Lebara Mobile offers low-cost international phone calls with optional 30-day bundles and coverage from Vodafone.

In the UK, Lebara Mobile is a specialist provider of low-cost international phone calls. Offering 99% population coverage from Vodafone, customers can call abroad paying either Pay As You Go rates or by buying a Lebara 30-day bundle.

On Pay As You Go, Lebara’s international rates start from 1p/minute: just a fraction of what major mobile networks will typically charge. Frequent mobile users can buy a 30-day bundle from £10/month with up to 500 international minutes included.

In this article, we’ll review Lebara Mobile in the UK. We’ll start by looking at the rates available on Lebara Mobile along with the 30-day ‘All in One’ bundles. We’ll then compare Lebara Mobile to rival networks, before looking at handset compatibility, the level of coverage available and how to keep your existing phone number.

Pricing & Bundles

There are two ways to use Lebara Mobile: either on traditional Pay As You Go or on a 30-day bundle.

It’s also possible to get a rolling 30-day SIM-only plan with automatic top-up and with an additional discount compared to the regular 30-day bundle.

Pay As You Go Rates

International Rates

Lebara Mobile offers international calls from 1p/minute.

The major attraction of Lebara Mobile on traditional Pay As You Go is the low per-minute rates for calling abroad to other countries.

The following table shows an example of how much it would cost to call abroad to a number of selected countries:

CountryCalls to MobileCalls to LandlineText Message
China (+86)2p/minute1p/minute19p/message
India (+91)2p/minute2p/minute19p/message
Ireland (+353)9p/minute5p/minute19p/message
Italy (+39)9p/minute5p/minute19p/message
Pakistan (+92)8p/minute4p/minute19p/message
Poland (+48)5p/minute2p/minute19p/message
Romania (+40)5p/minute2p/minute19p/message
Sri Lanka (+94)15p/minute12p/minute19p/message
Turkey (+90)9p/minute3p/minute19p/message
United States (+1)5p/minute5p/minute19p/message

Cost of international calls & international text messages on the Lebara Mobile network (calls & texts made to a phone number in another country whilst you're in the UK). Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: mobile.lebara.com.

For countries that are not listed in the table above, see our full guide to the cost of international calling.

Order Lebara Mobile SIM Card (Free) →

For some countries, a special offer is available that can reduce the rates shown above by even more. For instance, customers who are topping up their phone can opt-in to Lebara Mobile’s Best Rates offer. The offer gives you discounted calling for 7 days when you top-up by £5 and discounted calling for 30 days when you top-up by £10 or more. For more information, see the terms and conditions of the offer.

UK Rates

Top Up LogoFor usage inside the UK, Lebara Mobile charges 19p/minute for calling other UK mobiles and 12p/minute for calling UK landlines. Text messages are charged at 19p each and mobile data is charged at 9p/MB.

The following table shows Lebara Mobile’s current Pay As You Go rates:

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 19p/minute to other UK mobile phones
12p/minute to UK landlines
Calls to Voicemail 12p/minute
Calls to Special Rate Numbers 45p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 19p
Picture Message (MMS) 45p
Internet Rates:
3G Internet 9p/MB (buy a bundle for better value)

For customers who buy a 30-day bundle, the out-of-bundle rate for data is 19p/MB rather than 9p/MB.

Lebara Mobile uses per-minute billing so the length of all phone calls will be rounded up to a full minute before the charge is calculated and deducted from your account (so, for instance, a 61-second phone call will be charged as 2 full minutes).

In general, Lebara Mobile’s UK rates can be beaten by a number of other networks (for instance, both O2 and Three charge just 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB). However, these lower UK rates typically can’t be combined with low-cost international calling. When choosing your next mobile network, it’s therefore important to consider both aspects to find the best overall value.

30-Day Bundles

If you regularly use your mobile phone, you can save money by converting your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day bundle.

The main type of bundle, an All In One bundle, gives you an allowance of UK and international minutes. The international minutes can be used for calling 42 selected countries including China, India, Poland, the United States, Australia and more. You’ll also get an allowance of 1000 UK texts and an allowance of mobile internet to use in the UK.

At present, there are six All In One bundles available from Lebara Mobile:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0003GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1,0001GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0006GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,0005GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile250
+250 intl.
1,0003GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,00010GB£20.00

For a full list of the countries you can call using the international minutes, please see the list on Lebara Mobile’s website.

There are also a selection of data-only bundles (£5 for 500MB, £7.50 for 1GB or £10 for 2GB) and specialist international plans for calling a certain country or region.

Bundle Codes

You can buy a 30-day bundle from your credit on Lebara Mobile by texting the relevant shortcode as follows:

Bundle Name Bundle Code
All in One £10 (500 mins & 1GB) Text ALL1 to 38885
All in One £10 (250 mins & 3GB) Text ALL2 to 38885
All in One £10 (unlimited mins & 3GB) Text ALL3 to 38885
All in One £15 (unlimited mins & 5GB) Text ALL4 to 38885
All in One £15 (unlimited mins & 6GB) Text ALL5 to 38885
All in One £20 (unlimited mins & 8GB) Text ALL6 to 38885

Alternatively, you can buy your Pay As You Go bundle online and top-up your account at the same time.

SIM Only Plans

If you’d like to save even more money compared to a 30-day bundle, Lebara Mobile offers 30-day rolling plans on a pre-paid basis. These SIM Only plans give you a discount on the normal Pay As You Go price, with no need to sign any contracts or to undergo a credit check.

At the start of each month, your account will be topped up automatically with the money being used to pay for your bundle:

Network Minutes Texts Internet Monthly
Cost
Lebara Mobile 500
+500 intl.
100 1GB £5.00
for 3 months
(£9/mo after)
Lebara Mobile 500
+500 intl.
100 3GB £8.00
for 3 months
(£13/mo after)
Lebara Mobile Unlimited
+100 intl.
100 4GB £8.00
for 3 months
(£13/mo after)
Lebara Mobile Unlimited
+100 intl.
100 10GB £15.00
for 3 months
(£18/mo after)

For more information, please see our in-depth review of Lebara’s SIM Only plans.

Voucher Code Offers

For new customers joining Lebara Mobile, it’s currently possible to get up to £10 of free credit when joining Lebara Mobile. You can also get an additional £4 of free credit by transferring your existing number to Lebara Mobile.

If you’re a student holding a NUS Extra card, you can get a 10% discount on all online top-ups. In order to claim the discount, you’ll need to enter your NUS Extra card number during the checkout process.

Credit Expiry & Account Expiry

One important thing to watch out for on Lebara Mobile is the strict credit expiry and account inactivity policy:

  • Your Pay As You Go credit will expire 90 days from the date of the relevant top-up. For instance, if you were to top-up by £10 on April 1st, any leftover credit remaining from that £10 will expire on June 30th. This is the case even if you’re on traditional Pay As You Go and if you’re not converting your credit into a bundle.
  • Your Pay As You Go account will be closed if it isn’t used for 84 days. There’s a requirement in the Lebara Mobile terms and conditions that you need to make a chargeable activity at least once every 84 days. If you don’t do this, your account will be closed. You’ll also lose your phone number and any remaining Pay As You Go credit.

It’s worth noting that Lebara Mobile’s credit expiry and account inactivity policies are among the strictest of any UK Pay As You Go mobile network. On most other networks, your credit will not expire and you’ll only need to use your handset once every 180 days.

Comparison to Alternatives

International Calling

In general, one of Lebara’s 30-day bundles or SIM-only plans will provide the best value for international calling. Depending on the bundle you buy, you’ll get an allowance of either 100, 500 or 1000 international minutes (along with the normal allowance of UK minutes, texts and mobile internet). On most other mobile networks, it isn’t possible to get a bundle that includes international calling.

If you only make international phone calls occasionally or want to call a country that isn’t in the bundle, the best value mobile network depends on which country you’d like to make the phone call to. The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of per-minute rates for calling a number of selected countries:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
China (+86)3p
(3p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
2p
(1p to landline)
3p
(1p to landline)
2p
(1.5p to landline)
1.5p
(1.5p to landline)
India (+91)5p2p2p2p2p1.5p
Ireland (+353)8p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Italy (+39)7p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
10p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Pakistan (+92)10p
(10p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
8p
(4p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
6p
(6p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Poland (+48)5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Romania (+40)5p
(1p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Sri Lanka (+94)20p
(15p to landline)
22p
(14p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
18p
(15p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Turkey (+90)12p
(5p to landline)
11p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
United States (+1)3p2p5p6p2p1.5p

Cost of calling abroad from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

For more information, including rates for other countries and the tariffs you’ll need to opt-in to, see our guide to international calling on UK mobile networks.

£10 per month bundles

For £10 per month, Lebara Mobile offers a All in One bundle with unlimited UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 1000 UK text messages and 3GB of UK internet.

For the same monthly price, rival mobile networks like giffgaff offer faster 4G download speeds (e.g. giffgaff offers 3GB of 4G data with coverage from the O2 network). However, rival mobile networks lack the inclusive international minutes so this is an extra cost you should factor in when comparing the tariffs.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0003GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited2GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited2GB£10.00
O22501,0002GB£10.00
Three3,0003,0001GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1,0001GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£10.00

£15 per month bundles

For £15 per month, Lebara Mobile currently offers a All in One bundle with unlimited UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 1000 UK text messages and 5GB of UK internet.

It may be worth also considering giffgaff as an alternative. For the same £15/month, you’ll get 6GB of 4G internet (but no inclusive international minutes so this will be an extra cost you’ll need to account for).

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0006GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,0005GB£15.00
Three3,0003,0005GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
O25001,0005GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile250
+250 intl.
1,0003GB£15.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£15.00

£20 per month bundles

Lebara offers a £20 All in One bundle with unlimited UK minutes, unlimited international minutes, 1000 UK text messages and 10GB of UK mobile internet.

For £2/month less, giffgaff offers an £18 goodybag with 2,000 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and 9GB of UK internet (up to 4G speeds using coverage from O2). You won’t have any international minutes included in the tariff, so this will be an additional cost to account for in your comparison.

For £20/month, a goodybag is available from giffgaff with unlimited UK calling and Always-On data.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£18.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£20.00
Three3,0003,00012GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,00010GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00
O21,0002,0006GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited6GB£20.00
EE1,500Unlimited4GB£20.00

For more information, please see our full comparison of Pay As You Go bundles in the UK. In addition, if you’re over 18 and willing to sign a contract, it may also be worth considering a Pay Monthly SIM card.

Handsets

Lebara Mobile is a SIM-only mobile network in the UK. For this reason, you’ll need to provide your own unlocked smartphone to use with the service.

You can either use your existing handset (see our guides to unlocking an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy handset) or you can use a brand new smartphone that you’ve purchased on a SIM-free basis.

If you’re looking for an affordable mid-range smartphone, our current recommendation is the Moto G family.

Order Lebara Mobile SIM Card (Free) →

Lebara Mobile provides a one-size-fits-all SIM card. You can pop out a Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM as required.

Network & Coverage

2G & 3G Coverage from Vodafone

Lebara Mobile offers 98% population coverage, with 2G & 3G coverage from Vodafone.

In the UK, Lebara Mobile is a virtual network operator, making use of coverage from Vodafone as their network coverage provider. Customers of Lebara Mobile are able to access 2G and 3G coverage from Vodafone, but do not currently have access to Vodafone’s 4G network.

At the time of writing, Lebara Mobile offers 98% population coverage. Before ordering your SIM card from Lebara, it’s strongly recommended you check the coverage in your area. At present, you’ll need to do this on the Vodafone website, ignoring the results for 4G coverage as this will not be available to you.

Check Lebara Mobile Coverage Map (vodafone.co.uk) →

At the time of writing, Lebara Mobile is the UK’s only virtual network operator offering coverage from Vodafone. Besides Lebara Mobile, it’s only possible to get Vodafone coverage either directly on Vodafone or on VOXI, Vodafone’s youth-orientated sub-brand.

4G Coverage

At present, Lebara Mobile doesn’t yet offer 4G coverage in the UK. It’s not currently known whether 4G will be made available to customers on Lebara Mobile, and if so, when it is likely to be available.

Most other mobile networks in the UK now offer access to 4G coverage. For more information, see our guide to mobile phone coverage in the UK.

Tethering

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).

At present, tethering is “not advised” on Lebara Mobile plans. However, it appears to be possible and is no longer prohibited by the terms and conditions like it was in the past.

For more information, see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re changing to Lebara Mobile from another mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

To do so, you should start by ordering your free SIM card from the Lebara Mobile website. Once you’ve done that, you can contact your current mobile network to ask for a PAC Code. Your current mobile network is legally obliged to provide you with a PAC Code free of charge within two hours of your request.

New customers transferring their phone number to Lebara Mobile can earn £4 of bonus free credit.

When your new Lebara Mobile SIM card arrives in the post, you should activate it and call Lebara Customer Services on 5588 (020 7031 0791 if you’re not calling from a Lebara Mobile handset). You can give your PAC Code to Lebara Mobile customer services, who’ll then arrange the transfer of your phone number (normally for the next working day).

At present, Lebara Mobile is offering £4 of extra free credit for customers who transfer their phone number in and who then top-up with £5 or more. The initial top-up needs to occur after you’ve transferring your phone number in, and can be used towards calls, text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS).

For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to Lebara Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the dropdown menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Lebara Mobile

Your current network provider:

  More Options

For more information about transferring your phone number between networks, please see our guide to using a PAC Code.

More Information

For more information, please see the official Lebara Mobile website.

Your Comments 6 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 6 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Stefan,
      Absolutely typical of them to update their plans just after I write my review about it 😉 I’ve just updated the article above to reflect the new line-up of UK National Plans.
      Thanks again for the heads up about this!
      Ken

  • Ryszard Dziedzic said:

    I am user of Lebara about 8 years. Normaly I do recharg by Lebara voucher.This voucher I usuly bay on fuel station in Belfast at Stena ferrys terminal.Now I cant to
    bay voucher beacouse few days charging terminal is out of order.Staff dont now how long will be this situation.For me and my frends this situstion is very dificult.Can Lebara do something for cleaning this situation.
    Many thanks.
    Richard

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