unlimited talk and text plan. The pay as you go plan, which wasn't available at launch, is now open for activation with an even lower voice rate than Lycamobile was quoting last week.
International calling rates have dropped as well. Here are the old and new rates for calling mobile phones in Prepaid Phone News International Market Basket countries.
Old: Canada 1¢; Mexico 4¢; China 2¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 12¢ - Total 23¢/ 5 = 4.6¢ Average.
New: Canada 1¢; Mexico 3¢; China 1¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 9¢ - Total 19¢/ 5 = 3.8¢ Average.
Those are the lowest Market Basket prices I've found from any US operator.
Here's a breakdown of the old and new Lycamobile plans:
|$19/month (promotional price, regular price $29)||Unlimited||Unlimited/12¢||Not Included|
|$29/month (promotional price, regular price $39)||Unlimited||Unlimited/12¢||Unlimited (100 MB at 4G speeds)|
|$39/month (promotional price, egular price $49)||Unlimited||Unlimited/12¢, 250 international included||Unlimited (500 MB at 4G speeds)|
|Pay As You Go||2¢/min (was 4¢/min)||4¢/12¢||6¢/MB|
Lycamobile is also running a free international calls promotion through the end of April. $29 plan users get unlimited calls to 10 numbers (the first 10 called in the month) in 50 countries. $39 plan users get the same deal but they have 65 countries that they can call for free. Click here for a list of the eligible countries.
Provided there are no monthly or hidden charges (the Lycamobile site contradicts itself on this) these price reductions make Lycamobile the low price leader in several areas. In addition to the lowest international rates based on market basket prices, Lycamobile has the lowest priced unlimited talk and text plan ($19/month), and lowest pay as you go voice (2¢/minute) and data (6¢/MB) rates.
Lycamobile will send you a free SIM for the asking. However the web form for ordering free SIMs is even more broken than ever. You still can't actually enter a street address. The workaround that I found last week no longer works for me because the site now claims that my zip code is invalid!
I finally gave up on trying to order a SIM online and called Lycamobile at 845-301-1612. The call was answered immediately and a very patient customer service rep took my name and address and promised to send me a SIM. I'll post an update when I have a chance to try the service.