Comparing Lebara VS Kogan – Which Is Best For You ?

Intro – 60 second guide

Here are the key findings for both comparing Kogan and Lebara services & coverage, there are more details in the article which follows below.

The primary differences between offerings from Lebara and Kogan are:

  • Lebara Australia have a longer and better record when it comes to being the better of the two MVNO‘s, as they look after their prepaid customers and provide better online support.
  • Both Kogan and Lebara resell access to the Vodafone 3G network, with Kogan saying they will also provide consumers with the Vodafone 4G network in 2016.
  • Kogan failed last time with their prepaid mobile plans and left a lot of unhappy customers without service.
Comparing Lebara and Kogan


Lebara is the clear winner – here, we show you why:

While Kogan does have slightly better mobile data allowances on their two prepaid plans, which are comparative in pricing when you compare them to the equal plans on Lebara.

It’s important to keep in mind that Lebara is a more established player in the MVNO scene and that in the past Kogan offered prepaid mobile plans and ended up closing down their company.

What happened to Kogan last time?

A few years ago Kogan launched and ran until it failed, a MVNO company which offered prepaid deals using the Telstra network. But, unlike others who resold the major carriers directly, Kogan used a middle man (ispONE) as their wholesale provider.

By using a middle man it left Kogan in a situation where they had a large active customer base, who relied on them for prepaid mobile services and as a company, Kogan ended up being unable to negotiate a deal directly with Telstra.

In a recent interview with The Australian newspaper, discussing the launch of their Vodafone Australia partnership, Kogan was quoted as saying, last time was “very upsetting” but that disappointment drove him to sign a new deal that would cut out the middleman”.

“At the time we had a lot of critics in the industry around Kogan’s prices but there’s only one critic I care about and that’s our customer,” he said. “We did everything right by the customer, we gave everyone a refund and the overwhelming feedback was people were still happy. We reflected on it and realised it wasn’t something we were willing to walk away from.”

Lebara 3G or Kogan 3G?

Both Lebara Australia and Kogan are operating on the Vodafone 3G network, so no matter which MVNO you choose, you will be getting access to the same quality Vodafone network and coverage.

The difference between Kogan and Lebara is service, prepaid plan pricing and the details of the respective plans. When it comes to service Lebara is a much longer established company so you know that you won’t have any problems.

Lebara Australia as an MVNO service provider offers their customers prepaid smartphone plans for Australian consumers who want to receive fair value for money, as well as access to the Australian Vodafone 3G network.

In doing so this allows Australian consumers access to the world class Vodafone network, which features excellent Australia wide coverage, allowing people to receive service in rural areas and as well as in the city areas.

Who offers the better customer service?

While both Lebara and Kogan are resellers of the Vodafone Australia network, both MVNO’s provide different methods of being contacted, should customers have an issue or require support with their prepaid plans.

They both provide convenient ways for Australian customers to contact them for support and help, a few of the different methods include: online website chat, telephone customer support, email support, and you can even send them a letter should the need arise.

MVNO provider Lebara and Kogan, offer the above contact choices for their prepaid plan users, both also have detailed knowledge posts on their websites, which customers can use as a self help reference point before contacting customer support.

When it comes to social media Lebara provides the better social media support experience, via their Facebook social media page. The Lebara Facebook business page is another point of contact which their competitor Kogan doesn’t offer to their customers, it’s the small things like this which you should take into consideration when shopping around for the best prepaid deals.

How can MVNOs save you money

MVNOs save their customers money by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the three, major Australian phone companies. Then they sell it, to customers like you, at a significant discount.

With MVNOs, you can take advantage of lower rates, and SIMs that are contract-free.  They almost always offer better deals than the major phone companies. They don’t have the same marketing spends to pass on in the costs they charge you. They don’t spend nearly as much on advertising their brand as the others. By keeping their business models simple, they reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you. They also need to charge less because they’re not as well known as their multinational competitors.

By keeping their business models simple, MVNOs reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you in their SIM Only plans.

It’s important to realize that the network coverage component of the ‘product’ the MVNOs sell is very often exactly the same thing being sold by Optus or Vodafone. The coverage you’ll get from an Optus MVNO is exactly the same as the coverage you’ll get from Optus itself. There are a few exceptions and ‘gotchas’ to think about. We’ve covered those in detail, below.

Optus Network or MVNO Comparison


Myths about MVNOs: Prioritization

Some shoppers suspect that MVNOs are getting low quality network bandwidth. For example, minutes that aren’t used by carriers during peak activity. That’s just not true.  In many ways, network access is like electricity. It’s a utility which is the same whomever or whichever company you buy it from. You will not get a lower priority on the network if you go with an MVNO.

Why are MVNO deals cheaper?

The MVNOs marketplace is highly competitive. The competition is focused where you want it. MVNOs have an agreed charter with the major phone companies. Each MVNO is set up to focus on servicing ( selling to ) a particular segment.

A segment is just a group of users. Here are a couple of our favorite MVNOs and the segments they are designed to address.

Unlimited calls & texts comparison

Lebara Australia and Kogan both come with great value for money plan details, by providing on each of their respective plans, unlimited calls and texting nationwide in Australia. Both MVNO’s provide unlimited on their plans and this is without restrictions, which is great value for money, as well as both companies offering generous mobile data monthly limits on their prepaid plans.

Best plan on the Vodafone network at $30 + above ?

Lebara use the Vodafone’s 3G + 4G network

Winner :  Lebara $29.90 National Unlimited

If you’re after an unlimited plan with incredible included value or you make calls overseas, in our view, you need look no further than Lebara. Lebara use the much improved Vodafone 3G + 4G network which covers more than 96% of Australians. In recent ( mid 2016 ) tests, the Vodafone network matched Telstra’s for 4G coverage.

Lebara 'National Plan' Unlimited $29.90 ( with 5GB of data )

This is the lowest price on our site for a plan which has unlimited Australian voice calls and SMS, anywhere in Australia. It’ll give you :

  • Big Data on the Vodafone 3G + 4G network :
    5GB should be plenty for even the most ravenous data eaters. This data inclusion has just been increased and now represents the biggest data bundle you’ll find on a plan of this sort.
  • Unlimited voice calls to Australian numbers :
    Your plan has unlimited included calls to Australian mobile and landline phone numbers on the Vodafone 4G network plus up to 150 international minutes included.
  • Unlimited SMS :
    Unlimited National texts. Nice and simple. You can send as many text messages each month to as many Australian phone numbers as you’d like to with no additional charge.
  • Lebara use the Vodafone 3G + 4G network :
    Remember, Lebara use the Vodafone 4G network. Vodafone’s network has improved dramatically since it’s lows of 2010. In major Australian cities, Vodafone’s network is as strong as Telstra’s or Optus’.
Deal icon

Get Lebara Mini Mega Plan $24.90 now with 1.5GB data included!

10c/ min for national calls and 10c/ SMS for national/international SMS


Best International Unlimited Voice & SMS + Huge Data?


Winner : Lebara 'Unlimited National and International Calls' $49.90 ( with 10GB of data )

Lebara’s cheaper international call rates cover all the major destinations including : UK, USA, Greece, China, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France, South Korea and Switzerland.

  • Best value for overseas calls :
    If you need to make calls overseas, Money Magazine awarded this plan the best value plan for that in Australia.
  • 60 international call destinations :
    Unlimited voice and SMS to 60 destinations including India, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, UK, France, Greece, Italy, Germany. See the full list.
  • Unlimited National Voice and SMS :
    Call who you like when you like and you can text them too. All day every day. These are genuinely unlimited allowances for calls and SMS to other Australian numbers from your mobile.
  • Huge 4G Data :
    10 GB of 4G data (5GB + 5GB bonus ends 30/04/17) on the Vodafone network. on Again, you can add more mid month if you need to.

Or you can read our full Lebara Review.

Deal icon

Get Unlimited Plan Starter Pack for only $49.90 now with 10GB data included!

Unlimited calls to 60 country and Unlimited National Standard Talk,Text and MMS plus 10GB Data (5GB + 5GB bonus ends 30/04/17).


Comparing Coverage

Vodafone is one of the three major national mobile network carriers in Australia, which have their own infrastructure set up and constantly being improved, so that they can provide consumers with a level of service, connectivity and mobile data download speeds, as good as Telstra or Optus.

With both Lebara and Kogan using the Vodafone Australia 3G network, coverage is Australia wide and provides an international matched standard of quality, while providing coverage to over 96% of the Australian population.

Lebara vs Kogan data plans

Lebara Australia is the clear winner between the two, but only if you consider them as the most reliable choice and compare their long time track record when making your own prepaid plan comparisons.

If you compare the $29.95 prepaid plan on Kogan to the $29.90 plan offered with Lebara, you can see that Kogan offers 0.5GB more of mobile data, with both MVNO’s offering unlimited calls and texts.

This is similar to the other plans which both Lebara and Kogan offer in comparison, but again it’s good to keep in mind that Lebara Australia have a longer track record of offering a stable service and looking after their customers, than Kogan does.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.