|Editor's Review Costs & Features Videos User Reviews|
We have awarded Lebara Mobile our prestigious Silver Award in this category, having reviewed 15 International Phone Call Services. Read our review below to find out why...
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Founded in 2001, Lebara Mobile has become one of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies in the world. With more than 2.5 million customers, spread across Europe, Australia and the UK, Lebara Mobile offers its customers the opportunity to use their existing mobile phone to make massive savings on international calls. As Lebara Mobile currently uses the Vodafone infrastructure (as opposed to its own infrastructure and network) it keeps costs low and can compete on price on its, relatively basic, service – which offers customers talk and text built on low-cost calling to international destinations. At the time of writing, Lebara Mobile had picked up a number of industry awards for its innovative business model and great customer service, including ‘Best Newcomer’ in the 2008 UK Mobile Awards.
The Lebara Mobile service is simple and straightforward. Users continue to use their existing mobile phone, but simply switch their existing SIM card from their current network provider for a Lebara Mobile SIM (which can be picked up free from the Lebara website). This way, users get access to Lebara Mobile’s basic talk and text package, as well as preferential rates on international calls (with per-minute rates of around 1p being available for many countries). Pay as you go packages are available, although these do require customers to change their mobile phone number from that which they already use. Pay monthly packages, by contrast, allow customers to keep their existing number and can be customized to include bundles of minutes to the particular countries you call most often.
Although the Lebara Mobile service is largely regarded as a great option for international calling, the particular model employed by Lebara does create a few disadvantages that our readers should bear in mind when deciding which service is right for them. Firstly, the service is only likely to be suitable for those who are already using a pay-as-you-go mobile and are willing to forego any of the benefits (especially relating to domestic calling) that that particular network provides, or those whose pay-monthly contract is coming to an end. While pay monthly customers can keep their existing mobile and number, pay and go users will not welcome the hassle of switching networks and numbers and may not wish to give up free minutes or preferential rates on domestic calls for the sake of cheaper international calls (especially if these are rare). Finally, Lebara Mobile, unlike other services we have reviewed in this category, does not provide any form of web-telephony or VOIP service, meaning users can’t take advantage of the massive savings that can be achieved using this technology.
If you don’t mind changing your mobile phone network, are not locked into a contract and make more international calls than domestic calls, then Lebara Mobile may well be perfect for you. Indeed, Lebara Mobile’s biggest customer base is ethnic and immigrant populations in its operational countries, who fit the above customer profile and find the service a great, easy-to-use alternative to other call services on the market. If this sounds right for you, head over to the Lebara Mobile website today to pick up your free Lebara SIM card and start making cheap international calls in a matter of days. If you’re looking for a more varied service, or perhaps you’re not willing to give up the benefits offered by your existing provider, look elsewhere in our listings for this category to find a service that’s right for you.
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