Prepay mobile phone network in Ireland

I’ve been with Three for my mobile phone for years, I think I signed up very shortly after they launched in Ireland in 2005. I’ve been on prepay, sim online, contract and business plans. Overall, I’ve very few complaints – I loved the Three Like Home option and having free roaming, especially in Hong Kong where it came in very handy. With the recent price increase I moved away from Three Business and tried to move to Three Pay. The whole moving experience was a bit of an ordeal which made me start looking for alternatives.

There are the main networks in Ireland – Meteor, Vodafone and Three and there are the MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) who don’t own their own infrastructure but piggybacks on another network. For a small country there are quite a lot of providers in Ireland to chose from.

MVNO Host Network
iD Mobile Three
48 Months Three
eMobile Meteor
LycaMobile Three
Postfone Vodafone
Tesco Mobile Three
Virgin Mobile Three

I normally go for completely unlimited plans, whether it’s for phone, internet, webhosting etc however after reading Priceless by William Poundstone I reassessed what I need. Realistically, all I use is data. I very rarely make traditional calls or text messages instead use WhatsApp and VOIP. With this in mind I went looking for the best data plan.

Network Data Texts Minutes Keep Credit? Price
Three 60GB 3,000 €20 €20
Vodafone  5GB €10  €20
Meteor  15GB  Unlimited €0 €20
iD Mobile 15GB 300 €15 €15
48 Months 15GB  100  50 €0  €15
eir Mobile 1GB  300 300 €45  €30
Lycamobile 30GB 8000 8000  – €15
Postfone 10GB €20 €20
Tesco Mobile 10GB Unlimited €15 €15
Virgin Mobile

 

I’ve only covered prepaid and not sim-only plans that are available. Virgin Mobile doesn’t seem to offer any prepaid plans. I travel quite a bit and can book at the last minute so I like being able to just not top up instead of having to give 30 days notice on sim-only plans. Obviously there is more than just the information above that should be considered when making a decision – whether they have 3G or 4G data, the quality of the network, out of bundle charges, roaming charges etc.

Lycamobile are currently offering 50% off their €15 per month plan making it just €7.50 per month. I was very please with Lycamobile over in the US so think I’ll be giving there Irish package a go. It only comes with 3G data and not 4G however as my phone isn’t 4G compatible this doesn’t affect me.

Lycamobile offers zero roaming charges for calls and texts when travelling to any one of a staggering 18 countries around the globe. Applicable to both new and existing customers, this offer removes roaming charges from: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Romania, Hong Kong, the UK and the USA.

I’m sure I’ve missed out on some plans so let me know if I have.

In the interest of full-disclosure, links to Lycamobile are affiliate links. Should you click through to Lycamobile via my affiliate link and top up your Lycamobile number I will receive a small commission.. These affiliate payments have no impact on my reviewing of the product. If you believe I have been influenced by the potential commission when reviewing a product please call me out. 

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