Lebara Mobile is a specialist provider of low-cost international phone calls from the UK.

In the UK, Lebara Mobile is a specialist provider of low-cost international phone calls. Using 2G and 3G coverage from Vodafone, customers of Lebara Mobile can call abroad from only 1p/minute. Lebara also sells ‘All In One’ and ‘UK Plan’ bundles giving customers a set allowance to be used over a 30-day period.

In this article, we’ll review Lebara Mobile’s UK offering. We’ll start by looking at their rates and bundles, before comparing them to rival mobile networks like giffgaff and Lycamobile. We’ll also look at the level of coverage you can expect on Lebara Mobile and at how you can keep your current phone number when moving to the network.

Pricing & Bundles

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

UK Rates

Top Up LogoInside the UK, if you don’t buy a bundle, Lebara Mobile charges 15p/minute when you’re calling other UK mobiles and 9p/minute when you’re calling UK landlines. Text messages are charged at 19p each and access to mobile internet is charged at 9p/MB.

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

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 15p/minute to other UK mobile phones
9p/minute to UK landlines
Calls to Voicemail 15p/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.

It’s worth noting that Lebara Mobile uses per-minute billing so the length of all phone calls are rounded up to a full minute (so, for instance, a 61-second phone call would be charged as 2 minutes).

Compared to other Pay As You Go mobile networks, Lebara’s Pay As You Go pricing is around the middle of the market. Some alternative networks like Three charge a much lower rate for usage inside the UK (e.g. Three charges 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB). However, they do not always offer low rates for international calling so you’ll need to consider both aspects to this when choosing the best value mobile network overall.

International Rates

Earth
Lebara allows you to call abroad from 1p/minute.

The main selling point of Lebara Mobile is their discounted rates for calling another country. Whereas the major mobile networks will often charge up to £1.50/minute, as a specialist mobile network for international calling, Lebara allows you to call abroad from only 1p/minute.

The following table shows the cost of calling abroad to some selected countries on Lebara Mobile:

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 12th May 2017. Source: mobile.lebara.com.

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

Order Lebara Mobile SIM Card (Free) →

Occasionally, special offers will be available to reduce the rates shown above. This may require you to opt-in to an offer and may also require you to top-up a minimum amount to qualify. For more information, see the terms and conditions for Lebara Mobile’s Best Rates offer.

30-Day Bundles

If you’re a regular mobile user, you can save money by converting your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day bundle.

On Lebara Mobile, there are two main types of 30-day bundle:

  • All In One Plan: This gives you an equal allowance of UK and international minutes. The international minutes can be used to call 40 selected countries from across the world. You’ll also get 100 UK text messages and an allowance of mobile internet to use in the UK.
  • UK National Plan: A UK National Plan predominantly gives you UK minutes, but you’ll also get 100 international minutes which can be used to call 24 European countries. You’ll also get 100 UK text messages and an allowance of mobile internet to use in the UK.

There are also a selection of data-only plans (£5 for 500MB, £7.50 for 1GB, £10 for 2GB or £12.50 for 3GB) and specialist international plans for calling a certain country or region.

All In One Bundles

For customers wanting to call abroad regularly on Lebara Mobile, an All In One bundle gives you an equal allowance of UK and international minutes. The international minutes can be used to call 40 selected countries including China, India, Ireland, Poland, the United States and others. You’ll also get a small allowance of UK texts and an allowance of UK mobile internet.

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

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1001GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1003GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile1,000
+1000 intl.
1001GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1005GB£20.00
Lebara Mobile1,000
+1000 intl.
1003GB£20.00
Lebara Mobile1,000
+1000 intl.
10010GB£30.00

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

UK Plan Bundles

For customers who mainly want to call inside the UK, Lebara Mobile currently offers a choice of 3 UK Plan bundles.

The UK Plan bundles come with an allowance of UK minutes, UK texts and UK internet. You’ll also get a small allowance of 100 international minutes which can be used to call 24 European countries (including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and more). Compared to an All In One bundle, you’ll get a larger allowance of UK minutes and UK data on a UK Plan bundle.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Lebara Mobile1,000
+100 intl.
1002GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1004GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
10010GB£20.00

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 £10 1GB Text AI01 to 38885
All in £15 1GB Text AI02 to 38885
All in £15 3GB Text AI05 to 38885
All in £20 3GB Text AI03 to 38885
All in £20 5GB Text AI06 to 38885
All in £30 10GB Text AI07 to 38885
UK Plan 1 2GB Text UK1 to 38885
UK Plan 2 4GB Text UK2 to 38885
UK Plan 4 10GB Text UK4 to 38885

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

Voucher Code Offers

For new customers joining Lebara Mobile, it’s currently possible to get 50% off your first top-up or bundle. To get this offer, you should order your SIM card through this page using the SIMSAVE50 voucher code during checkout.

Until the 31st May 2017, it’s also possible for new customers to get 90% off their first UK Plan 1 bundle. By using the MAY90 voucher code during checkout, the cost of your first bundle will drop from £10 to £1.

If you’re a student holding a NUS Extra card, you can also get a 10% discount on all online top-ups. To claim this discount, see the Lebara Mobile students offers page and 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 will be 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 worthwhile 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 the majority of networks, your credit will not expire and you’ll only need to use your handset once every 180 days.

Comparison to Alternatives

International Calling

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the rates for international calling on UK Pay As You Go mobile networks. In many cases, cheaper or equivalent rates can be found on rival mobile networks like giffgaff and Tello:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
China (+86)2p
(2p 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)2p2p2p2p2p1.5p
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
(2p to landline)
7p
(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
(2p 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)
4p
(1p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Sri Lanka (+94)20p
(10p to landline)
14p
(14p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
18p
(15p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Turkey (+90)15p
(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 12th May 2017. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

On some of the mobile networks above, there are multiple Pay As You Go tariffs offering different international rates. We’ve shown the cheapest deal available on each network (after opting in to EE’s Call Abroad add-on, choosing O2’s International SIM card and choosing Vodafone International).

For a full in-depth comparison and for more details, please see our guide to the UK’s cheapest mobile networks for international calling.

£10 per month bundles

For £10 per month, Lebara Mobile offers a UK Plan bundle with 1000 UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 100 UK text messages and 2GB of UK internet (up to 3G speeds only).

For the same monthly price, rival mobile networks like ASDA Mobile and giffgaff offer similar amounts of data along with faster 4G download speeds (ASDA Mobile uses 4G coverage from EE and giffgaff uses 4G coverage from O2). However, rival mobile networks lack inclusive international minutes so this is an extra cost you should factor in when comparing the tariffs.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
giffgaff500Unlimited3GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile1,000
+100 intl.
1002GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited2GB£10.00
Three3,0003,0001GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£10.00
Vodafone200Unlimited1GB£10.00
Vodafone200Unlimited1GB£10.00
O21001001GB£10.00
O22501,000500MB£10.00

£15 per month bundles

For £15 per month, Lebara Mobile currently offers a UK Plan bundle with unlimited UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 100 UK text messages and 4GB of UK internet (up to 3G speeds only). It may be worth considering giffgaff as an alternative. For the same monthly price, you’ll get 5GB of 4G internet in the UK (but no inclusive international minutes so this will be an extra cost to account for).

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaff1,000Unlimited6GB£15.00
Three3,0003,0005GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1004GB£15.00
O22502504GB£15.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£15.00
O27502,0002GB£15.00

£20 per month bundles

Lebara currently offers a £20 UK Plan bundle with unlimited UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 100 UK text messages and 10GB of UK mobile internet (up to 3G speeds only).

For £2/month less, giffgaff offers an £18 goodybag with 2,000 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and 6GB 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
giffgaff2,000Unlimited9GB£18.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£20.00
Three3,0003,00012GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
10010GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited6GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited6GB£20.00
O22502506GB£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

In the UK, Lebara Mobile is a SIM-only mobile network. What this means is you’ll need to provide your own unlocked smartphone to use with the service. This can either be your existing handset (see our guides to unlocking your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy) or it can be a brand new smartphone that you’ve purchased on a SIM-free basis. If you’re looking for a new affordable mid-range smartphone, our recommendation at present is the Moto G.

Order Lebara Mobile SIM Card (Free) →

At present, Lebara Mobile provides a one-size-fits-all SIM card. You can pop out your 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 uses Vodafone as its network coverage provider. Customers of Lebara Mobile are able to access 2G and 3G coverage from Vodafone, but do not have access to Vodafone’s 4G network.

At the time of writing, Lebara Mobile has about 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 any results for 4G coverage as this will not be available to you.

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

In recent years, many other virtual network operators using coverage from Vodafone have either shut their doors or changed to using a different coverage provider (e.g. Mobile by Sainsbury’s closed in January 2016 and Talkmobile closed to new customers in April 2017).

At present, TalkTalk Mobile is the only other mobile network using coverage from Vodafone but even they are expected to move to another network very soon. Therefore, for the time being, Lebara Mobile is the only Pay As You Go option for customers wanting coverage from Vodafone but not wanting Vodafone’s own Pay As You Go service.

4G Coverage

In the UK, Lebara Mobile does not currently offer any 4G coverage. Given the uncertain nature of Vodafone’s relationship with virtual network operators, it’s not currently known when 4G will be made available to customers on Lebara.

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

Tethering

Tethering or personal wi-fi 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 is possible and is no longer prohibited by the terms and conditions like it was in the past.

For more information, please see our in-depth guide about 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 a free SIM card from the Lebara Mobile website. Once you’ve done that, you should contact your old mobile network to ask for a PAC Code. Your old mobile network is legally obliged to provide you with a PAC Code within two hours of your request and free of charge.

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

When your new Lebara SIM card arrives in the post, you should activate it and call Lebara Customer Services on 5588 (0870 075 5588 if you’re not calling from a Lebara Mobile handset). You should give your PAC Code to Lebara Mobile customer services, who’ll then arrange for the transfer of your phone number (normally on 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 5 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 5 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

  • This money is not enough for compensating me after 2 weeks waiting for an issue to be fixed.

    The 16th of August I asked Lebara mobile to transfer my number from GiffGaff to their company.
    I purchased a plan AIO15 the 31 of July, 15£ plan, which expires the 31th of August.
    They told me they will transfer my number in 72 hours (3 days).
    Today it will be the 14th day I can’t use my phone. Nobody can call me, apparently my number doesn’t exist and of course I can’t call anybody.
    I can’t use internet as well.

    I’ve asked them repeatedly to fix this issue, I’ve written them 5 times, they asked me to wait 24-48 hours for an answer and after the answer is always the same, “sorry for the inconvenience this issue will be fixed in 24-48 hours.” And we start again.
    I’ve called them twice to the customer service, the 25th and 26th August. Both times the operator assures me that it would be fixed in the very same day. But that wasn’t true.

    This is having an impact in my work (I am an architect and they have been 14 days telling my clients that my number doesn’t exist).
    Also in my private life (as I told their customer service on Friday this long weekend I had my family in London, they are Spanish, and it was impossible for them to communicate with me, etc.).

    The reason why I wanted to keep my number was because of work and the reason to change to Lebara was that I am Spanish and I wanted to call my family in Spain free and to be able to call them when they visit me in London to their Spanish numbers.

    I don’t know what else to do.
    I feel cheated.
    I lost money, tomorrow the plan I bought will expire and it will be 15 days I couldn’t use it. They keep telling me it will be solve but it never is.

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