Cheapest Prepay Mobile Charges Ireland

Which mobile provider has the Cheapest Prepay Mobile Charges in Ireland  ?
Updated April 2017

In 2016 the average spend per mobile customer in Ireland was €25.10 a month or  €301 a year . Pre-paid mobile phone customers in Ireland spent half as much as bill pay customers  – with average monthly prepay charges of €15.44 compared to a  €34.94 monthly average for bill pay mobile customers.

About half of all  mobile phone users in Ireland  use Pre-Pay or “Pay as You Go” mobile plans  (PAYG)

It can be very easy to  lose track of just how much your prepaid phone usage is costing you. If you just keep getting  €10 or €20 Euro top ups at the supermarket or garage those amounts can soon mount up.

If you are regularly spending over €30 a month on your billpay or prepay mobile phone charges – you should be looking into changing your provider or your plan. You can get a cheaper deal.

Summary of the Cheapest Prepay Mobile Plans

Currently – one of the best value pre-pay options is from  Lycamobile : for just €15 a month you get a bundlle that includes   30Gb Data , Unlimited  Texts and Unlimited calls to all mobiles and landlines in Ireland. (Unlimited is actually 8000 mins and 8000 texts a month – which is more than enough.)  (Note – Internet is  3G).
They are running a special half price offer for new customers – so it is currently  just €7.50 for the first month.
It also includes free roaming in 18 countries including USA , UK and Australia. (Calls and texts only).
They also have a good Top Up offer – that gets you 10Gb of data and unlimited calls to any network for €15 – and you get to keep the credit. So you could use this €15 credit the following month to buy the bundle mentioned abov (30gb data plus unlimited calls and texts) . If you keep doing this – you can get an average of 20Gb data per month and unlimited calls for €7.30 per month.
Lycamobile  use the old O2 network – (the same as Tesco and 48 Months ) which is reported to have patchy coverage  in some rural areas .
You can Order a free SIM here at the Lycamobile site

Tesco Mobile have a €15 top up deal that gets you unlimited calls  , 10Gb of data and you can use the €15 credit to buy unlimited texts (€10). Opt in text required to get this offer. (Tesco use the Three network)

Another good pre-pay deal is from  48 Months. They also use the Three network and for  €20 a month “membership” you get unlimited texts , 1000 minutes of calls to any Irish mobile network , 60 minutes to landlines and  8Gb of data
For just €10 a month you will get 1Gb plus 300 mins of mobile calls , 60 mins to landlines  and unlimited texts. 48Months is aimed at the 18 to 22 age group – but as far as we can see there is no request for ID or  proof of age.  You can order a Free Sim online here at the 48Months website

Meteor  also have a some pretty good Pay as You Go deals at the moment .  For a €20 monthly top up you get 15Gb of data  plus either unlimited texts or unlimited calls to all networks including landlines . (Fair usage 5000 mins and 5000 texts).  For  €30  a month top up  you get 15Gb of data  plus both unlimited texts and  unlimited calls to all networks . You need to opt in to these deals , they are not automatic.

are due to increase prices from April 2017  –  from April if you top up by €20 you get Unlimited data (60Gb) , unlimited texts and free calls to phones on the Three networkYou get to keep the €20 creditwhich will get you about  50 minutes of calls to other mobiles or landlines.

The newest Irish mobile provider is Id Mobile from Carphone Warehouse.  They also use the Three network (same as 48months and Tesco and Lyca).They have a prepay bundle costing €15 a month which gets you  30Gb of data,  300 call minutes and you can spend the €15 on more calls or texts. (But – €15 would only get you 48 minutes of calls).
In our view – the Lycamobile  €15 bundle is better value with more calls and texts and free roaming in 18 countries.

Vodafone have a €20 bundle of unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB data

Coverage – especially for internet – can vary across different providers in different parts of the country. Rural areas usually have poorer coverage . You probably shouldn’t be relying on mobile phone internet in rural areas of Ireland  for heavy usage such as video or music streaming.

See our article about  Lowest Prepay Data Charges on Mobiles in Ireland

Take a look at our page about the  Best SIM only Plans Ireland

Mobile Companies  Revenue : According to COMREG  – the combined retail revenue of the mobile phone companies  in Ireland was over €1.5 Billion Euro  in 2015.  That income was generated by about 6 billion text messages and over 12 billion voice minutes from  5.8 million mobile phones. (There are more mobile phones in Ireland than people!)

Figures and prices checked April 2017

46 thoughts on “Cheapest Prepay Mobile Charges Ireland

  1. Hey Money Guide Ireland

    Just wanna say THANKS for the best site since i moved to this wonderful country , because of this site i’ve allready changed my bank and made much more better financial decisions


  2. Hi
    I was thinking of getting the lycamobile ireland plus package.What does lycamobile unlimited national text and national calls mean. Can you ring or text free to any mobile or landlines in ireland and does it use 3g or 4g

    • “unlimited national text and national calls ” means all irish landline and mobiles.
      For data – it is currently 3G.


    • Read reviews about lycamobile first!!! They don’t sound good. I was about to move but change my mind 🙂

      • You will find bad reviews about all the providers if you look. There have been several recent good mentions of them on . Maybe get a SIM and load it with just €5 to give it a try. (Don’t swap your number over at this stage) .


    • Hi Christopher
      The Lycamobile €15 Bundle includes unlimited (8000 mins) calls to all mobile networks and landlines in Ireland.
      I can see why you might be confused – because their website also mentions “Unlimited Lyca to Lyca calls” – . Not sure why they mention this separately if all calls are unlimited. But you can be assured that our research is not “sloppy” and all calls to all networks are included in the Lycamobile “Ireland Plus ” bundle which is currently €15 for 30 days.

  4. Moneyguideireland says one of the best value prepay options is from Lycamobile package for €15
    And lists unlimited calls to all networks and landlines
    When I went to the Lycamobile link provided it states free national calls and free texts but no mention of free mobile to mobile calls other than Lyca to Lyca
    Can anyone clear this up?

    • “free national calls” means free calls to all mobile networks and landlines.
      They specify free calls to Lyca too – which I agree is confusing because they would be already included in “unlimited national calls”.

    • Hi – As part of the Tesco Simply prepay plan, is the unlimited texts to all mobile networks or to the Tesco mobile network only?

      • The Tesco Simply prepay does not include any texts. You can buy an add on of unlimited texts which are to any network for €10

  5. Hi,

    Can you recommend the best bill pay deal with a phone on a reliable network. Looking to spend around 40 euro a month.


  6. Can you let me know if other companies do the same as Three does with their customers by not alerting when your top ups and ad-ons is about to finish or just finished and. without noticing, they start to take money from your account? That has been making me spend as much extra money as I do for my monthly pre paid plan. Thanks.

  7. Hi I am 68 years old and am a bit confused in general about the use of mobiles (other than straight forward use of texting and making phone calls) and SIMS. I have a HUAWEI mobile phone which is prepay of €20 on the same date every month.and have a monthly contract I understand they have recently changed to charging per minute for phone calls. I would like to know a) can I use the same phone with a Lycamobile Sim, b) is it topped up on the same day every month and c) is there a site where I can increase my knowledge of mobile phones in general.

    • Hi Sinead
      You can use the same phone with Lycamobile. You can also keep your number – but it won’t be automatically done – you will have to request it (probably online). The €15 bundle you get with Lycamobile will expire after 30 days – so it will need to be bought again every 30 days if you want it to be continuous.

    • Hi Peadar- sorry for the late reply. You can port you existing mobile number to Lycamobile. In fact they give €10 free credit if you do that.

  8. I’m thinking of changing from 3 because their coverage is so bad at the moment. Looks like a lot of other companies use their network, so no point in changing to any of them. It’s beginning to look like a monopoly.

    • Tesco and Lyca are on the old O2 network (owned and operated by Three but separate masts etc and no 4G).

      ID are on the Three network. (Coverage is the same as Three.)

  9. Hello Money Guide Ireland,
    Great article 🙂
    I just wanted to inquire if there was a company who provided Mobile data where , for example, you pay 10 euro and get 5gb of data which Doesnt expire after a month. So you wouldnt have to pay the 10 euro each month. Feel free to email me: if you have any details 🙂
    Thanks for the help!

    • Hi Aidan – it looks like they all do “bundles” that expire. If you just want data irregularly – you might be best going for Tesco payg They charge 2c per MB – so that works out at about €20 for a GB . But you just pay for what you use as you use it. It could work out cheaper if you are not a heavy use of data. No need to make regular top ups.

  10. I don’t understand the Meteor Pay as you go offer you mention (15GB with unlimited texts and calls). Does that mean that if you switch your data usage you can use your phone for calls and texts for free?

    • The Meteor bundle includes free calls and texts and also 15Gb of data per month. I don’t understand your question.

  11. Hi ,

    Are there any sim only deals that include mobile calls to Northern Ireland mobiles pre- pay or bill pay?
    I am on meteor prepay sim only € 15 euro bundle and all calls/ texts to Northern Ireland are charged as extra. Also, even short texts attract two to three charges per text. They also charge VAT on top of their €15 monthly charge. Is this the same for other sim only deals?

    • I’m with Meteor prepay sim only €20 pm and cannot make calls to NI or U.K. or Sky or Electric Ireland unless I top up extra. Didn’t know this when I signed up also am only on it two weeks and already couldn’t upgrade my facebook app as they sent text telling me to use wifi even tho I have 15gb data monthly. I was with three and only reason I changed cos can’t verage wass so poor.

      • Most (if not all) mobile providers don’t include calls to NI/UK as part of prepaid bundles.
        The same applies to many of the 0810 1850 1890 numbers.
        Sky don’t seem to have any other numbers apart from 0818 – maybe try emailing them and ask them to call you?
        Electric Ireland have another number which should be included in your “free” call bundle and will not need extra top up –
        it is 01 8529534.
        Have a look for a SIM only deal that leaves you some of teh top up credit to use for calls. The meteor deal uses all the €20 and leaves you with nothing for extras.

  12. What is the most economical way of triggering a GSM controller (alarms etc., infrequent use) fitted with a SIM card and receiving SMS messages only? i.e. SIM card & rental options?

  13. To test the waters, I signed up for the Lycamobile 10 euro (3gb Data and 300 mins of calls) package .Benefit for me was that this also gives you international calls within the 300 mins.

    Its been about 2 weeks since joining and overall the service has been fine. Only issue with this one is you don’t get any text, but if you’re like me and use whatsapp or the likes, then you can work around this.

    I am tempted to step up to the 15 euro plan, but I won’t get my international calls, so I may well stick to my 10 euro option for now

  14. Important to note that 48 is useless to anyone who needs mobile data abroad. You cannot get it.

  15. Hi
    i am on a pay as you go contract with Three and they want to change this – as stated above.
    I only top up by about 20 Euro once every 3 months.
    I don’t have a smart phone (and don’t want one)

    what is currently my cheapest option?

  16. I am going a 10 day tour of Ireland with family. Everyone going has a smartphonel and providers in the USA, and will use their own various international plans (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint). I do not have a cell and want to be able to call and text the family members who are touring with me. What is the best option for me?

    • One option would be to do it the old fashioned way – and just arrange to meet in a pub at a certain time to chat. : )

    • You could pop into a Tesco supermarket and buy the cheapest phone they have and get a Tesco Mobile Pay as You Go SIM pre loaded with say €10 credit . They only charge 2c per minute for calls to USA mobiles and 14c for a text. (cheaper than calls in Ireland !) . You should be able to buy a basic (non smart) phone for €9.99.

  17. You can’t send picture messages or text 5**** text numbers with Lycamobile which is a real shame!

  18. Hi, i have been paying 30 euro for my mobile, with 3. Got text to say contract change and going up by 5.02 euro. Can they change contract? its bill pay. I WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE MY LANDLINE ALSO AND HAVE BOTH ON 1 BILL.MY LANDLINE IS WITH VODAFONE AND COSTS ABOUT 55 MONTHLY FOR BROADBAND ALSO.BOTH TOGETHER ARE NEARLY 90. SURELY BETTER VALUE OUT THERE

    • You might not get the best deal by having it all on one bill – but maybe look into deals from Virgin if you are in one of the areas they cover – they do landline/broadband and mobile . See options on Switcher here
      Otherwise just look at our list of the best broadband deals here You can get anytime calls and 24Mb broadband unlimited for under €40 a month.

  19. You mentioned in a previous comment that (Money Guide on August 10, 2016 at 15:15 said: ) Tesco and Lyca are on the old O2 network (owned and operated by Three but separate masts etc and no 4G).

    ID are on the Three network. (Coverage is the same as Three.)

    What about 48? Are they on the old O2 network or on the Three network?

    I’m asking because I was on O2 until they changed to three and after they changed my coverage wasn’t great, so I switched to 48 and had reasonable coverage then switched to ID to avail of their 30Gb data but had very poor coverage so I switched back to 48. If I were to now switch to Lyca, would I be likely to have the poor coverage that I had on three and ID or the reasonable coverage I have on 48? Is it a case of I’ll have to try it to find out or.. ?

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