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Lebara Mobile - A Fast Growing Virtual Network

Before entering the UK market on October 2007, Lebara had been operating in several European countries since 2001. Lebara is one of the mobile service providers targeting the ethnic (immigrant) market in the UK, so that means they can offer low prices on international calls. In the UK they are using the Vodafone network, so you can be sure that they have excellent coverage.

Several awards, including Best Newcomer in the 2008 Mobile Awards and ranked fourth as the fastest growing company in the UK by the Sunday Times is evidence of their success in running their business in the UK market. The reason they have a strong presence in the UK is because they have lots of deals on high profile sponsorships, they also have so many high street shops in almost every major city.

Excellent International Prices

Actually Lebara's services are quite basic, but since they are targeting the immigrant and expat markets, it's no surprise that they offer excellent deals on landline and mobile international calls. They have a terrific deal of 1p calls to landlines in many international destinations including Romania, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina. They also offer excellent prices on mobile to mobile calls. For mobile to mobile calls to India they charge only 1p per minute, to China and Hong Kong it’s 3p per minute, and to Thailand it is only 6p per minute.

Standard UK Prices

However, their UK prices are fairly average compared with other budget networks. They charge 10p/minute, 10p/texts, and 5p for landline calls. But if you compare those prices with some big UK networks, the prices still look like a bargain. Furthermore, when you top up you will be given free allowances that you can use to contact other Lebara Mobiles.

High Roaming Costs

Another downside of Lebara Mobile is its high roaming cost, for example, on the data front, they have been criticized in the press for their data charges. They are currently charging £30/MB and £1 a minute calls in the US or 38p a minute in the Europe which is actually very expensive. Also, even though they charge relatively low for data in the UK by giving the first 10MB free and then 15p per MB after that, they charge quite high for MMS at 45p per MMS.

But still Lebara is an excellent choice if you're planning on using your mobile phone for lots of international calls, or if the people on your contact list are mostly using Lebara too, because that can save you lots of money. You'll get 100 extra minutes and SMS to other Lebara numbers every time you top up £5, and up to 1000 extra minutes and SMS for a £30 top up. Other bonuses you could get are £5 extra when you top up £20, £10 extra for £20, and £5 extra credit if you transfer your old phone number from your old network to Lebara.

London, WC1N 4MF