At the dawn of 2020, UK based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Lycamobile announced that it had opened operations in Uganda, adding it to its global network reach of 24 countries worldwide. Lycamobile’s entry would later mean that Tangerine was no more in the country as the network operator acquired it.
Being an MVNO, Lycamobile does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers and it’s over other telephone company’s infrastructures that they’ll deliver their services to you, including 4G network.
Lycamobile supports the 4G LTE, 4G (HSPA+), 3G (UMTS/HSPA), 2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) frequency bands. To ensure that you can connect, your mobile device must support both the frequency (band) that Lycamobile uses in your area and the network technology that the local network is using on that band. ( Ideally, this is how other telecoms are able to support the MVNO).
Joining Lycamobile and their crazy internet data rates
To officially join Lycamobile, I was lucky to have a friend send over their boda-guy to deliver a sim card and this was after a lot of praises were heaped on the newest ISP in town.
For starters, sim cards can only be purchased from the Lycamobile head offices opposite Garden City mall and it’s not as easy as the company seems to portray it on its website. The sim card goes for UGX10,000 (about $2.64).
Experiences that have been shared by a number of people online indicate that it’s quite challenging to get a Lycamobile sim card. Well, for now, I believe this can only be attributed to the current lockdown enacted to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
While I understand that the company has great rates on calls, just like everyone, I joined Lycamobile for only their internet bundles, I don’t see myself using the calls or SMS in the near future.
The new telecom currently boasts to have the cheapest internet rates, the craziest daily/weekly/monthly data bundles on the local market. Daily users will get about 250mbs at UGX 500 as the network is seemingly focused on offering more weekly and monthly bundles.
Customers don’t have to hustle as OTT will be included on all the bundles which cost UGX 25,000 & above without any additional charges.
Lycamobile Prepaid Plans & Airtime are available to purchase at:
- Nearest Payway agent.
- Type out *252# on Airtel, MTN or Africell to buy via mobile money,
|Monthly Plans||Data||Price||International Mins||Lyca to Lyca Mins||Lyca SMS to Other networks||Lyca to Lyca SMS|
|UG Super||20GB||UGX 10,000||Unlimited||Unlimited||50||50|
|UG Mega||50GB||UGX 25,000||Unlimited||Unlimited||50||50|
|UG Student||100GB||UGX 35,000||Unlimited||Unlimited||100||100|
|UG Giga||100GB||UGX 45,000||Unlimited||Unlimited||100||100|
|Weekly Plans||Data||Price||International Mins||Lyca to Lyca Mins||Lyca Sms to other networks||Lyca to Lyca SMS|
|Weekly S||500MBs||UGX 1,000||50||50|
|Weekly M||5GB||UGX 5,000||100||100||20||20|
|Weekly L||10GB||UGX 7,000||100||100||20||50|
Usage and speed experience
Today marks a week since I started using Lycamobile as my sole ISP and have so far burnt 50GBs (the UG Mega monthly offer that comes with Free OTT, at UGX 25,000). At the time of publishing, I was left with only 9GBs after putting it to a heavy test and usage. There is surely value in the bundle offers because you are paying less for more but we can’t be sure if they’ll still offer the same rates in three or six months ahead.
Day in, day out, I’ve had 2 smartphones connected, my smart tv and my laptop and I have subjected all of these to heavy usage. At the core, I watched almost anything on YouTube, Netflix, and even made a couple of torrent downloads.
While at it, I’ve not managed to pass 2Mbps ever since I started using Lycamobile. I have tested it using a 4G LTE Mifi at various locations and the highest I get is 2Mbps and the rest is just below that. I’ve also tried to test these speeds throughout the night but I have not achieved anything beyond 2.50Mbps. This has been the case because The 800MHz band that has enabled Lycamobile to give me a minimal 4G connection is long-range, making it great for rural locations where mobile masts are often spread far apart this side of Kyaliwajala.
With these speeds, I have only managed to watch 720p HDR videos on Youtube and it’s only when I reduce the devices connected that I can comfortably watch 1080p HDR videos without buffering. I have managed to watch Netflix with so much ease and my Spotify is always playing just fine as I go about my work.
Frankly speaking though, the speeds I have experienced have really been poor and mediocre, my friends also seem to be complaining about the same. They also admit to not going anything beyond 2Mbps and when you seemingly move further away from Kampala, the speeds seem to dwindle more. There have also been random complaints from users that try tethering with their smartphones and experiencing 2G connections.
The upload speeds keep hitting up to a disappointing 170Kbps, this just hints at the 4G LTE promise merely being a lie. For anyone that doesn’t mind speeds and can wait a couple of minutes for a file to upload or download, Lycamobile at this moment is just the perfect pick for you.