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Thread: lycamobile pay as you go data charges

  1. #1
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    lycamobile pay as you go data charges

    Since I am a light user of both voice and data, I just switched to Lycamobile's pay as you go plan. Given that I use only about 150 MB data per month I thought this would be a good deal. However, the data charges really surprised me. I am using iphone 3GS and after leaving the phone on for two hours with WIFI connected, I find I am charged $0.0117 every 5 minutes and in two hours I was charged $0.15. To extrapolate this, in a month, I would be charged 0.15/2*24*30 = $54 for data alone! And that's with WIFI connected. It appears that lycamobile charges data in 200KB blocks (0.0117/0.06*1024=200 KB). Anyway, lycamobile paygo is not a good plan for iphone.

    Or do I not set my iphone correctly? To make google voice useful, at least push notification for GV will have to be on. However, as long as one push notification is on, it will charge me 0.0117 every 5 minute because it charges in 200kb blocks. So it appears it is only acceptable to turn off cellular data completely.

    I wish there is a setting that allows cellular data for only a few applications and another setting that enables push notification on wifi only.

  2. #2
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    The problem isn't that they charge in 200KB blocks. It's that they charge you for a 200KB block before you've actually used 200KB - that is, all usage is rounded up. So indeed, their stated per-MB rates are deceiptful; it ends up being far more expensive in real world usage. Whereas PTel, with an ostensibly higher per-MB rate, comes out much cheaper, because even though they charge every 100K, they don't actually charge it until you really have used a full 100K. The iPhone apparently drops its WiFi connection when asleep, so those background notications may still use data, but tiny amounts of it. I tend to be around WiFi most of the time, but typically may be out a few hours without it. On my iPhone 5, I fnd my data charges with PTel to be on the order of 5-10 cents per day if I am not actively surfing the web or whatever - just background notifications and maybe occassionally checking email.


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    That's exactly right. Even if I use one byte in 5 minute period, they will charge me 200KB. 200KB is the minimum increment. It is not clear that the minimum charge applies to exact 5 minute windows, but roughly it rounds up the data usage to 200KB blocks for each 5 minute period.
    Last edited by zyzhu2000; 07-16-2013 at 12:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have heard that some apple software (messaging?) tries to send SMS to the mothership every few mins until it is set up, even if wifi is on. Turning that (whatever it is) off may reduce your use to what you expect it to be.

    I ran google sync services like email/contacts/tasks/calendar over lyca and usage stayed quite light. Other than the 200KB roundup that is.
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    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (iPhone; Opera Mini/7.0.5/30.3442; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 Version/11.10)

    In 6.1.3 go to settings,general,cellular,then turn off cellular data.you can still keep wifi active

  6. #6
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    Its the phone I have an old 3gs and was heaving that same problem on the pay as you go,once switched to an iPhone 4 problem gone so it has to be the phone don't know why.
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    Has this issue been fixed, or does Lycamobile still bill data in this bizarre way? I tried emailing their customer support before making my switch over, but didn't get a reply.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphodog View Post
    Has this issue been fixed, or does Lycamobile still bill data in this bizarre way? I tried emailing their customer support before making my switch over, but didn't get a reply.
    Still happens -- iPhone 4S did the same thing a few weeks ago.

  9. #9
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    Has anyone done a long term study on what the actual cost is for the average MB on Lycamobile?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WuefyanCevvelyu View Post
    Has anyone done a long term study on what the actual cost is for the average MB on Lycamobile?
    I don't understand why it is so hard to shut off the internet connection and enable WIFI only.

    Simple as that

  11. #11
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    Because I'd like to replace texting with an IM app, and that uses data. At ~30 messages/MB, it is significantly cheaper than texting (or using minutes).

    Simple as that
    Last edited by WuefyanCevvelyu; 12-27-2013 at 07:11 PM. Reason: addition

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    A better way to look at it is that each IM sent by cellular data is going to cost approximately the minimum data session charge of 1c. It isn't about MB so much.

    Using a few kB at a time adds up to potentally several dollars per MB, so avoid using it that way. But it's still cheaper than 4c per text.

  13. #13
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    Which is why I asked about lycamobile data rounding. Ptel looks like it would be a better option for this usage pattern since they only charge for data actually used.

  14. #14
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    Some reported Lyca has updated their terms. http://www.lycamobile.us/en/termsandconditions

    "Data usage is rounded up to the next full-kilobyte increment at the end of each data session. There are 1,024 kilobytes in one megabyte."

    This seems to imply that they account for the nearest 1 kb in data usage, not nearest $.01 value. If not, then they're open to lawsuits for deceptive business practice.

  15. #15
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    What do they consider a 'session'? Each 'burst' of data request or over some time period?

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