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Lycamobile Review and Network Coverage

16th November 2021

LycaMobile Network Coverage

Wondering if Lycamobile is the network for you? It’s primarily aimed at people who want to make affordable international calls, but it has started to stand out more recently thanks to the addition of an unlimited data plan.

It’s a basic network in a lot of ways though, so while there’s plenty to like about Lycamobile it’s definitely not for everyone.

Read on for our full Lycamobile review, highlighting what’s good about the network, what’s not, and what type of user it’s best for. You’ll also find a detailed look at Lycamobile’s 4G coverage on this page.




Short-term plans

Limited to EU roaming

Unlimited data option

No WiFi Calling or VoLTE

Inclusive international calls


Our Rating


Lycamobile is an O2 MVNO (meaning it uses O2’s infrastructure and spectrum) and as such its 4G coverage likely isn’t quite as good as Three's or EE’s, but it’s getting close and it’s still got 4G readily available in most urban and many rural locations. 3G and 2G coverage are strong too.

Lycamobile Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population







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

4G Network Coverage Comparison


4G coverage by population


> 99%



Lycamobile (O2)




As you can see in the chart above, Lycamobile’s coverage is potentially better than Vodafone’s but slightly worse than Three’s and EE’s.

4G from O2 and by extension Lycamobile is now available in well over 16,000 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.

5G coverage

Lycamobile doesn’t yet offer 5G and hasn’t said when or if it will. But it will be relying on O2 for coverage. That’s no bad thing, as O2 has a 5G network already and its coverage is rapidly expanding. You can find details of it on our O2 coverage page.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2021, and April 2020


Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)










Lycamobile (O2)



An Opensignal report from September 2021 found that O2 has an average download speed of 17.1Mbps, an average upload speed of 5.4Mbps, and an earlier April 2020 report found that its average latency (the time the network takes to respond to a request) was 38.1ms.

That’s a reasonable latency, but its download and upload speeds compare poorly to rivals, which is bad news for Lycamobile, as it’s likely to sport similar results.

That said, those speed results factor in a combination of 5G, 4G and 3G. Since Lycamobile doesn’t yet offer 5G it might be more accurate to just look at 4G results, which can be found in an October 2020 Opensignal report. For that, O2 achieved an average 4G download speed of 18.2Mbps and an average 4G upload speed of 6.2Mbps.

So that’s actually slightly higher (since 3G also isn’t included) but it’s still behind rivals.

Lycamobile Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20



Band 8

2G & 3G


Band 3

2G & 4G


Band 1

3G & 4G


Band 40


Lycamobile presumably uses all the same bands as O2, meaning the 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz bands would be used for 4G. The 800MHz band is 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. 

The 2300MHz band on the other hand can deal with lots of connections, making it suited to busy cities and the like, but it isn’t as long range or as good at passing through objects.

The 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands sit somewhere in between those two in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

The bands that O2 uses that Lycamobile likely doesn’t right now are the 3400MHz, 3600Mhz and 700MHz ones, as they’re used primarily for 5G.

For more in-depth information, check out our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Planned improvements

O2 will be responsible for most of Lycamobile’s improvements, since Lycamobile uses O2’s infrastructure. And O2 improves its network regularly. Right now O2 seems focused on expanding its 5G coverage, though it’s unknown if or when Lycamobile will offer 5G.

Traffic management

Lycamobile doesn’t currently publish a full traffic management policy, but it does say that there is a fair use policy, which could see your service limited or terminated if your usage is continually ‘excessive’ or ‘unreasonable’.


Lycamobile has a wide range of SIM Only plans and also allows you to Pay As You Go. Smartphones can also be bought on the network, but not on contract. More details of plans can be found below, however note that all plans come with 4G at no extra cost.

SIM Only Plans


UK Plans

International Bundles

Max Data Allowance

Unlimited 20GB

Contract Length

30 days 30 days

EU Roaming

Roaming beyond EU


Data Rollover

Wi-Fi Calling



View Plans

View Plans

Lycamobile’s SIM Only plans are split between UK ones and international ones. The UK ones don’t allow you to roam outside the EU, though some do let you call international destinations at no extra cost. They top out at unlimited data, which not all networks offer, and all last 30 days.

International plans also limit your inclusive roaming to the EU, however, most of the international bundles let you call dozens of international destinations from the UK at no extra cost, while most of the UK bundles either don’t allow this or include fewer international minutes.

But they top out at less data than the UK ones and cost more for the allowances you get.

It’s disappointing that a network with an international focus doesn’t have a wider roaming option, but unlimited data is a big bonus for those who need it.

Data Only Plans – For Tablets and Dongles

Lycamobile offers a range of Data Only bundles, offering between 1GB and 3GB of data. These last for 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 (or 19p if calling a mobile rather than a landline), 12p per megabyte of data and 19p per text. However, calls and texts to other UK Lycamobile users are free. Given that its SIM Only bundles only last 30 days or less these are also appropriate for use with Pay As You Go.


Tethering refers to using your phone’s mobile internet connection to get other devices online. This isn’t something that Lycamobile used to offer, but the network now does. That’s good as this is now a standard feature on most networks.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling refers to making and receiving calls over Wi-Fi. It can also be used for texts and is beneficial as it means you can stay in touch when there’s no mobile signal, without having to use a separate app or account – you just use your number as normal. However, this service isn’t currently offered by Lycamobile.


VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE (aka 4G Calling) and is a similar idea to Wi-Fi Calling, except rather than using Wi-Fi to call and text you use 4G. The benefits are similar too, as it means you can talk and text where you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, but as with Wi-Fi Calling it’s not currently offered by Lycamobile.

Roaming Destinations

Many Lycamobile plans (including Pay As You Go) allow you to use your minutes, texts and data at no extra cost in the EU. However, you can’t roam for free further afield.

Customer Service

Lycamobile’s customer service is hard to judge, especially as no significant recent reports exist on it. However, the network has a Trustpilot rating of 4.6/5, which is classed as ‘excellent’. That’s based on 10,609 reviews at the time of writing, so bodes well for the network’s customer service.

It’s worth noting that Lycamobile’s rating here used to be quite low, so it has improved dramatically.


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 into a contract for long or need unlimited data.

It’s not quite as strong for roaming as you might expect an internationally focused network to be though, and beyond inclusive international calls it’s not really doing anything that you can’t get on many other networks.

As such, Lycamobile wouldn’t be our first choice for most people, but if you do a lot of international calling to the included locations then it could be the best choice – and the strong Trustpilot score should be reassuring too.

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