Jan 29th, 2020
No mobile user likes losing their data, especially after spending so much on a deal. Luckily, some top networks in the UK are now offering data rollover. Simply put, these mobile networks allow you to transfer your unused data for the month to the next month. For example, if your monthly data allowance is 4GB and you’ve only managed to use 2GB, the unused 2GB is rolled over to the following month and you’ll have 6GB to use.
When your data rolls over for the month – you first use the rolled over data. This is because if you don’t use your rolled over data in the following month, you lose it (Except from Sky where the data is kept in a piggybank for longer). In this article, we look at the best UK networks for data rollover and how customers can best save on any unused data.
What Factors Do We Consider When Ranking the Networks?
We consider several factors including flexibility, if it’s available to all customers, regardless of SIM only contracts or PAYG we rank the network higher. Also, the longer the rollover period, the higher the ranking. With only a few networks offering data rollover at the moment, we will run through them all and clarify if the rollover is available on SIM only, PAYG or phone contracts.
SMARTY Data Rollover
- Never lose your data
- Money off your next bill
- 8GB plan limit
- No phone contracts currently available
SMARTY is a low-cost virtual operator that runs on the Three networks. SMARTY’s approach is the fairest in the market, being the only network that gives customers money off their next bill for any unused data. Data in all SMARTY plans come at £1.25/GB. If customers don’t use all of their data, and for example have 1GB left over at the end of the month, customers will then receive £1.25 off their next bill.
SMARTY’s plans start as low as £6.25, and you can end up paying as little as £5 a month depending on how much data you end up using if you want to learn more about SMARTY, check out our detailed SMARTY review.
- Data is kept for 3 years
- Data sharing is allowed
- Hard to build up a lot of reward points
Sky Mobile has a standard rollover scheme called ‘Roll’. It’s a great scheme that applies to phone contract and SIM-Only customers. ‘Roll’ offers customers the longest data rollover scheme in the UK, with customers rolling over any unused data for up to 3 years.
The unused data gets rolled over into a piggybank which you can make withdrawals from whenever you are need of data. Another great benefit is that you can share this data with other people on Sky’s mobile network.
On top of this, if you start to build up a lot of unused data which you don’t expect to use, you can use the rolled over data to purchase phone, tablets & accessories. But you really have to have a lot of reward points to be able to get a decent discount.
Sky Mobile runs on the reliable O2 network & has some great perks including free streaming of popular Sky channels on your mobile device, to learn more check out our Sky Mobile review.
- Flexible with pay monthly contracts
- Comes with additional benefits
- Data rollover expires after a month
Virgin Mobile was among the first networks in the UK to start a data roll over scheme. However, they’re not as generous as Sky Mobile or as fair as Smarty. The data that’s left for the month usually spills over to the next month but after that, you can’t use it anymore. Their scheme applies to pay monthly phone contracts and SIM-only deals, but isn’t available on PAYG.
By checking our Virgin Mobile review
, you’ll realise that they don’t just offer data rollover but are have other great perks. One perk includes data free messaging on popular apps such as WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger.
- Suitable for phone contracts and SIM-only deals
- No rewards
- Data rollover expires after a month
iD Mobile’s data rollover scheme is like Virgin Mobiles. Both networks offer data rollover for a month & both offers are only available to customers that are either on a phone contract or a SIM only deal.
iD Mobile however has the cheapest SIM only contract in the UK at £3.99 and additionally has a number of perks such as spending caps & EU roaming, learn more by checking out our iD Mobile review
- Great for PAYG plans
- Texts and minutes are rolled over
- Does not apply to pay monthly plans
- Rolled over data expires after a month
Vodafone offer data rollover to their PAYG customers, but phone contract & SIM only customers don’t get access to data rollover. The scheme itself allows data to be rolled over for a month, at which point if it isn’t used, you then lose it.
Vodafone data rollover off is called ‘Total Rollover’ and an additional benefit with Vodafone is that along with any unused data, they also roll over any unused minutes & texts. We’d rank them pretty high, if the rollover wasn’t limited to just PAYG customers.
- Applies to PAYG plans plus Flex plans
- Texts and minutes are also rolled over
- Doesn’t apply to pay monthly plans
- Restrictions on data rollover
Like Vodafone, EE has restricted its data rollover plan to PAYG. However, it’s not available to all PAYG customers. Customers can only get data rollover if your plan has 100 MB or more data. If your data falls below 100 MB, then you can’t have it rolled over to the next month. Furthermore, you have to ensure that you always renew your data on time. If you don’t, then you’ll have to forfeit your data. So, it’s not as straightforward as the other networks.
EE’s new Flex Plan’s also offer this benefit which are effectively prepaid 30-day bundles of voice, texts & data. Similar to Vodafone, minutes & texts are also rolled over, but again this is limited to PAYG customers, so SIM only & phone contract customers don’t get this benefit.
EE also runs on super-fast 4G & if you’re expecting to do a lot of HD streaming and after the fastest network speeds you can get, we recommend checking out EE who has the fastest data speeds
in the UK.
- Opportunity to use leftover data
- Texts and minutes are rolled over
- There’s a data limit
- Only limited to PAYG
Like the other members of the big four networks (Vodafone and EE), O2 is shying away from offering data rollover to pay monthly customers. So, they have also settled on PAYG. They have a scheme called Big Bundles that allow you to enjoy a different kind of data rollover. Unlike the other networks, Big Bundles has no fixed period of data rollover. Instead, it gives you a cap limit for the amount of data that you can carry over.
Usually, the cap limit is set with respect to the amount of data that the scheme contains. For example, if the plan you purchased is 1GB plan, the rollover limit is 1GB. You also need to ensure you renew your plan on the day it expires to roll over your data, otherwise you lose it.
O2 is known for great customer perks and offer a reward app called O2 priority
where customers can get free coffees and discounts with popular high street retailers, to learn more check them out.
Which Networks Don’t Have Data Rollover
Besides the discussed networks, all the other providers do not offer data rollover. They include giants like Three Mobile
and small service providers like Tesco Mobile
, Plusnet Mobile
, and Lycamobile
Although they don’t offer data rollover, each of these networks have their own unique perks which are worth checking out.
Half Cooked’s Overall Winner
Sky Mobile is undisputedly the most generous network in the UK, with their 3-year data rollover. Moreover, you can withdraw data whenever you are in need.
However, we have to give SMARTY the overall win because of their flexibility. You don’t pay extra for any unused data, so there is no possibility of ever losing out on any data!