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Lebara Mobile review: International calls galore
A no-fuss favourite for tourists and ex-pats.
Lebara’s no-fuss prepaid SIM plans have always been (and remain) a safe haven for travellers to Australia and those with family and friends overseas. It focuses on international call and text inclusions without sacrificing value on local calls, text and data usage. While its customer satisfaction scores could definitely use some improvement, it’s hard to argue with Lebara’s incredible value for money.
Lebara Mobile: Value for money
In our comparison of Australian telcos, Lebara Mobile scored a 5 out of 5 thanks to its range of budget-friendly prepaid plans, great-value long-expiry plans, and regular promotional discounts for new customers.
Lebara’s 30-day prepaid plans range in price from $14.90 to $69.90, each offering unlimited talk and text in Australia and, for all but the cheapest plan, unlimited standard international calls and texts, too. Each price increase brings with it more data and a bigger list of included calling destinations - but we’ll get into that a bit later.
Additionally, customers can save 10% on their monthly bill (as long as your plan costs $24.90 per month or more) simply by switching on auto-recharge.
The most popular Lebara plan, and the one we think would suit most users, is the $29.90 Medium 30 Day plan.
In addition to the usual Aussie talk and text, you’ll get unlimited standard international calls and texts to 35 countries, plus additional minutes to a further 44 countries. Each month, you’ll get 30GB of data, but Lebara often runs deals offering up to 20GB of bonus data for your first few recharges. Since you can bank up to 200GB of data, that should be more than enough to keep you going.
Here’s how Lebara’s Medium 30 Day plan compares with other popular SIM plans under $30 per month which include some (but not necessarily unlimited) international calls.
Lebara Mobile coverage
In Australia, Lebara’s 4G mobile network coverage comes courtesy of Vodafone. As a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Lebara offers its customers full access to the Vodafone 4G network (unlike Telstra’s restricted Wholesale Network).
Vodafone’s 4G footprint in Australia has improved significantly over the last few years but it still has the least coverage of the big three network providers (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone). And like most MVNOs, there’s no telling how long it’ll be before Lebara gets access to Vodafone’s 4G network.
The difference isn’t vast these days and you shouldn’t have any significant coverage issues in Australian metro areas but if you’re keen on travelling around regional Australia, you might want to consider a Telstra prepaid plan, or a prepaid plan from a provider that uses Telstra’s wholesale network (like ALDI or Woolworths Mobile).
Use the filters on the map below to check Vodafone’s 4G coverage in Australia.
Lebara Mobile: Features and perks
Lebara’s unlimited international calling inclusions are impressive, but their biggest point of difference is the sheer number of countries they cover. Quite a number of providers offer unlimited international calls, but few can match Lebara’s selection of destinations. The highest-cost plan, the $69.90 Extra Large 30-Day plan includes unlimited standard international calls and texts to a staggering 64 countries, with additional minutes to 25 further countries. That’s pretty hard to beat.
What about Lebara Play?
Lebara Mobile used to offer a streaming video-on-demand service known as Lebara Play. It even had its own set-top box. Lebara Play offered international content for those living in Australia; specifically Tamil TV shows and movies.
Unfortunately, Lebara Play and the Lebara set-top box are no longer available but another provider has taken the reins with a much more comprehensive offering, YuppTV. YuppTV offers live television, catch-up, on-demand TV shows and movies and bundle packages.
While YuppTV has its fair share of free content, there are also loads of paid options for Hindi, Telugu and Tamil audiences (just a name a few). For example, you can access the Hindi TV and YuppFlix Movies pack from $24.99 per month.
Lebara Mobile: Customer support and satisfaction
The telecommunications industry, as a whole, cops a lot of flack on the customer service front. And the user-generated reviews on Product Review show that most telco customers rate their provider’s customer service pretty low.
The median rating for Australian mobile providers on Product Review is about 3 out of 5 stars and Lebara Mobile’s score currently sits at 2.6 out of 5. So it’s fair to say the company’s customer service isn’t far below average, but nothing to write home about, either.
That said, it’s worth noting that, despite mediocre customer support ratings on Product Review, the MyLebara app (where you can check your balance, top-up and manage your service) has a 4.6-star rating on both the App Store and Google Play. That’s an impressive feat; most telco consumers only report feedback when they have something negative to say, but the MyLebara mobile app appears to be a hit with customers.
In terms of support channels, you can call 126 122 from your Lebara phone or 1300 126 122 from any other phone, email customer care at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their Facebook page, or hit up the live chat team on the Lebara website.
More popular SIM plans in Australia
If Lebara's options don’t tickle your fancy, here are the most popular SIM plans right now in Australia.