Roaming with Vodafone is easy but Lycamobile Is a Pain in the Butt!

Roaming with Lycamobile Is a Pain in the Butt!

Random Ramblings

I recently tried using Lycamobile for the first time and had some problems. First, I had difficulties getting the data to work after I installed the SIM card. Then I had more problems with the Lycamobile data when I started roaming. I’m not impressed. I have a Vodafone SIM that never causes me any problems at all.

I’m not saying Vodafone is the best network for roaming. There are plenty of other mobile phone networks I’ve never tried but, in a two-horse race between Vodafone and Lycamobile, I’d choose Vodafone every time. Roaming with Vodafone is easy. Roaming with Lycamobile is not. Lycamobile makes things unnecessarily complicated.


Why I Bought a Lycamobile SIM

My mobile takes two SIM cards. My main one comes from Vodafone NL. That’s the one I keep and, normally, it’s the only one I need unless I go to non-EU countries where my Vodafone bundle doesn’t work. When that happens so I buy a local SIM and put it in my mobile as well.

The last time I was in Spain, I spent five weeks living at a house with no internet connection. That meant I was had to work via mobile hotspot a lot. I don’t normally use much data on my phone so I only pay for a 2GB bundle from Vodafone NL. Using the hotspot so much used my data up fast. I noticed Lycamobile ES has a package that offers more data for less money than the bundles available via Vodafone NL so I bought a Lycamobile SIM and set up my phone to use Lycamobile for DATA. That’s when the fun began.


I Had Problems Getting Lycamobile Data to Work

Activating the SIM wasn’t as easy as it should have been, but I got there in the end. Then I had to spend a lot of time tinkering with the phone settings to try and get the data to work. That was a waste of time. It wouldn’t work! I could make calls via the new SIM, but the internet was dead.

With my Vodafone SIM and every other SIM I’ve ever used in the past it’s just been a case of popping the SIM in the phone, activating it, and I was good to go.

The problem with the Lycamobile SIM was something I couldn’t resolve on my own. I tried, but nothing worked. In the end, I went to a shop that sold Lycamobile SIM cards and asked the guy behind the counter if he could help.

I told the guy about the problems I was having trying to get the Lycamobile data to work on my phone. Then I handed my phone over and watched what he did. He appeared to enter a special code into the phone. He must have used the code a lot because he pulled the cypher out of his head. It didn’t work the first time, so he switched the SIMs around and entered the code again. That did the trick. I had Data. He charged my €5.

I didn’t mind paying him. He knew something I didn’t and he’d made my phone do what I wanted it to do, but it seems wrong that Lycamobile SIM cards appear to be so complicated to set up. The fact they are cost me extra money.

At this point, you may be thinking the code may have been the PUK code or the other code that appears on the card that comes with the SIM. It’s not. I had to visit the Lycamobile website and use those codes to activate the SIM when I first put it in the phone. They are a totally different thing.


Lycamobile Data Stopped Working When I Crossed the Border

When I left Spain and headed to France, I didn’t have much data left but I had a week to use it and the SIM was set for roaming. I went to France with FlixBus and had to change buses in Portugal. When the bus crossed the Portuguese border I got a couple of SMS text messages. The first one was from Vodafone NL, telling me “Welkom in Portugal!” and informing me any bundles I had would work the same in Portugal as they do in the Netherlands.

This was nothing new. I get a message like that from Vodafone NL every time I cross a border and, as long as I remain in EU countries, my bundle always works just fine. I never have to do a thing.

The second SMS was from Lycamobile. It said, “Welcome to Portugal!” and explained I could use my minutes, texts and data there with no extra charge.

Except my data was no longer working!

A little later, I got a second SMS from Lycamobile. It said I would have to configure my web setting APN and provided a link for me to do so. The link didn’t work. This whole rigmarole happened again when I crossed the border back into Spain, and yet again when I crossed the French border.

Roaming with Vodafone is no problem at all. It's easy. Lycamobile is different. It makes everything difficult.

The thing is, even if the link had worked, I may not have been able to configure the APN. I have a sneaky feeling that would involve inputting the magic code the guy in Spain knew and I do not.

That was my first experience with Lycamobile. It’s also going to be my last. If I ever need a second SIM for extra data I’ll go with an alternative network instead.

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