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.
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