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5G Has Stopped Working for Some Lyca Mobile UK Customers

Sunday, Jun 9th, 2024 (7:37 am) - Score 6,960
5G Mobile Wireless Radio Mast

Some customers of mobile network operator Lyca Mobile, which is a virtual operator (MVNO) on EE’s platform in the UK, are reporting that they’ve been unable to access the provider’s latest and fastest 5G (mobile broadband) connectivity service for around a month. Related users find that only 4G is now available to them.

The issue, which was picked up by Thinkbroadband, but which has also been spotted by members of ISPreview’s discussion forum community and via social media, appears to be affecting multiple mast sites and may have occurred after the operator’s Access Point Name (APN) settings were updated to an EE profile (58.0). But switching to Lyca’s own APN settings (example) doesn’t resolve the issue, and the same problem doesn’t impact EE’s other MVNOs.

NOTE: According to Lyca’s latest company accounts (here), the operator had 1.7 million subscribers at the end of 2022, a churn of 9% and revenues of £145m (up from £138m). But they also made a loss after tax of £25.1m, which compares with a profit of £1.8m in 2021.

The operator itself has acknowledged, at least to some of those affected, that an issue does exist, although they’ve been vague and haven’t put out a general statement. Lyca Mobile also lacks a proper Service Status page and hasn’t said how long it may take to resolve the problem. As above, many of those affected have been waiting for around a month, although it remains unclear how widespread the issue is.

Response from Lyca Mobile to Customer (Credits to Ryan)

We are sorry to know that you are unable to access the 5G network.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the lack of 5G signal in your area.

Further to your email, we are facing some 5G issue in Lycamobile network. Our technical team is actively investigating this matter to ensure that any potential network issues are addressed promptly. While we work on resolving this, please be assured that our team is committed to restoring the 5G coverage at the earliest.

At this point it’s separately worth noting that 5G connectivity problems can sometimes also occur on an operator’s network due to issues of device compatibility, although this isn’t relevant to the above issue as 5G was working for those customers before, and on the same phones.

However, Lyca Mobile is known to have had some issues with Google’s Pixel phones in the past, and one of our readers recently reported that they ran into something similar with the Xiaomi 14 on an eSIM (here). We’ve reached out to our Lyca Mobile contact for a comment on the above issue and hope to update this article early next week with their official response.

Separately, Lyca Mobile recently survived a compulsory strike-off action and its company accounts reveal that they’re currently still in dispute with HMRC over an issue related to the treatment of Value Added Tax (VAT), which could be quite costly (a provision of £99m has been recorded to reflect their current best estimate of potential exposure).

Extract from Lyca’s Latest Company Accounts

Lyca-Mobile-HMRC-Dispute

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
26 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Can everyones please post here area post code (first three) where lycamobile 5G doesn’t work. Mine is TF7.

    1. Avatar photo Jammie1408 says:

      M35 (Manchester)

    2. Avatar photo V says:

      Doesn’t work on iPhone 15 PM, or s24 ultra. Doesn’t work in anywhere within london.
      It’s basically disabled.

    3. Avatar photo Robson Z says:

      Yeah… I noticed this issue had been 2 months now. I switched from gifgaff. Lyca is not honest about it.
      I emailed them and no other definitive answer was provided.

  2. Avatar photo Phil says:

    I do believed Lycamobile run by BTWholesales for EE Network. So, maybe any issues should reported to BTw.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      1) Lyca isn’t “run” by BT/EE/Openreach. They have a deal to use EE’s network, but Lyca runs their “core” and all that stuff.

      2) Users are Lyca customers, not BT/EE/OR. It’s a problem with the service Lyca provides. Issues should be reported to Lyca and Lyca needs to deal with any parties responsible (assuming it’s not another Lyca screw up).

  3. Avatar photo Adam says:

    This with 5G has been going on for at least the last 4+ weeks. Lyca have also suffered a major breach leaking peoples bank details that they clearly store un encrypted, they have refused so far to make a public statement warning people, not even bothered to send customers emails/messages leading to even more people exposed to fraud, 3 family members had theirs leaked, we left them so quickly!

    1. Avatar photo Robson Z says:

      Exactly, much more than 4 weeks this has been going

      Thank you so much for your comments, I will get away from Lyca today. I had switched from Gift gaff… what a mistake.

      Does anybody have a good suggestion to what other provider I should try? Gift gaff in the end is not that bad!!!

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      Try penny mobile it runs on ee network, I get good coverage indoors while with 3 I had bad reception indoors, maybe lack of antenna etc. near my property.

  4. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

    Least of Lyca’s problems considering the unauthorised transactions appearing on their subscribers’ credit/debit cards.

    I had two Lyca SIMs, both taken out after their most recent **admitted** data leak, they were paid for using virtual debit cards solely used for the Lyca SIMs concurrently created at the time of taking the Lyca subscriptions. Both virtual cards had unauthorised transactions last moth, a quick search even on the forums of this website will provide concurring testimony from other Lyca users.

    I’ve forgiven Lyca for numerable failings in the past, but after this I’ll never use their services again.

    1. Avatar photo R says:

      I m quite sure they first denied it when press asked for their comment after many complaints on X. And given many people used disposable virtual cards, they gave in. Data leak was serious enough but the denial sealed their fate.

    2. Avatar photo MilesT says:

      Complain direct to Information Commissioner’s Office

  5. Avatar photo Dave Shaw says:

    I had this very issue and I’m unsurprised that Lyca have been so slow to comment on it. I thought it was just me as there was no mention of it in many places.

    I’ve used other ee MVNOs in the past and been impressed, Lyca were disappointing from the off. Switching numbers to them was tough (they required ICCIDs from both sim cards – not too bad for me but I can’t imagine my parents managing).

    Had multiple support tickets open with no contact or activity. Problems with standard phone calls on LTE even with strong signals and WiFi calling though recently introduced didn’t work at all for me. Though as expected I’ve just this week changed providers and now they’re calling me every day to give me improved offers. Steer clear.

  6. Avatar photo binary says:

    Lyca is like best avoided, as evidenced by the cyberattack hack they suffered in autumn 2023 and their seemingly rather shambolic reaction to it.

    1. Avatar photo Adam says:

      And the recent one that happened a few weeks ago leaking bank details.

  7. Avatar photo FibreAddict says:

    The worse network I’ve ever been on.

    – Slow to receive text messages.
    – Calls that never come through, you eventually get a text message to say missed call.
    – Direct debit failed to collect each month and have to pay by debit card.
    – Customer service poor

    I had noticed 5G in previous locations was now 4G

    In short avoid at all costs

    1. Avatar photo Paul Weston says:

      Powys

      What time do

  8. Avatar photo Peter says:

    I’ve had no 5G since I signed up with them at the end of May.

    They sent me a standard reply asking for more details which I supplied. They then emailed (7th June) to say it’s been escalated to their technical team and will be sorted in 24 to 48 hours.

    I use a Pixel phone, not sure if this is relevant. I do know Spusu who also use the EE network do not support 5G on Pixel phones.

    Google did have a list of certified carriers on their website but have recently removed it. I contacted Google Support who didn’t know the list had been removed.

  9. Avatar photo Mark says:

    I had no 5g for a while in the UK (weirdly it picked it up fine in CZ)… so much so I’ve left and changed to Spusu.

  10. Avatar photo Anon says:

    Lyca… you think they can’t go any lower, but they always find a way to surprise you.

  11. Avatar photo ukhardy07 says:

    Lyca has no 5G across all Apple devices and many android devices where the carrier profiles auto applied and opts for the everywhere APN used by iOS.

    https://www.lycamobile.co.uk/en/help-support/

    Even the bot has known this for well over 4 weeks: ask it “are 5G services available on Lycamobile?”

    Response: Yes! 5G services are available with Lyca Mobile. Please note that for Apple/iOS devices 4G speeds are maximum available currently.“

    The deployment of EEs carrier profile is dire given it breaks iMessage activation if it applies before the number activates via the eSIM with no carrier profile. It adds a broken call voicemail button and the mismatch between the EE profiles global / standardised short codes used by EE vs Lyca having custom short codes means doing things such as calling customer services can literally break VoLTE and/or cause conflicts in the profile (visible in Xcode using iOS in dev mode) that cause the number to vanish from “my number” creating foreign dial tones, or the device returning randomly “you’re dialled an incorrect number.”

    It’s a clear last second unplanned “fix” to try and get calls working with no 2G/3G fallback that’s more broken than if they’d done nothing. In the end it often fails to operate VoLTE consistently and incoming calls still go to voicemail anyhow.

    See https://www.lycamobile.co.uk/en/help-support/ click the BOT.

  12. Avatar photo Richy says:

    Signed up here the beginning of May for 2 eSims. Never had 5g despite being in a good coverage area (it worked on EE proper)
    Both devices are pixel phones.
    No 5g literally anywhere, not south Wales, M4 corridor, even London. Nowhere.
    Sadly I don’t know another mvno that runs on EE and offers eSim (my 2 essential requirements).

    1. Avatar photo Stirling says:

      Have a look at SPUSU. I have EE network, 5G and eSIM with them right now

  13. Avatar photo Andy Gilbert says:

    Lyca is restricting access to the 5G.
    I used to get 5G at home, not it connects to 4G but when monitoring the Network availability it is still receiving 5G to the card however it is showing that Lyca is restricting use of it – physically displays (restricted) no idea what they are doing! – I ran as fast as I can as 5G issues and data leaks I don’t want to be near them

  14. Avatar photo Phil says:

    No 5g in ta9 and cf11
    Worked seamlessly until the outage last month
    Using iPhone 15 pro

  15. Avatar photo Valdas says:

    No 5G in td15
    Using sony Xperia 1 iv

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