It’s official. Sky’s much anticipated mobile phone service has now been unveiled. And with it comes some unique incentives and keenly priced plans for their existing TV customers.
So what, if anything, makes Sky Mobile stand out from other networks? What kind of savings are there to be had? And what will you get for your money?
Read on and we’ll explain all.
No time to trawl through this fully comprehensive look at Sky Mobile? Here's a breezy list of the five things you need to know.
What are the tariffs?
Let’s start off with the two most important things: how much it is and what you get for your money.
At launch, Sky Mobile is offering three competitive SIM-only price plans, targeting customers who value data over calls and texts.
The data-only deals start at £10 a month for 1GB. For £5 extra per month, you can get 3GB of data. Or, if you’re a heavier user, you can pay £20 a month for 5GB.
Sky TV customers will also get unlimited calls and texts thrown in for free, while non-Sky TV customers can pay £10 extra a month for unlimited minutes and texts.
Alternatively, non-Sky TV customers who don’t make many calls or send many texts can go for a pay-as-you-use option.
At 10p a text and 10p a minute, it’s not cheap and could even prompt the return of using almost unintelligible text talk designed to cram as many characters into a single text as possible. U rMMba dat? Twas gr8, rite?
That's if you still use text messages, of course.
In these modern times, more and more people are shunning SMS messages in favour of free, online messaging services, such as WhatsApp.
At the same time, consumers are increasingly ditching standard phone calls that you make over mobile phone networks and opting to make money-saving Wi-Fi calls instead.
If you're among this growing group of adopters of new, alternative calling and messaging services, it's unlikely you'd be affected much by having to pay for calls and SMS separately anyway.
What's more, if you only send SMS messages and make phone calls sparingly, you could be saving yourself some cash because you're only paying for what you use.
What are the benefits of choosing Sky Mobile?
At the heart of Sky Mobile plans are four key features: Roll, Mix, Save and Sync.
In a nutshell, Roll lets you can roll over your unused data at the end of the month. Mix lets you mix up your contract and monthly allowances whenever you like.
Save means you can save money if you’re a Sky TV customer. And Sync allows you to sync your phone with your Sky TV using the Sky Go app.
Can I roll over my data at the end of the month?
Again aimed at data-savvy customers, this is actually Sky Mobile’s biggest selling point.
While some of the major networks, such as O2 and Virgin Media, let you roll over any unused data at the end of the month, you can only roll over data from the previous month.
This prevents you from stockpiling a huge trove of unused data for a rainy day.
With Sky Mobile, however, you can roll over any unused data at the end of each month and store it in an online ‘piggybank’. That data will be there whenever you want to use it for up to three years at no extra cost.
How does Sky Mobile compare with other networks?
As we mentioned above, Sky Mobile’s main selling point over other networks is the online ‘piggybank’ that allows you to roll over and store as much unused data as you like for up to three years.
So, unlike other networks, Sky Mobile lets you keep all the unused data you’ve paid for rather than only allowing you to keep one month’s unused data or operating a ‘use it or lose it’ policy.
In terms of pricing, Sky Mobile’s plans are broadly comparable to other main networks. In fact, its monthly rates are actually a bit cheaper for the most part.
However, that’s surely partly because other networks tend to include an allowance of calls and texts as part of the package.
In other words, if you’re already a Sky TV customer or you don’t send many texts or minutes each month, Sky Mobile is probably a cheaper option for you.
What will the coverage and internet speed be like?
Sky Mobile will be backed up by O2. So, Sky Mobile customers can expect average speeds of 10Mbps, according to industry regulator Ofcom’s 2016 study.
O2 has pledged its 4G service will cover 98% of the UK population by 2017. And in the event you can’t get a reception or want to save data, you can take advantage of the 20,000 Sky Wi-Fi hotspots situated throughout the UK.
What extra incentives are there for Sky customers?
As mentioned above, Sky TV customers will be entitled to free unlimited calls and texts, saving them £10 a month.
On top of this, Sky TV customers will be able to access recordings on their Sky Planner from their phone while they’re on the move with the Sync feature. Until now, the Sky Go app restricted them to streaming content.
Sky+ customers will also get the Sky Go Extra app for free and will be able to use Sync on up to four devices and watch recordings while they’re out and about.
Currently, there don’t seem to be any sweeteners for Sky customers who only pay for broadband or line rental.
Are there family SIM plans?
In keeping with Sky’s reputation as a family-friendly provider, families can take up to five SIMs on Sky Mobile. Families can pool all their unused data together and share it out whenever a family member needs a bit of a top-up.
How can I change my contract?
Unlike traditional contracts that lock you into a contract with set data, calls and texts allowances, Sky Mobile customers can switch things up at any time.
So, if you’ve massively overestimated the amount of data you needed or you want to opt into unlimited minutes and texts, you can change your plan so you only pay for what you need each month.
Is Sky Mobile just offering SIM-only deals?
Yes, for the time being. But, Sky plans to expand its offering to include handsets from Apple and Samsung, as well as other well-known smartphone brands, at some point in 2017.
When can I join?
You can register for a Sky Mobile SIM on Sky’s website today.
Existing Sky TV customers who have pre-registered will be able to get one of the SIMs from mid-December. A full market launch is scheduled for the New Year.