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Lebara Mobile Review

28th November 2023

Lebara Mobile Review

Lebara Mobile is a mobile network with international calling at its heart, as many of its plans let you call dozens of destinations at no extra cost.

However, that’s not all it has going for it, as Lebara Mobile also has flexible plans and plenty of coverage, since it uses Vodafone as its infrastructure partner. Plus, it was awarded Best Value SIM Only Network by Uswitch in 2021, and Best Customer Service by the Mobile Industry Awards in 2023.

But Lebara isn’t the perfect fit for everyone, so read on below for a full review of the network in which we’ll highlight all the good and bad aspects, as well as giving you a rundown of its coverage.




Free international calls

No pay monthly

Short-term plans

Few extras

Free roaming in India


Our Rating

Table of Contents


Lebara Mobile Pay Monthly Plans


SIM Only

Mobile Phones Data Only

Plans Available

x x

Max Data



Contract lengths

1 or 12 months


As you can see, many of Lebara’s plans are short term, lasting just 30 days, which makes the network more flexible than some, as you can change or cancel your plan almost whenever you want. Though there are also 12-month plans available for a slightly lower monthly cost.

Lebara also allows tethering and its plans let you call abroad at no extra cost, plus you can get up to unlimited data, all plans now come with 5G, and there aren’t any credit checks. However there’s not much in the way of extra features.

Lebara only really offers SIM-only plans. You can sometimes buy phones on the network (though at the time of writing these don’t appear to be available), but these are either paid for outright or by splitting the cost in three.

That said, Lebara also lets you Pay As You Go at a rate of 25p per minute, 19p per text and 9p per megabyte.

Those rates aren’t great, but as its plans mostly last just 30 days you can make your money go further by opting for one of them, without really losing the freedom and flexibility of Pay As You Go.

Value for money

Lebara is an extremely cheap network, with plans starting at just £4.50 per month at the time of writing. That’s even less than a lot of other cheap networks – but for that you get just 5GB of data, which isn’t much. And its higher end plans (such as its unlimited data ones) aren’t as affordable as on some networks.

So while Lebara’s starting price is one of the very lowest, it’s not one of the very best value in general. For certain customers though it will present excellent value for money, since it also offers free international calls, along with free roaming in Europe and India. So it’s good value for the internationally inclined.

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Extras and benefits

Beyond allowances, there are a few other things to know about Lebara’s plans. These are shown in the chart below and detailed further underneath. But the key highlight is roaming - which is free in India as well as the EU.

Lebara perks and policies


SIM Only


Free Roaming


Wi-Fi Calling


Data Rollover

Spending Caps

Unlimited Data

Family Plans

Credit Check


Lebara offers 5G as standard on all of its plans, so you won’t have to select a specific plan or pay any extra to get it. However you will of course need a 5G phone, otherwise your data will top out at 4G regardless of your plan.

Roaming Destinations

Like many UK networks, Lebara Mobile lets you roam across the EU at no extra cost. However, it notes that if you have an unlimited data plan you’ll be limited to 30GB when roaming.

Unlike most UK networks, you can also roam at no extra cost in India (up to a 30GB fair usage limit).


At the time of writing we can’t see any reference to tethering on Lebara’s website, however most networks allow this and Lebara certainly used to, so it presumably still does.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling is offered by Lebara, which means you’re able to make calls over Wi-Fi, using your normal dialler and SMS apps to stay in touch when there’s no signal.


VoLTE is also offered by Lebara. VoLTE (also known as 4G Calling) means being able to make calls over 4G, so you can call even if there’s no 2G or 3G signal.

Data rollover

Lebara doesn’t offer data rollover, so you only have one chance to use your monthly data allowance. A few networks will roll over unused data to a second month, which is handy, but most networks don’t allow this, so we won’t mark Lebara down for not doing.

Spending caps

Lebara doesn’t offer customisable spending caps, but the network doesn’t allow you to spend outside your bundle, so if you use up your allowances you won’t be able to accidentally spend extra money, and if you want to do something that isn’t covered by your bundle (such as call a premium rate number) you’ll need to add credit to your account.

Unlimited data

Lebara offers plans with unlimited data, and these are ideal for heavy data users, as you don’t need to worry about maxing out your allowance.

This is truly unlimited data too, with no fair usage restrictions in the UK. However, when roaming there’s a 30GB fair usage limit.

Family plans

Lebara doesn’t offer family plans of any kind – you can have a maximum of two SIM cards on your account, and you don’t get any discounts for having a second.

Credit checks

One advantage of Lebara is that the network doesn’t carry out credit checks, so its plans are ideal if you have bad credit. This also makes signing up a breeze – the network boasts that people have signed up in under 60 seconds.

Unique perks

International calling is one area where Lebara Mobile stands out, as it has various plans which give you an allowance of minutes to call abroad with, without paying extra. At the time of writing these plans typically support calling to 42 different countries.


Which network does Lebara use?

Lebara uses Vodafone’s network, which means it offers 3G, 4G and even 5G coverage in all the same places as Vodafone. This also means that as Vodafone’s coverage improves, Lebara’s will too.


Lebara Mobile Coverage (Vodafone Network)

Network Type

Coverage by population


Now available in at least 318 locations




99% (switching off in January 2024)



Lebara Coverage Checker

Network Speeds

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2023, and April 2020


Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)







Vodafone (Lebara Mobile)






There isn’t much information on Lebara’s speeds, but according to Opensignal data from September 2023, Vodafone’s average download speed is 27.9Mbps, while its average upload speed is 8.0Mbps. Lebara’s speeds may be similar, since it uses the same infrastructure, and that would put it behind EE and Three but ahead of O2 for downloads, and only behind EE for uploads. These speeds factor in a combination of 5G, 4G and 3G.

Vodafone’s (and potentially therefore Lebara’s) average latency meanwhile is said – based on an older April 2020 report - to be 39.0ms. Latency is how long the network takes to respond to a request, so lower numbers are better here, putting Vodafone (and potentially Lebara Mobile) in an average position. We used older data here because latency wasn’t included in recent reports.

For 5G, a September 2023 report from Opensignal found that Vodafone’s average download speed is 114.3Mbps, while a RootMetrics report from the first half of 2023 found that Vodafone’s median 5G download speed was 131.5Mbps, so Lebara’s speeds may be similar.

Traffic management

On the subject of traffic management, Lebara Mobile says “We reserve the right to manage your use of the Network in order to protect it for the use of all of our customers. We may therefore apply traffic management controls from time to time to protect the Network.”

So it doesn’t get very specific, but we’d imagine traffic management might be applied when there’s serious congestion, network faults or excessive use.

Network Frequencies

Lebara Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20



Band 8 2G & 3G

1400MHz SDL

Band 32 4G


Band 3



Band 1


2600MHz FDD

Band 7


2600MHz TDD

Band 38



n78 5G


n77 5G

Lebara uses Vodafone’s spectrum bands, which means it presumably uses the 800MHz, 1400MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G. The 800MHz band is long range and good at passing through walls, so it’s handy in both rural locations (where there aren’t many masts) and more urban locations.

However, it’s not great at handling large numbers of connections, which is a strength of the 2600MHz band. The 1400MHz band is a middle ground. For 5G, Lebara uses the high frequency 3400MHz and 3600MHz bands.

The table above provides an overview of all the bands Vodafone/Lebara uses for 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G. For more in-depth information, check out our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Customer service

There haven’t been many studies into Lebara’s customer service, but one way to get an idea of it is to look at the network’s Trustpilot rating, which currently stands at 4.8/5, which is considered an ‘excellent’ score. So based on that it’s probably one of the best for customer service.

The network was also awarded ‘Best Customer Service’ at the Mobile Industry Awards 2023.


Lebara is a great choice if you plan to regularly call international numbers or want to regularly roam in India. It’s also a solid choice if you just want the flexibility of not being tied into a contract – though lots of other networks offer similar flexibility.

It also includes free extras like Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE, but it doesn’t offer handsets on a contract, making it a bit limited.


One key alternative network is Vodafone, since Lebara uses Vodafone’s infrastructure, so their coverage is the same. If you choose Vodafone then you’ll benefit from a wider variety of plans and extras, but at a potentially higher price, and with less of a focus on international calling.

Other alternatives include Asda Mobile, VOXI, and Talkmobile, all of which also have the same coverage. These networks are typically cheap too, but again, they lack Lebara’s international calling focus.

If that’s important to you then consider Lyca Mobile, which is a similarly positioned network but with different coverage.

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