Sky Mobile Review: SIM Only Deals With Data Roll-Over & Sky TV Sync

December 2nd, 2016

Sky Mobile offers SIM-only deals with 4G coverage from O2 and has the ability for you to roll over unused data into a piggybank.

Sky LogoIn the UK, Sky Mobile is a new mobile network from Sky, the company which is best known for its satellite TV and home broadband service. Offering 4G coverage from the O2 network, a unique feature of Sky Mobile is the “data piggybank” that allows you to save up unused data.

At present, Sky Mobile offers a choice of three SIM-only deals. The SIM cards start from £10/month for 1GB of data, with calls and texts being charged for on a pay-as-you-use basis (free for Sky TV customers, or 10p/minute and 10p/text for everyone else).

In this article, we’ll review the Sky Mobile service including their SIM-only deals and their data piggybank feature. We’ll also look at the benefits available to Sky TV customers, at future plans for Sky Mobile and at the level of coverage you can expect. Finally, we’ll also discuss how to keep your existing phone number when moving to Sky Mobile.

Pricing & Tariffs

SIM Only Deals

Sky Mobile SIM CardIn the UK, Sky Mobile currently offers SIM-only deals from £10/month on a 12-month contract.

Unlike other mobile networks, Sky Mobile has a fairly unique pricing structure. Your basic monthly plan only includes an allowance of data; phone calls and text messages are then charged for on a pay-as-you-use (PAYU) basis:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
1GB£10.00
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
3GB£15.00
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
5GB£20.00

At the time of writing, standard UK phone calls cost 10p/minute on pay-as-you-use and standard UK text messages cost 10p/SMS (for a maximum of 160 characters).

If you’re likely to call and text fairly regularly, you can buy an add-on for unlimited calls and unlimited texts. This will cost a further £10/month (but is discounted to free for Sky TV customers). Alternatively, you can side-step these charges by using an application such as Skype or WhatsApp for your phone calls and text messages.

You can change plans at any time, even during the initial 12-month contract. For instance, you can upgrade your plan to get a larger allowance of data or you can downgrade your plan to save some money each month. Your price plan can be changed a maximum of once each month (upgrades take effect immediately and downgrades take effect from your next monthly billing period).

Sky Mobile Plans: 1GB for £10, 3GB for £15 or 5GB for £20

With Sky Mobile, your basic plan only includes an allowance of data (£10 for 1GB, £15 for 3GB or £20 for 5GB). For phone calls and text messages, you can pay-as-you-use or you can buy a £10 add-on for unlimited calls and texts (free for Sky TV customers).

On Sky Mobile, the access charge for calling special rate phone numbers is 45p/minute (these are phone numbers beginning with 084, 087, 09 and 118). International phone calls cost between £1 and £1.60 per minute depending on the country you’re calling and international text messages cost 35p each. The £3/month International Saver add-on reduces this to 10p/minute and 5p/text for 60 destinations.

Roll & Data Piggybank

Sky Mobile App RollThe second unique feature of Sky’s mobile service is the ability to roll over unused data and to bank it in a “data piggybank” for up to three years. Sky’s name for this feature is “Roll”.

With Roll, your unused data allowance will be added up at the end of each month. This unused data will then be moved into your online “data piggybank”. From there, you’ll be able to log in to the Sky Mobile website or app to withdraw data from the piggybank as required.

Data can be withdrawn from your piggybank in 1GB increments. The best time to do this is when you’ve used up your data allowance in a given month. If you don’t have any data remaining in your piggybank, you can alternatively buy 1GB of data for £10 or you can upgrade to a higher-priced plan.

If you have a Sky Mobile family account, you can assign data from the piggybank to other members of your family.

iD Mobile has a similar data rollover offer on their GoTo price plans. On iD Mobile, data can only be carried over for a maximum of one month.

Sky TV Customer Benefits

If you’re a Sky TV customer, you’ll receive two additional benefits:

  • Sky Mobile SyncSave: Unlimited calls and unlimited texts (worth £10/month). If you’re a Sky TV customer, you’ll automatically receive the “unlimited calls and unlimited texts” add-on for free. This would normally cost £10/month for non-Sky TV customers. Up to five people in your household can benefit from this offer.
  • Sync: Free Sky Go Extra if you’re a Sky+ customer (worth £5/month). If you’re a Sky+ customer taking out a Sky Mobile subscription, you’ll receive Sky Go Extra at no additional charge (this would normally cost you £5/month). With Sky Go Extra, you’ll be able to watch Sky+ recordings from your mobile phone. You can watch recordings either using your mobile internet connection or using wi-fi but be aware that they’ll count as normal towards your monthly download allowance. This service isn’t currently available for Sky Q customers (Sky has promised support for Sky Q in 2017).

If you were to cancel your Sky TV subscription at any time, you would lose your Sky TV customer benefits on Sky Mobile. Your Sky Mobile account has a separate 12-month contract and you’ll receive your Sky Mobile bill separately from your existing TV, broadband and home phone bill.

Comparison to Alternatives

In our opinion, the Sky Mobile price plans are fairly expensive, especially if you’re not a Sky TV customer.

1GB Plan

10 Pound NoteFor £10/month, Sky Mobile is offering 1GB of data. If you’re a Sky TV customer, you’ll also get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts (otherwise, you can pay as you use for 10p/minute and 10p/text).

On other mobile networks, it’s possible to get the same amount of data with inclusive minutes and texts for less each month:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£9.00
Tesco Mobile2505,0001GB£9.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited3.5GB£10.00
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£10.00
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
1GB£10.00
EE1,000Unlimited1GB£14.99
Vodafone1,000Unlimited1GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£16.00

3GB Plan

15 Pound NotesFor £15/month, Sky Mobile is offering 3GB of data. Sky TV customers will also get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.

For the same monthly price, many other mobile networks will offer a larger allowance of data along with inclusive minutes and inclusive texts each month:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Three600Unlimited8GB£14.00
giffgaff1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
3GB£15.00
Tesco Mobile1,0005,0003GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£16.00
Vodafone500Unlimited5GB£17.50
EEUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£19.99

5GB Plan

20 Pound NoteFor £20/month, Sky Mobile is offering 5GB of data (with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts if you’re a Sky TV customer).

Other mobile networks offer substantially more data for the same price each month, often with unlimited calls and unlimited texts included. For instance, giffgaff, which also uses coverage from O2, offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and Always On data (unlimited downloads with the first 6GB per month at full 4G speed).

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited16GB£19.00
Three200Unlimited12GB£19.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£19.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£19.99
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00
Sky Mobile10p/min
Free for
TV customers
10p/txt
Free for
TV customers
5GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile5,0005,00012GB£23.00

For more information and for a full in-depth comparison, please see our guide to UK’s best value SIM-only deals.

Handsets

At present, you’ll need to provide your unlocked smartphone to use on the Sky Mobile network.

At launch, Sky Mobile is a SIM-only mobile network. This means you need to provide your own unlocked smartphone to use with the service. This can either be a new handset you’ve purchased SIM-free or it be an existing handset you’ve unlocked from your old network (for more information, see our guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy).

If you’d like to buy a new unlocked smartphone, our recommendation is currently to buy the Moto G4 (it has some fantastic specifications and is available from just £149 unlocked).

In spring 2017, Sky is planning to offer handsets directly on their mobile network. They’ve announced partnerships with Apple and Samsung so we can expect the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy to be available on Sky Mobile. In time, Sky is likely to start offering handsets from other companies as well.

Network & Coverage

3G & 4G Coverage from O2

Sky Mobile Coverage MapSky Mobile is a virtual network operator making use of coverage from the O2 network. Customers using Sky Mobile will therefore receive exactly the same coverage as customers on O2.

At the time of writing, Sky Mobile has 99% population coverage. This includes coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. The fastest download speeds are available on the 4G network, which currently has about 78% population coverage. There is a commitment from O2 to increase this to 98% by the end of 2017.

You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on Sky’s online coverage map:

Check Sky Mobile Coverage (sky.com) »

We strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area before ordering a SIM card from Sky Mobile as it has a 12-month contract.

Tethering

Personal Hotspot on iPhoneTethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of your sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. sharing your mobile data connection with a laptop or tablet). This can be a useful feature for getting connected whilst you’re on-the-go (for instance, for doing work on your laptop when free wi-fi isn’t available).

On Sky Mobile, it’s possible to tether without any restrictions. Any data used through tethering or the portable hotspot feature will simply be deducted as normal from your monthly download allowance.

For more information, please see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re switching from another network to Sky Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

To do this, you should start by contacting your old mobile network and asking them for a PAC Code. A PAC Code is nine-digits long and authorises the transfer of your phone number to Sky Mobile.

Once you have the PAC Code from your old mobile network, you can order your new SIM card from the Sky Mobile website. When this arrives, you’ll initially have a temporary phone number which will allow you to test and try out the service. If you’re then happy to move your phone number to Sky Mobile, you should contact Sky Mobile customer services on 03442 41 41 41. Your phone number will normally be transferred on the next working day after you give the PAC Code to Sky.

For step-by-step instructions on moving your phone number to Sky Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Sky Mobile

Your current network provider:

  More Options

If you’re looking to transfer a landline telephone number to Sky, a different process applies for doing this.

More Information

For more information, please see the official Sky Mobile website. It may also be worth reading their full tariff guide and terms.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 1 comment from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Richard said:

    Looks pricey to me and not worth bothering with unless you are a Sky TV customer………….better deals elsewhere!

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