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Lycamobile 4G Coverage and Network Review

16th March 2017

LycaMobile Network Coverage

Lycamobile is primarily aimed at people who want to make affordable international calls. However, its UK rates are reasonable too and it offers 4G.

Lycamobile uses O2’s infrastructure, so where O2 has 4G Lycamobile does too. Currently that means it has over 78% UK population coverage across thousands of towns, cities and villages. O2 is working hard to push that up to 98% and has a regulatory requirement to do so by the end of 2017, so that will benefit Lycamobile too. 

Pros

Cons

Affordable roaming

Data roaming is only included on one plan

Cheap national rates

Low data limits

Inclusive international calls

Tethering isn't allowed

Our Rating

Coverage

As an O2 MVNO, Lycamobile’s 4G coverage isn’t quite as good as Vodafone’s or anywhere near as good as EE’s, but that should change by the end of 2017 and it’s still got 4G readily available in most urban and many rural locations. 3G and 2G coverage is strong too.

Network Type Coverage by population
4G  78%
3G 98%
2G 99%

Use Lycamobile’s coverage checker below to find out more about Lycamobile coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

4G from O2 and by extension Lycamobile is now available in well over 6000 UK towns, cities and villages, including but not limited to:

Antrim, Bradford, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bridgend, Brighton, Burnley, Castleford, Coleraine, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Leigh, Liverpool, Livingston, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, London, Macclesfield, Newtownabbey, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Pontypool, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, St Albans, Sittingbourne, Southampton and Tamworth.

Recent locations to get an O2 4G and by extension a Lycamobile 4G upgrade include: Callington, Wick, Crediton, Swimbridge, Hallbankgate and Aberchirder.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

Lycamobile uses standard 4G, which is approximately 5 times faster than a typical 3G network. The network’s average 4G download speed is 18.48Mbit/sec, and it has an average 4G upload speed of 9.40Mbit/sec.

As far as speeds go that’s somewhere in the middle relative to rivals – behind EE and its MVNO’s, but ahead of Three. It’s fast enough to smoothly use the internet on your phone, whether browsing, streaming or downloading.

  • Average Download Speed: 18.48 Mbit/sec
  • Average Upload Speed: 9.40 Mbit/sec

Lycamobile only uses the 800MHz band for 4G, but that band has a number of strengths. It’s long range, making it great for rural locations where mobile masts are often spread far apart.

It’s also proficient at penetrating walls and other solid objects, making it useful in towns and cities too, and helping to make sure you can get 4G coverage whether you’re inside or outside. 

For more in depth information, check out our 4G frequencies guide.

  • 800MHz used for 4G
  • 900MHz used for 2G/3G
  • 1800MHz used for 2G
  • 2100 MHz used for 3G

Plans

Lycamobile has a wide range of SIM Only plans and also allows you to Pay As You Go. More details can be found below, however note that all plans come with 4G at no extra cost and that tethering isn’t allowed on any plans.

Pay Monthly Phone Plans

Lycamobile doesn’t currently offer any Pay Monthly plans, so you’ll have to supply your own phone.

SIM Only Plans

 

UK Plans

International Bundles

Inclusive Roaming

Yes, on some plans, but only for calls

Yes, on one plan

Max Data Allowance

10GB 8GB

Contract Length

30 days 7 or 30 days

Lycamobile’s SIM Only plans are split between UK ones and international ones. The UK ones for the most part don’t allow any roaming, though a couple do give you roaming minutes. They top out at 10GB of data and all last 30 days.

Surprisingly, only one international bundle lets you roam, but it gives both minutes and 3GB of inclusive data roaming. However, all the international bundles let you call dozens of international destinations from the UK at no extra cost, while most UK bundles don’t allow this.

Plus, a few of the international bundles only last 7 days, making them very flexible. But they top out at slightly less data than the UK ones and cost more for the allowances you get.

Data Only Plans – For Tablets and Dongles

Lycamobile offers a range of Data Only bundles, offering between 500MB and 5GB of data. These last 30 days, start at £5 per month and don’t include any minutes or text allowances.

Pay As You Go

Lycamobile offers a Pay As You Go service at a rate of 12p per minute, 12p per megabyte of data and 19p per text. Given that its SIM Only bundles only last 30 days or less these are also appropriate for use with Pay As You Go.

Lycamobile Roaming Destinations

Some Lycamobile plans allow you to use your text and call allowance at no extra cost in 18 international destinations, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Hong Kong, Romania and the USA.

However, only one plan includes free data roaming, for all others you will have to buy an add-on to use data abroad and the prices of these vary wildly depending on where you plan to use the data.

Conclusion

Lycamobile is the network to choose if you plan to make a lot of international calls. It’s also a strong choice if you just don’t want to be tied in to a contract for long.

Generally low prices also make it a good choice for UK users, just as long as you don’t need too much data.

It’s not quite as strong for roaming as you might expect an internationally focused network to be though, and it doesn’t allow tethering at all.

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