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Author Topic: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?  (Read 1408 times)

aesmith

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Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« on: November 05, 2023, 08:49:26 AM »

Hi,

I just ported my phone to Lebara as Plusnet are folding. While looking at their offerings I see they do an unlimited data plan for 25/month (or 22.50/m on 12m contract).  Looking a bit further there a few virtual operators offering alternatives to the Three network at rates that might be viable for fixed installation. I see Lebara, Talkmobile and Asda on Vodafone, and Lycra on EE.

Anyone using one of these as their home Internet? We've been using Three for a few years now and occasionally wonder if it would be worth paying a little more if another network performs better.
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meritez

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2023, 09:52:34 AM »

Yes, RWG unlimited data sim until December.
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celso

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2023, 11:29:20 AM »

I've tested Smarty and ID mobile on Three, Lebara and Talkmobile on Vodafone, and 1pmobile on EE. They all work fine, as long the network is good in the area.

Some points to be aware of:

- Only Three offers a fixed IP was far as I'm aware. Everyone else (even Three's virtual networks/MVNOs) uses CGNAT. Some (EE) give you an IPV6, but V4 is CGNAT.

- Some EE MVNOs don't have access to every band. Plusnet, RWG, Lyca, etc, don't have access to band 20. Not that it helps a lot with speeds, but that's all that you get in some areas.

- Some users on Vodafone and their MVNOs have been reporting high packet loss for some time. It doesn't affect everyone or every part of the country, but it's something to test.

- Check the fair use policy. Lyca recently moved from O2 to EE and introduced lower limits. The last unlimited plan I've checked from them had a 400GB limit, which is not enough for everyone.

- The cheapest way to get unlimited on EE is probably with a Scancom SIM (check on Amazon for best prices). You have to pay upfront, but it costs less than 15 a month. By the way, EE has a 650GB limit, but they don't stop the service, you just get de-prioritised until it resets (still fast enough in most areas).

- You often can find cheaper plans on sites like uswitch or Money Saving Expert, might be useful if you want to order a few SIMs to test all networks.

- When choosing between O2 and Vodafone, it's useful to look at this map. They share masts and with their arrangement the host network usually offers better speeds in the area (eg: O2 is better in Canterbury while Vodafone is better in Bournemouth):

« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 11:31:43 AM by celso »
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2023, 01:43:59 PM »

I found on SMARTY you can still use the 3internet APN and get a public IP address.

Nope I was wrong, it IS CG-NAT, I always get confused by the fact the mobile networks don't use the official CGNAT range.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 01:59:35 PM by Alex Atkin UK »
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aesmith

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2023, 02:41:59 PM »

- Only Three offers a fixed IP was far as I'm aware. Everyone else (even Three's virtual networks/MVNOs) uses CGNAT. Some (EE) give you an IPV6, but V4 is CGNAT.

- Some EE MVNOs don't have access to every band. Plusnet, RWG, Lyca, etc, don't have access to band 20. Not that it helps a lot with speeds, but that's all that you get in some areas.

Thanks I used Smarty at first initially because I wasn't sure how we'd get on. At some point their CGNAT got a lot more aggressive, changing IP mid connection which upset some things including PayPal, and the work CRM system. By then we'd been using it as our main home Internet for two years so I was happy to take a 12 month contract with Three and benefit from the real IP.

Reason for looking elsewhere is that service has gone downhill. Normally we were on Band 20 from a last around 6km away with clear line of sight and that was solid for several years. But more recently sometimes that last goes offline for a week or months at a time. When it does i get Band 3 from a similar distance but there's a metal barn in the way so the signal is poor.
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aesmith

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2023, 02:44:00 PM »

I found on SMARTY you can still use the 3internet APN and get a public IP address.
Nope I was wrong, it IS CG-NAT, I always get confused by the fact the mobile networks don't use the official CGNAT range.
I read that Smarty doesn't care what you put for APN,  could be anything. I can't remember if I tested that idea.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Anyone Using Lebara or other Virtual Operator?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2023, 06:36:50 PM »

I read that Smarty doesn't care what you put for APN,  could be anything. I can't remember if I tested that idea.

You could be right with that too.  Usually switching APNs I would see different speeds, they seemed the same the last I checked.

Well that was amusing.  Just ran speedtest.net and it says "we've done it, thanks for helping us reach 50 billion speed tests".
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Broadband: Zen Full Fibre 900 + Three 5G Routers: pfSense (Intel N100) + Huawei CPE Pro 2 H122-373 WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX
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anything