Compare Lebara mobile broadband plans

Lebara has been in Australia since 2009, and though Vodafone bought the Lebara brand in 2016, it continues to operate as a separate entity offering affordable prepaid services.

In the nine years that Lebara has been in Australia, it has offered affordable prepaid mobile and broadband services. Though Lebara became part of Vodafone in Australia in 2016, the brand’s focus on affordable mobile broadband and discount calls to international destinations still makes Lebara a popular option for the prepaid consumer.

Unlike some other broadband providers, Lebara doesn’t offer NBN, ADSL or anything else. It only offers mobile broadband, and that’s what we’ll compare here.

Lebara mobile broadband plans

Utilising the Vodafone 4G network (and 3G where 4G isn’t available), Lebara offers three mobile broadband plans designed to cater to the needs of mobile consumers. Plans start at $20 per recharge, and each recharge lasts for 30 days (or less, if you use your data too quickly).

Being prepaid services, the barrier for entry is low; there are no contracts and no need to pass credit checks. You can simply buy a SIM online (or from many retail stores), recharge and you’re on your way.

Lebara offers three mobile broadband plans, as follows:

  • Small – 5GB for $20
  • Medium – 12GB for $35
  • Large – 25GB for $45

Being mobile broadband plans, these services don't include any calls or texts, so if you’re looking for something to use on your phone which includes calls, you’ll need to look at Lebara’s mobile phone plans, or elsewhere.

Unlike fixed-line services (e.g. NBN or ADSL), mobile broadband providers typically meter both downloads and uploads, and Lebara is no different. Do bear this in mind if you’re using a Lebara mobile broadband service to upload large amounts of data to the Internet (e.g. photo backups) as this will reduce your mobile broadband allowance.

How does Lebara compare?

When comparing mobile broadband providers, cost isn’t the only consideration; customers should also consider mobile network coverage in the places where they’re likely to use the service. For example, if you’re looking to find a service for home, but you have no Vodafone 4G coverage at home, then any service provider (like Lebara) using Vodafone 4G might not be a great option.

How do Lebara’s mobile broadband plans compare?

Lebara’s 4G mobile broadband plans are among the cheapest options available using Vodafone’s 4G network and, depending on where you live or work, this may offer you the value you need. Across the board, cheaper plans with similar data inclusions generally use the Optus 4G network, whereas more expensive plans are available on all three major carrier networks.

For 5GB per month, Lebara’s $20 asking price is quite reasonable. It’s available on prepaid, requiring no contract and offering relatively good value. Jeenee Mobile, Spintel and Moose Mobile do offer slightly cheaper options, though they use the Optus 4G network instead.

At first it looks as though Lebara is the more expensive of these, but it’s the cheapest plan listed that offers access to Vodafone’s network which, depending on where you live, might offer the best performance. If you have strong Optus 4G coverage, on the other hand, you can definitely save a bit of money with one of the other resellers.

For 12GB per month, Lebara’s $35 plan is also among the cheaper options. Vodafone offers a 12GB monthly option for around the same price, though it’s worth noting Vodafone’s plan is not prepaid, requiring a 24-month contract, which Lebara does not.

At the top end, Lebara’s 25GB plan is equal to the cheapest on offer (if you exclude Exetel’s locked-in 12-month offering). At the time of writing, there are no other prepaid 25GB offerings available, though Catch Connect (using the Optus 4G network) offers 30GB for even less per month. Again, it comes down to which network provides you with the best coverage in order to determine the best value.

Across the range of plans offered, it’s clear that Lebara offers great value, provided that you have good coverage from Vodafone’s 4G network. If you’re outside a Vodafone coverage area, you'll need to consider whether Lebara offers a service you can actually use.

Why should you consider Lebara?

As noted above, Lebara is one of the more affordable ways to get access to Vodafone’s 4G network for mobile broadband without committing to a longer term contract. In this regard, Lebara offers great value to customers who will stick with the service, as well as a great way for customers to try out Vodafone’s 4G network and size it for their needs.

Unlike most fixed-line services, and indeed some other mobile broadband services, Lebara is definitely in the “no frills” category. As a prepaid customer you are supplied with a SIM card and a data service, and that’s it. Customers can’t use the service to make calls or send SMS, and there’s no typical “value added” bonus like an email address or unmetered access.

However, this is to be expected with those services on the more affordable end of the spectrum – and for this, Lebara offers great value.

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