Sky Launches ‘Sky Mobile’ – UPDATED
UPDATE – Sky Mobile has today launched in the UK, after a prolonged period of pre-registration for Sky customers interested in signing up for the mobile network. From today, however, anyone who wants to join Sky Mobile can do just that. What follows is our original coverage of Sky Mobile’s launch, which includes features, price and availability, however, if you want to sign up for Sky Mobile, simply use one of the Sky telephone numbers.
It’s all go at Sky at the moment. With a potential takeover from 21st Century Fox on the horizon, a spate of changes being made to their news & entertainment divisions and the death of Sky+ in favour of Sky Q, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the UK’s biggest pay-TV supplier has enough on their plate.
Well, clearly not, because the company have just unveiled their very own mobile network. We’ve known about their intention to launch a network for some time now, after leaks indicated a deal had been struck with O2 to piggyback off their service, in order to offer a quad-play package for their customers.
Today, that becomes reality with a mobile network which Sky promises “offers something entirely different for the UK mobile market”, but how exactly is it different? Join us as we take a look.
A new kind of network?
For the first time ever, mobile phone owners will be able to keep their unused data for up to three years, to be used whenever they see fit. So, if you’ve spent a lot of time on WiFi during the last month, your allocated data will rollover to the next month, and so on, for three years.
Customers also get the opportunity to change their plan every month, so if you find you vastly overestimated how many minutes you need (don’t we all?), you can change it for the next month and save a few quid along the way.
Additionally, Sky TV customers who take a Sky Mobile contract can enjoy entirely free UK calls and texts with any Sky Mobile plan, but the ability to synch with their Sky+ or Sky Q box, letting customers create personal playlists of favourite shows, synched to their phone to watch wherever they are.
Those are all undoubtedly fantastic features, but are they really as useful as they sound?
Sky say that they’ve undertaken extensive consumer research, and discovered that UK consumers on average use less than half of the mobile data they pay for every month. In total, Sky estimate the value of that wasted data to be £2 billion every single year.
That’s an astonishing figure, and if true, it means that for the typical pay monthly contract user, over £50 a year is being wasted on unused data. With Sky Mobile, Sky are upending the system by letting users roll over the data, so that no data is ever wasted.
The four features of the service are what they call Roll, Mix, Save & Sync, which appear to be the brand names for the features covered above.
One important aspect to note, however, is that all Sky Mobile contracts are 12 months, and though you are free to change your mixture of minutes, texts and data every month, you can’t leave the contract early.
Stephen van Rooyen, UK and Ireland Chief Executive, said: “We felt it was time to shake up the mobile market and give customers a completely new way to manage their mobile plan – something no one else is offering. We’ve designed it based on what people told us they want – it’s easy, flexible and transparent and it puts the customer in control. With £2 billion being wasted each year on unused data in the UK, Sky Mobile customers will only pay for what they use. Plus we’re giving Sky TV customers a fantastic offer which will allow them to get even more value from their subscriptions. It’s time for people to have a smart new way to manage their mobile contract.”
How much does it cost?
Sky Mobile is split into three different data plans, they are:
- 1GB for £10 per month
- 3GB for £15 per month
- 5GB for £20 per month
Customers already part of Sky TV get completely free unlimited calls and texts, but if you aren’t a Sky TV customer those unlimited calls and texts will cost an extra £10 per month. Alternatively, they can be paid for on a pay-as-you-use basis, if you’re not expecting to use many minutes or texts.
As mentioned above, all Sky Mobile contracts are 12 months long, though you have the oppertunity to change the amount of data you need on a month by month basis.
The biggest disappointment will be in the lack of larger data allowances. Sky will argue that most customers don’t use that much data, and flexible rollover data ensures that you’re always likely to have enough data to hand, but for those of us used to 6GB+ of data a month, the step down might be a fright.
When is it available?
Sales of Sky Mobile SIM cards start now for customers who have pre-registered, though a full rollout and launch of the network will occur in the New Year. Later in 2017, Sky Mobile will expand into offering the latest smartphones alongside their contracts, helping to build out the service.