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Lycamobile's $19 Unlimited Plan Price is a Limited Promotion, Ending April 30

Lycamobile, which is reportedly the largest MVNO in Europe, recently launched in the US with very aggressive pricing, including what appeared to be a $19/month unlimited talk and text plan.  That's the lowest priced unlimited plan from any US operator. I expected Lycamobile's aggreesive pricing would lead other operators to lowering their prices to remain competitive.

It turns out that the $19 price is a limited time promotion. Lycamobile has modified the terms and conditions page for its monthly plans to indicate that the $19 price is good only until April 30, 2013. After April 30 the price will be $29. All of Lycamobile's currently advertised prices for monthly plans are also promotional and will go up by $10 on May 1.

Lycamobile has a couple of other promotional offers. The MVNO's $39 plan comes with unlimited international calls to 10 numbers in 50 countries  The $49 plan includes  unlimited calls to 10 numbers in 65 countries. Unlike the plan pricing, the Lycamobile site has always indicated that the free international calling is a promotion which ends April 30. The regular prices of the 50 and 65 country unlimited add-ons will be $10 and $20 respectively.

Here's Lycamobile's plan lineup:
  • $29 ($19 until April 30) Unlimited Plan: Unlimited domestic talk and text. No data. 
  • $39 ($29 until April 30) Unlimited Plan: Unlimited domestic talk and text. Unlimited data (100 MB at 4G speeds).
  • $49 ($39 until April 30) Unlimited Plan:  Unlimited domestic talk and text. Unlimited data (250 MB at 4G speeds).
  • Pay As You Go: 2¢/minute, 4¢/text, 6¢/MB. minimum top up $5. airtime never expires as long as a phone call is made at least every 90 days.
Lycamobile is a T-Mobile MVNO. Service is on the T-Mobile network with no off-network roaming.

Lycamobile is getting off to a rocky start in the US. Their website is a bit of a mess. The form for ordering SIMs is broken. The site initially claimed (since corrected) that incoming calls while roaming were free in virtually every country in the world which didn't seem economically possible.

Once the promotions end, Lycamobile's monthly plan pricing is not disruptive at all. Other T-Mobile MVNOs match or beat Lyca's pricing. For example, Spot Mobile offers unlimited talk and text for $25/month.  Spot, PTel and Simple Mobile's $39 or $40 plans include more unthrottled data than Lycamobile's $39 plan does and T-Mobile, Spot, Simple and Ultra Mobile all include more data at the $49-$50 price point. At least, Lycamobile's pay as you go voice and data pricing is still the lowest available from any US operator.

Related: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared

Source: HowardForums

45 comments:

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  1. "Their website is a bit of a mess." That's putting it charitably!

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  2. There are a few giant minuses signing up with Lyca. You cant use a locked T-Mobile phone unlike other T-Mobile MVNO's, the $19 plan is not grandfathered, it will go up to $29 at the end of promotion, there are NO free incoming calls, at least not in Canada, and I doubt in any other country, there website is a total mess and CS is shaky at best, other that that they are A OK........

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    1. Lyca Mobile is horrible. Stay away. They lie cheat and steal. Furthermore they can not port phone numbers! what??? then keep your money for their shortcomings. Had to go back to straight talk and open a charge card dispute. These people are scummy. THey should not be doing business in the US. This is third world service they are offering.

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  3. They have already revised the website and no longer claim free incoming calls in every country of the world.

    I wouldn't assume that the promotional pricing will end at the end of April - it is Lycamboile's general pattern to have constantly renewing promotions (at least in Europe.)

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    1. Thanks for the update. You're right about the free incoming being corrected. I hope you're right about the promotions renewing every month too.

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  4. people that are complaining about their website and costumer service line then check the store locator on their website and see if they have a store by you. i read lyca is available in the usa in 18 states. i am in houston texas and there is 3 stores by me. they are the type of stores that would sell like airvoice or pageplus in like mexican neighborhoods.

    i understand some of ya'll want a free sim but it is only 5 bucks not worth the hassel if you can go in a store. i am going to go to the store and see about getting a sim and a pay as you go plan. i prefer paying cash. and i will port my t-mobile pay as you go number over because these rates are better but i hate the fact that i am going to have to unlock my t-mobile phone, i guess all i have to do is go to t-mobile store and they should do it!

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  5. Has anyone every called their customer service? Heaven forbid trying to speak with their representatives. I would rather have had someone that spoke proper English with a speech impediment than the losers than can not even communicate one sentence correctly.

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    1. I've called them a couple of times. Neither rep was a native English speaker but I had no trouble understanding them.

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    2. OK Dennis.....you must have had better reps than me. The ones I had stuttered every other word with such a heavy accent, I might as well hire a translator for the impediment.

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    3. they have 2 call centers. one each in India and Mexico to cater to the US folks.

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    4. really bad. Do NOT get involved in this nightmare.

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  6. Lyca Mobile has some potential but if they were smart, they'd extend their competitive promo longer to grab more initial market momentum and allow the users who come in on it to be grandfathered for at least a year if they go on say autopay or something.

    There are so many Tmobile mvnos comibg out not (Spot, Ptel, Ultra, Gosmart, Tel Cel America, Solableh ...)that they have to really put in something special to stand out.

    To me they're a EU version of Telcel, using the fame garnered in the homemarket to hopefully grab a built in audience in the US.

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  7. Lyca looks like a flash in the pan. my guess as to sort through the nonsense: (1) they saw their initial prices would turn their US expansion into a losing operation; or (2) the promotions were their actual intentions but they didn't articulate that well in their website. either way, it shows bad execution and fly-by-night off-the-cuff business decision making process where there is no attention to detail until after the fact. me really wonder about their operation in Europe and why they came to the US for an apparent money grab.

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  8. 20 million customers in 16 countries. I seriously doubt they are a flash in the pan. According to posts I have read from Europe , they do not operate very efficiently. Every MVNO out there has had major issues in the beginning and some consistently still have issues including Tracphone Affiliates that are the 4th largest operators in the world. I'm sure they'll get some of these issues ironed out and are not going away.

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  9. PagePlus, Airvoice, SpotMobile. They are the only MVNO's where you get native CS. Good-luck with the others. Depending on what one wants for coverage, messaging, and data, all offer great plans including some other MVNO's such as Ultra and Redpocket. Take your pick.....

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    1. If you use Straight Talk or Net10 Forums than your assistance is based in the US and is relatively fast. When I was with Page Plus the wait times on the phone for service was ridiculous and sometimes their phone lines were so full that it would just disconnect you. I finally went over to Kitty Wireless so I could get help when needed. Service in America is not worth a damn if you can't even get through. I'm with Net10 now and the service has been great, I simply use the forum instead of trying to call.

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    2. I agree with you on Page Plus. Shame being based in Ohio there would be such a CS issue. If you can set it and forget it during activation, then doing everything on their website is the best alternative option thereafter.
      They are the best Verizon MVNO. It all depends on whether you want CDMA or GSM.

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  10. Lyca has a lot of work to do on their website, customer service and plans. They introduced too quickly without ironing out the bugs.

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  11. I got a free sim (fortunately, my office address Zip code is exclusive)recharged my account for $5(pay 2 go) and tried voice and data. I did not have any problem with voice, but I am only getting 2G data speeds (300 kb/s) on my Nexus 4. Guess, they provide only data at 2G speeds for Pay 2 go plan. I also see a 'R' next to the network signal. Guess, the network is roaming in T mobile network. Btw, I live in Dallas, Texas, where T mobile high speed data is available.

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    1. I am in Butte, Mt (zip 59701)talk and text works fine. Me think I am roaming on AT&T cause T-Mobile service is not available here. I am using a unlocked IPhone 4S, but there is no R next to the network signal, signed up for the $19 unlimited plan, no data, so I cant tell at what speed it works here.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. The data is bizarre.

      I am getting very slow data speeds, but the phone indicates I am getting HSPA:11, and I know the Tmobile speeds are good here (downtown San Francisco.)

      The bizarre thing is that the data apparently tunnels over to some Lycamobile gateway in the UK - I have a UK IP address. I was tipped off to this because google defaulted to google.co.uk, and I then checked my ip address.

      So, my guess is I actually have a 3G, but the speeds are very slow because of how they have things going to the UK at their back end.

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  12. i am in houston texas and i was going to get the pay as you go also plan. i have a t-mobile 4g and 3g phone. i was going to mostly use it for voice but at 6cents a mb for data would of use some for that also when wifi wasn't around but seriously only 2g data wtf. have you talked to the rep and see if that is supose to be right, thats just so slow let me know maan? yeswap this is for the guy from dallas but it didn't reply right under him

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  13. Any word whether the prices for the Pay As You Go plan (2¢/minute, 4¢/text, 6¢/MB) are permanent and won't change after April 30? I've sent an email inquiry on the subject but haven't received a reply in three days.

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    1. For what it's worth, I was told by a Lyca rep that the PayGo rate is not a promo offer, but all plans/prices are subject to change at their discretion.

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  14. what a mess. reading a few messages up that someone in downtown san francisco is seeing his possible HPSA speed on lyca being slowed down to "bizarre" and "very slow data speeds" because his data is apparently being routed through the UK by lyca. what a crock. lyca is really looking like a fool's trap suckering people in by lyca's lower prices that lyca wants to tempt you with. hope you all aren't spending too much on this lyca mess. personally me would stay away from this. oh well. lol

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    1. That is correct. DO NOT sign up for their data service!! the best deal they have is the $19 unlimited monthly, however its a promotional deal ONLY, and will not be grandfathered, it will go up to $29 at the end of the promotion, and at that price, Ultra is a much better deal.

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    2. Will they not grandfather the other two plans also or just the $19? I'm considering switching from Simple Mobile's $40 that includes only 250MB of 4G Speed after that lowered to 230kb. But I've read on the Lyca brochure that after the 4G allotmen you get throttled to 650kbps wich for my use is still pretty good compared to Simple.

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    3. Lyca hasn't said when or if the promotional pricing will end and if there will be grandfathering if the prices go up.

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  15. The online SIM ordering page has been updated.

    The current form will accept any user input. A new "County / District" line was added, possibly to accommodate for Puerto Rico addresses.

    Just be certain you input the correct info the first time, as the order will go through as soon as 'submit' button is clicked.

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  16. Lyca confirmed my SIM orders on March 20 and April 13, but no delivery. I called 5 local dealers listed on the Lyca website and none of them had received any Lyca SIMs; the reps had not even heard of the company.
    Very poor rollout from my experience.

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  17. HI there,

    Please order free sim at Lycamobile Los angeles Facebook page! I did that and received my packet in 4 days!

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  18. Lyca has all kinds of problems. Long hold times and bad cs. No mms. Porting is flakey. You need to unlock your phone, locked tmobile phones won't work. Data speeds all over the place. Plans may or may not change . Topup amounts on paygo change.

    I say Ptel may cost a little more but has better quality overall as a Tmobile mvno. Lyca has a lot of growing up to do . It's not ready for primetime. Maybe someday but not now.

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    1. I use both Ptel and Lyca. Same coverage, signal. Tmobile unlocks your phones when you ask them. Lyca costs much less for voice, but has slower data. Lyca makes a good second phone; I use it to backup my limited Vonage account; for example, long outgoing calls to non-toll-free numbers or calls to my chatty sister. I like the fact that the PayGo airtime balance does not expire if you use a minute every 90 days, and that incoming texts and calls to voicemail are free.

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    2. I've been using lycamobile for 2 years now and i don't have any problems with it. Most mobile phones are locked to the provider unless you ask them to unlock your phone. All smartphones are already unlocked so you can use any sim card. I've been a tmobile customer since 2001 and used my phone in Australia and used telstra sim in my phone.

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    3. "All smartphones are already unlocked so you can use any sim card."
      This is only true in Singapore, Israel and Chile, where locking is prohibited by law.

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  19. Some of you keep saying that the Lycamobile 19.00 deal is promotional, ending in April or May, but this now the middle of June and they are still advertising this promo on their site.

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    1. I live in Australia and they have the same prices. I've never had a problem with them yet since I use it to call back home. In Australia they have prices starting from $10. To 50. aud. I've been with them for 3 years.

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  20. Hi,

    Just a quick comment on PagePlus. The last time I needed them, the wait was ok. And if not, you learn to try different times or do other things on a speakerphone since, once you are set up, the need for calling is very infrequent. And the people are very competent. They have an auto-recharge that sometimes glitches for about 15 minutes once a month (text still works during the glitch) and it solves most problems.

    When a friend comes from out of town who needs a phone, I have found setting them up with PagePlus to be painless, if I have a solid Verizon clamshell floating around, or pick one up here or there. The big plus is the very good Verizon service, a friend in Asheville. NC could not get good enough reception with the other companies (including AT&T), had terrible times with Verizon's customer service and billing, and PP was the answer. T-Mobile also did not make the grade. Granted, YMMV if they do not support the phone you want, stuff like that. (My own phone is AT&T family plan in the NYC metro area, I am always tempted to switch to month-to-month unlimited PagePlus.)

    Steven Avery

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  21. Unlike the commendable Lycamobile UK, PayAsYouGo, Lycamobile US is absolutely unreliable and a near zero Cust Service. The SIM arrived after a week of ordering. When I tried to activate it they gave me an area code of Seattle instead of Issaquah, whose zip code I fed. Before I opted for their various packages I opted for a $10 to use their international services, which they promptly credited saying "including your bonus" -what bonus do they mean? Yes in the UK they have a 10 or 20% bonus for online purchase, but not in the US, then why do they write such a thing? Sent them 2 emails asking for various clarifications, but none are replied for the past 5 weeks. Calling their CS no. 612 there were endless waits for atleast 5 days at random times, then some guy David in South America, answered and he sounded very prompt and said he would escalate and priortise my complaint about wrongly billed calls to India, including timer overshots in their billing against my cellphones timer. And yes, they publicise freely all over their website calls to India are 1c per minute whereas they charge you 3c, which their guy could not explain, so if you don't buy a plan check and read the fine print. To add fuel to fire, last night a call to India that dropped in 7 minutes, was shown as charged for 56 minutes at 3c, whereas I had two other calls in the overlapping period to the same number during that period as can clearly be seen in the call history on my data page!! What a rubbish system and software they use?!It seems they don't care about their customers and service and will ring their own death knell, soon!! Atleast don't publicise and preach what you don't mean. Will definitely bad mouth their rubbishness and how they cheat and fleece! Lycamobile US Customers beware!
    Best part none of these comments above, as far as I can see have been responded to by Lycamobile. How cool. I'm sure they are aware but too callous to reply or care!

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  22. With plan the charge is 1 cent/min for calling to India and without plan (only recharge) it is 3 cents per min.

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  23. Sridhara-syama dasaOctober 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Dennis - one quick question that may not be relevant to this thread / post.

    I am traveling to India for 2 weeks in a few days and would like to have a phone during the trip. Currently I use the Straight Talk Blackberry - which is not an option to carry with me. I was thinking of using this trip to try out a simple (read cheap) phone running either Android or Windows operating system.

    Given that I do not want to spend much over $100 for the phone can you suggest what would be a good 2 or 3 phones to consider. I would most likely be buying used off craigslist or Amazon. Other than a blackberry I have never used any smartphone before - hence wanted to try out one of these OS's.

    Suggestions are welcome.

    Hare Krishna
    Sridhara-syama dasa

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    1. Among new phones the Blu brand Android phones are inexpensive and have a good reputation.

      A good used phone at around $100 would be an unlocked international Galaxy S.

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  24. I am happy with Lycamobile, actually really happy so far after more than a month. I don't use the data much and I have Karma for most times I need mobile data. Who cares if the CS is terrible? Why would you try to port to Lycamobile when porting to Google Voice makes so much more sense? At least for me it did. I don't ever call CS or expect ANYTHING from ANYONE'S CS because they're ALL terrible if you ask me and you're better off never talking to anyone. You can get the SIMs from Amazon for .01 each and I scored 25 of them to give out to friends and family. Their website might suck, but it works fine for me and better than H2O which I used before Lyca. I'm sure they have their pros and cons in Europe, but here in America I think it's the best thing to happen phone-wise for the consumer since the advent of the free Obamaphones for everyone and their dog.

    Note: I have not talked with Lyca's CS (I'm sure it's terrible), but I had to call 3-4x to H2O before I could report my SIM stolen and transfer to a new SIM. Verizon and ATT have all been bad for me, nothing too terrible to say about T-Mobile, but I still maintain, if you have to call any of them you are already screwed and you should be ready for the pain and suffering of CS. I am also the "tech support" guy everyone used to call for problems, so I feel comfortable saying these things emphatically.

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