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Thread: Ultramobile $19 plan vs Lycamobile $19 plan

  1. #1
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    Ultramobile $19 plan vs Lycamobile $19 plan

    I'm interested in the Lycamobile $19/mo plan that comes with 2gb LTE if you have a multimonth purchase (3 or more months). The feature that interests me is international calling, as that means I don't have to spend money on a monthly calling card ($10/mo).

    Ultramobile 1gb plan for $19, however, if you buy multimonth, it gets bumped up to 2gb LTE. Unsure if this is an ongoing deal to get 2gb.

    Lycamobile as a similar 1gb plan, however, if you buy 6 months, you get a free LG K4 phone. I would not use this phone, but it's nice to have a backup emergency phone. They also seem to have 2gb LTE available if you buy 3 or more months. Unsure if this is an ongoing deal to get 2gb. They also have a 20% off deal for "SIM+plans, but the code doesn't seem to work in cart. Not sure what a "SIM+" plan is, though.

    Price wise, they seem identical.

    I would be using a Verizon S8+ (SM-G955UZKAVZW), which is currently on Sprint.

    Does anyone have any recent experience with either of the two companies? I know Ultramobile should be decent as I've used Mint Mobile before and they are the same company. However, the international calling is important, so Mint is out of contention.

    I've also seen that there are a lot of ebay sellers that will sell a 1 month Ultra mobile $19 plan card for about $9.99, and a 3 month for about $35, also resulting in a cost-savings. However, you have to have the seller activate the SIM, which is kinda odd. I wonder if they're acting how Harbor Mobile did before where they'd just activate bulk business lines (but it gives them control over your phone number and account info)? Are these ebay sellers safe (they have thousands of positive feedback)? Who keeps my account info if I go through an ebay purchase?

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    Haven't used either but... since you apparently have family/friends overseas, one thing to consider if you ever go abroad is that on Lyca, incoming text messages are free - and I believe this applies for international roaming as well.

    Another thing you might consider is using Google Voice for calling abroad. They tend to have pretty good international calling rates, and you can have incoming calls/texts forwarded to your mobile (or run the GV app). The only drawback is that you can't send texts to foreign numbers (except Canada, I believe). But really, for messaging, there are better ways to communicate with people abroad. Same can be said of calling, but I know sometimes old-fashioned calling is the only way to get a reliable connection.

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    gatewaytoheaven, I'm not trying to change your mind, but I'll give you some of my thoughts.

    My wife used Ultra Mobile for 2 years, mostly for the international calling features, including Ultra's "Call Me Free" feature. Ultra provided good service, and any problems we encountered were handled well by CS.

    In the 2 years she used Ultra, we started noticing that more and more people she was calling internationally had gotten internet at home and that they had the ability to use other ways to communicate for free if they already had an internet connection, which included mostly Skype at first, then more and more of her international contacts were using Viber for everything, and that eventually changed to almost everyone using Facebook Messenger, all with the added benefit of video calls. So we switched her to a different cell phone provider that offered more of what she needed than Ultra was offereing at the time. If she needs to make actual phone calls, which is rare, she uses a Tel3 account that I've had since 2005, and sometimes a Rebtel account that I got last year with some free credit offer, both of which provide low-cost international calls.

    I also had Skype, Viber, and FB Messenger accounts on my phone. I have completely uninstalled Skype, and I'd like to uninstall and stop using Viber, but a few people I communicate with don't want to switch to FB Messenger exclusively, which in my opinion works great, including with the "Lite" version I use on my phones.

    I also used Lycamobile a few years ago, and there was nothing wrong with them, either, but I didn't use any of Lyca's international calling features at the time.

    Anyway, that might be a bunch of useless info, but there is is anyway! Good luck in your decision!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatewaytoheaven View Post
    I'm interested in the Lycamobile $19/mo plan that comes with 2gb LTE if you have a multimonth purchase (3 or more months). The feature that interests me is international calling, as that means I don't have to spend money on a monthly calling card ($10/mo).

    Ultramobile 1gb plan for $19, however, if you buy multimonth, it gets bumped up to 2gb LTE. Unsure if this is an ongoing deal to get 2gb.

    Lycamobile as a similar 1gb plan, however, if you buy 6 months, you get a free LG K4 phone. I would not use this phone, but it's nice to have a backup emergency phone. They also seem to have 2gb LTE available if you buy 3 or more months. Unsure if this is an ongoing deal to get 2gb. They also have a 20% off deal for "SIM+plans, but the code doesn't seem to work in cart. Not sure what a "SIM+" plan is, though.

    Price wise, they seem identical.

    I would be using a Verizon S8+ (SM-G955UZKAVZW), which is currently on Sprint.

    Does anyone have any recent experience with either of the two companies? I know Ultramobile should be decent as I've used Mint Mobile before and they are the same company. However, the international calling is important, so Mint is out of contention.

    I've also seen that there are a lot of ebay sellers that will sell a 1 month Ultra mobile $19 plan card for about $9.99, and a 3 month for about $35, also resulting in a cost-savings. However, you have to have the seller activate the SIM, which is kinda odd. I wonder if they're acting how Harbor Mobile did before where they'd just activate bulk business lines (but it gives them control over your phone number and account info)? Are these ebay sellers safe (they have thousands of positive feedback)? Who keeps my account info if I go through an ebay purchase?
    Mint is owned by Ultra so international calling works the same way: just add credit to your account and dial directly. International rate is the same on both Ultra and Mint. Family member is currently on Mint and make international calls with no issues.

    We used Lycamobile in the past but prefer Ultra/Mint.

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    If you care about data, the Ultra $19 plan includes unlimited slow data after the high speed allotment runs out. Lyca $19 plan cuts you off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by user1name View Post
    Mint is owned by Ultra so international calling works the same way: just add credit to your account and dial directly. International rate is the same on both Ultra and Mint. Family member is currently on Mint and make international calls with no issues.

    We used Lycamobile in the past but prefer Ultra/Mint.
    You mean you have to add credit to your Mint account to call internationally, right? The Ultra plan has international included as part of the package at $19

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    Quote Originally Posted by oax View Post
    If you care about data, the Ultra $19 plan includes unlimited slow data after the high speed allotment runs out. Lyca $19 plan cuts you off.
    That's a good point. I think the user won't mind if data is cut off, especially if it's 2gb LTE with multimonth. She won't get close enough to have to worry

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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    Haven't used either but... since you apparently have family/friends overseas, one thing to consider if you ever go abroad is that on Lyca, incoming text messages are free - and I believe this applies for international roaming as well.

    Another thing you might consider is using Google Voice for calling abroad. They tend to have pretty good international calling rates, and you can have incoming calls/texts forwarded to your mobile (or run the GV app). The only drawback is that you can't send texts to foreign numbers (except Canada, I believe). But really, for messaging, there are better ways to communicate with people abroad. Same can be said of calling, but I know sometimes old-fashioned calling is the only way to get a reliable connection.
    I asked Lyca about traveling overseas and they said that their service would not work and that we'd have to get a local Lyca SIM. Is this something the phone wouldnt formally support but will work informally?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    gatewaytoheaven, I'm not trying to change your mind, but I'll give you some of my thoughts.

    My wife used Ultra Mobile for 2 years, mostly for the international calling features, including Ultra's "Call Me Free" feature. Ultra provided good service, and any problems we encountered were handled well by CS.

    In the 2 years she used Ultra, we started noticing that more and more people she was calling internationally had gotten internet at home and that they had the ability to use other ways to communicate for free if they already had an internet connection, which included mostly Skype at first, then more and more of her international contacts were using Viber for everything, and that eventually changed to almost everyone using Facebook Messenger, all with the added benefit of video calls. So we switched her to a different cell phone provider that offered more of what she needed than Ultra was offereing at the time. If she needs to make actual phone calls, which is rare, she uses a Tel3 account that I've had since 2005, and sometimes a Rebtel account that I got last year with some free credit offer, both of which provide low-cost international calls.

    I also had Skype, Viber, and FB Messenger accounts on my phone. I have completely uninstalled Skype, and I'd like to uninstall and stop using Viber, but a few people I communicate with don't want to switch to FB Messenger exclusively, which in my opinion works great, including with the "Lite" version I use on my phones.

    I also used Lycamobile a few years ago, and there was nothing wrong with them, either, but I didn't use any of Lyca's international calling features at the time.

    Anyway, that might be a bunch of useless info, but there is is anyway! Good luck in your decision!
    Thanks for your comments! For us, we definitely need mobile calling as the recipients will be taking calls primarily on landline or cell phone (but no data there overseas). Glad it worked out for you guys, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatewaytoheaven View Post
    I asked Lyca about traveling overseas and they said that their service would not work and that we'd have to get a local Lyca SIM. Is this something the phone wouldnt formally support but will work informally?
    As I understand it, international roaming is allowed, and they even have a roaming page which shows you the call rates for each country. That said, I believe DATA doesn't work outside the US, so it is certainly restricted by that. Maybe that's what the person you spoke with meant (or maybe they're a bit confused).

    Ultimately if you want good international roaming you're throwing a whole new feature into the mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    As I understand it, international roaming is allowed, and they even have a roaming page which shows you the call rates for each country. That said, I believe DATA doesn't work outside the US, so it is certainly restricted by that. Maybe that's what the person you spoke with meant (or maybe they're a bit confused).

    Ultimately if you want good international roaming you're throwing a whole new feature into the mix.
    Yes Lyca-USA roams in many countries where they also sell local service. You have to add a cash balance to cover the extra expense as shown on their Roaming Rates page, and is rather expensive. No data. I had so-so results when I tried out roaming in 2015 in the UK and Germany. I was able to send texts and make a call but got no incoming calls or texts. I think I even had to change dialing conventions to make a local call (e.g., 00-49-German#)

    Ultra/Mint/Ting-GSM read like they would be similar in cost and service.

    If I did it again I would find a local SIM or try out a service like ThreeUK or TruPhone. Or do without and use some app on WiFi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oax View Post
    I think I even had to change dialing conventions to make a local call (e.g., 00-49-German#)
    This is true with any SIM. It's wise to adopt the practice of entering phone numbers with the prefix of '+(country code)', so US numbers as +1 212-123-4567 (US country code is '1'). With most numbers outside the US, you drop the first zero if there is one, so you'd enter a German local number such as 017698765432 into your phone as +4917698765432. Once you get in the habit it's easy, and then you never have to worry about modifying a number before you dial, e.g. "do I dial 001 first or 011?" The '+' is universal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatewaytoheaven View Post
    You mean you have to add credit to your Mint account to call internationally, right? The Ultra plan has international included as part of the package at $19
    Yes, you have to add credit to Mint to call international numbers. On Ultra, the included international calling is limited to about 80 countries; if the your country is not on the list, you have to use additional credit. On the $19 Ultra plan, they give you $1.50 additional credit to call anywhere that's not included on the 80-country list. The rate varies depending on the country and whether it's landline or mobile number (landline are sometimes cheaper than mobile). You can add additional credit if you use up the $1.50.

    The country my family member calls is not on the list, so Mint is a better deal than the Ultra $19 dollar plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    This is true with any SIM. It's wise to adopt the practice of entering phone numbers with the prefix of '+(country code)', so US numbers as +1 212-123-4567 (US country code is '1'). With most numbers outside the US, you drop the first zero if there is one, so you'd enter a German local number such as 017698765432 into your phone as +4917698765432. Once you get in the habit it's easy, and then you never have to worry about modifying a number before you dial, e.g. "do I dial 001 first or 011?" The '+' is universal.
    In my case, the + method didn't work as I had entered in the address book on my USA-market unlocked phone. I figured it was translating the + as 011 (the USA international long distance prefix.) So I had to use the Euro 00 prefix instead.

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