Sky Mobile offers flexible smartphone & tablet plans with the ability to roll over data and swap your phone every year.
Sky Mobile is the UK-based mobile network from Sky. Offering 4G coverage from the Telefonica (O2) network, Sky Mobile promises greater “freedom and flexibility” compared to traditional mobile networks in how you can use your mobile or tablet.
A key feature of Sky Mobile is “Roll”: the ability to roll over all your unused data for up to three years (and to share this data across multiple devices attached to your account). It’s also possible to “Swap” your device every year, so you can always have the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
In this article, we’ll review the features of Sky Mobile including Roll, Swap, and a number of other key features. We’ll then look at some of the price plans available on Sky Mobile, including for a new mobile phone, tablet or SIM card. Finally, we’ll discuss the coverage you can expect on Sky Mobile, before looking at how you can keep you can keep your existing phone number when moving to Sky Mobile.
- 1 Sky Mobile Features
- 2 Price Plans
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 Popularity & Number of Subscribers
- 6 More Information
Sky Mobile Features
Sky Mobile offers two key features on their mobile network:
- Roll: Sky Mobile allows you to roll over all your unused data for up to three years, so money isn’t wasted on unused data. You can also share it with up to 5 other SIM cards attached to your account.
- Swap: Change your old phone or tablet to the latest model. You can change your phone every year, or your tablet every two years.
Sky also advertises a number of other key features such as Save, Mix and Watch.
On Sky Mobile, all of your unused data will roll over at the end of each month and will be added automatically into your Sky Piggybank. Unused data can be stored in the piggybank for up to three years, giving you the freedom and flexibility to use more data in the months where you need it by dipping in to your piggybank.
If your family has multiple devices or SIM cards attached to one Sky Mobile account, you’ll have a shared piggybank where everyone will share their unused data. This means there is flexibility to move data between different people’s accounts (or between your smartphone and tablet if both of them are attached to the same Sky Mobile account).
Data can be withdrawn from your Sky Piggybank in 1GB increments. According to Sky, their customers have saved £26 million since the launch of the network through the use of data in their Sky Piggybank. It typically costs £10 per extra gigabyte of data, if you’re not using the Sky Piggybank feature.
Occasionally, Sky offers “data bonus” promotions where you’ll receive additional free data within your Sky Piggybank. For instance, through May 2018, you’ll receive a 10GB data bonus on flagship smartphone and tablet tariffs (a smaller data bonus of 5GB or 3GB is offered on lower-price handsets). This is added to your Sky Piggybank for you to use whenever you need it.
Sky offers customers who’ve bought a mobile phone or tablet from them the ability to easily swap their device for a newer model.
If you’re buying a mobile phone from Sky, you can choose one of the following payment plans:
- Swap12: Swap your mobile phone for the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy every year. This typically involves paying a higher monthly cost than on Swap24. The Swap12 tariff is offered on a 24-month credit agreement, with the proceeds of trading in your phone after 12 months being used to pay the balance on your agreement.
- Swap24: Swap your mobile phone for a newer model every two years. This comes with a lower monthly cost than Swap12. Swap24 involves taking out a 30-month credit agreement, with the proceeds of your phone after 24 months being used against the balance on your agreement.
It’s worth noting that these aren’t directly comparable to more traditional 12-month or 24-month contracts. With Swap12 and Swap24, you’ll only be able to keep your old handset after completing the full length of your credit agreement (i.e. after 24 months on Swap12 or after 30 months on Swap24). On a traditional contract, you’ll typically own your handset after the initial 24-month period, leaving you free to do whatever you like with it (e.g. recycling it or giving it to a family member).
When swapping your handset after 12 or 24 months, your old credit agreement will normally be paid off in full providing your handset is in “full working order and undamaged”. Deductions may occur if your handset is damaged (e.g. from a broken screen) – in this case, you may need to make an additional payment to clear off the remainder of your credit agreement before changing to a new device.
Swap Plan for Tablets
If you’re buying a tablet from Sky Mobile (e.g. an Apple iPad), you’ll have the option of two tablet-specific plans:
- Swap24 (tablets): Swap your tablet for a new one after 24 months. Comes on a 36-month credit agreement.
- Swap36 (tablets): Swap your tablet for a new one after 36 months. Comes on a 48-month credit agreement.
These tablet-specific Swap plans work in much the same way as the Swap plans for a mobile phone, but tablets come with a longer upgrade cycle and longer credit agreement (as typically, tablets need to be upgraded much less frequently than mobile phones).
Besides Roll and Swap, Sky also advertises another three key features for their mobile service:
- Save (Sky TV customers only). With Save, Sky TV customers get unlimited calls and unlimited texts included with any data plan for free. For customers not having a Sky TV subscription, it will cost an additional £10/month to add this to your plan (or you can Pay As You Use at 10p/minute and 10p/text).
- Mix. With Mix, customers on Sky Mobile have the freedom to change their data plan at any time. Data plan upgrades take effect immediately, and data plan downgrades take effect from the following month.
- Watch (Sky TV customers only). If you’re a Sky Mobile customer with Sky TV, Watch gives you a free subscription to Sky Go Extra (worth £5/month). This allows you to download your favourite TV shows to your mobile, so you’re able to watch them on-the-go without using your mobile data.
For more information, please see the Sky Mobile website for details about the features available on their price plans.
Mobile Phone Plans
If you’d like a new smartphone, Sky Mobile offers a selection of handsets from Apple, Samsung and Sony. This includes the latest flagship devices like the iPhone X and Galaxy S9. There are also some cheaper alternatives like the iPhone SE and Galaxy A8.
When choosing a new handset, you’ll have the option of either Swap24 (giving you a lower monthly price) or Swap12 (giving a higher monthly price, but with the ability to swap your phone more often).
The following table gives an example of how much you can expect to pay on Swap24 and Swap12, with a 500MB/month data plan, at the time of writing:
|Handset||Swap24 Phone Plan
+500MB Data Plan
|Swap12 Phone Plan
+500MB Data Plan
|Apple iPhone X||£42/month||£54/month plus £99 upfront|
|Apple iPhone 8||£31/month||£39/month plus £99 upfront|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||£33/month||£42/month plus £99 upfront|
|Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)||£23/month||£37/month|
Once you’ve chosen a phone plan, you’ll need to add an airtime tariff, ranging from 500MB of data for £5/month to 10GB of data for £20/month. A full list of available handsets can be seen on the Sky Mobile website.
Sky Mobile offers a number of Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets on a choice of Swap36 and Swap24 plans. The lowest monthly price is available on Swap36, which allows you to upgrade your tablet every 36 months. For more frequent upgrades, you can choose the Swap24 plan which allows you to swap your tablet every 24 months.
The following table gives an example of how much you can expect to pay on Swap36 and Swap24 plans, at the time of writing:
|Tablet||Swap36 Tablet Plan
+500MB Data Plan
|Swap24 Tablet Plan
+500MB Data Plan
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G||£19/month||£25/month|
Tablets can be used on a number of data plans, ranging from £5/month for 500MB to £20/month for 10GB. Please see the Sky Mobile website for a full list of available tablets.
If you already have a smartphone that you’re happy to keep, you can get one of Sky Mobile’s SIM-only plans. These SIM cards come on a 12-month contract, and range in price from £6/month for 500MB of data to £20/month for 10GB of internet.
If you’re a Sky TV customer, you’ll get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts included with the tariff. For everyone else, it’s an extra £10/month for unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, or you can Pay As You Use at 10p/minute and 10p/text.
The following table shows Sky Mobile’s current line-up of SIM-only deals:
Although you’re tied in to a 12-month contract, you can change your price plan at any time. For instance, you can upgrade your price plan to get a larger allowance of data or you can downgrade your plan to save some money each month. Upgrades to your price plan will take effect immediately and downgrades will take effect from your next billing period.
Pay As You Go
Sky Mobile doesn’t currently offer a Pay As You Go service.
If you’re not a Sky TV customer, the Pay As You Use (PAYU) pricing for calls and texts has similarities to how you’d expect a Pay As You Go service to work. However, the PAYU pricing is still a post-paid contract, with the requirement to undergo a credit check and with a minimum term commitment.
If, for whatever reason, you need a pre-paid tariff, please see our guide to UK’s best value Pay As You Go deals.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from O2
Sky Mobile is a virtual network operator making use of coverage from the O2 network.
Customers using Sky Mobile will receive the exact same coverage as customers on O2 which, at the time of writing, is 99% population coverage. This includes 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.
The fastest download speeds are available on Sky Mobile when you’re connected to their 4G network, which currently has about 98% population coverage across the UK.
You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on Sky’s online coverage map:
We strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area before ordering your new phone, tablet or SIM card from Sky Mobile.
Wi-Fi Calling is a new feature that has recently launched on Sky Mobile. It allows you to make and receive phone calls and text messages over wi-fi, even when a mobile signal isn’t available (e.g. on the London Underground).
At present, Wi-Fi Calling is only available to customers who’ve purchased a Sony Xperia XZ1 directly from Sky Mobile. According to the Sky website, the service will launch very soon on other devices.
4G Calling (VoLTE) is not yet available on Sky Mobile.
Tethering 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). It can be a useful feature for getting connected whilst you’re on-the-go (for instance, doing work on your laptop where 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.
Sky provides an international roaming service for customers travelling abroad to another country.
For customers travelling inside of the EU & EEA (the European Union & European Economic Area), Sky’s Roaming Passport feature will allow you to use your smartphone in 30 destinations at no extra charge.
In 10 other worldwide destinations (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and the USA), you can use your UK data plan on the local networks for £5/day. This is available as part of Sky’s Roaming Passport Plus. The plan only covers the use of data abroad, with you still needing to pay the normal roaming charges for calling and texting. See the Sky Mobile tariff guide for a full in-depth list of charges.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching to Sky Mobile from another mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing number.
To begin the process of transferring of your phone number, you should contact your current mobile network to ask for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to Sky Mobile.
Once you have the PAC Code from your current mobile network, you can order your new phone or SIM card from the Sky Mobile website. Initially, you’ll be assigned a temporary phone number which will allow you to test out the Sky Mobile service. If you’re then happy to move your phone number to Sky Mobile, you should then submit the online form to transfer your phone number over. Providing you do this before 5pm on a weekday, your phone number should then normally take place on the next working day.
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:
If you’re looking to instead transfer a landline telephone number to Sky, a different process applies for doing this.
Popularity & Number of Subscribers
Sky Mobile launched in December 2016, initially offering just SIM-only plans. The network has gradually rolled out new products, such as handsets in mid-2017 and tablets in April 2018. According to Sky, their network attracted 335,000 customers in the first year, making them one of the fastest growing mobile networks in the UK.
For more information, please see the official Sky Mobile website.