In this article, Half Cooked will review both networks in detail and help you find if either network is the best choice for you. We will also compare them with their rival networks including giffgaff, VOXI and SMARTY, although one could say they are rivals to iD Mobile rather than Sky Mobile. Both networks come with quite the different perks. We’ll compare their available price plans, network coverage, speeds and all the other key features they offer to their customers.
Latest Offer: 20GB Data just for £15!
For a limited time only, iD Mobile is offering a 20GB data deal with unlimited minutes for £15. There’s also a £4/month tariff with 500MB data and 150 minutes, which is by far the lowest price for a SIM only plan you can find on the market!
Who is iD Mobile?
iD Mobile is one of the youngest networks in the UK and it’s a subsidiary of Dixons Carphone. iD Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, in the UK they are operating as iD Mobile Limited using the Three’s network. Its services were launched on 12 May 2015.
It offers a variety of low-cost 4G, SIM Only deals on 30-day rolling contracts. Thanks to its short term contracts, iD Mobile users can modify their plan monthly, changing their plan to fit their lifestyle. Right now, iD Mobile’s lowest SIM Only offer starts at £3.99 a month and one can find many other suitable price plans and bundles including handsets and PAYG options.
iD Mobile manages to combine its low prices with some of the most important perks such as Wi-Fi calling and Data Rollover. Of course, with low prices come no entertainment packages or nor any subscriptions.
- Cheapest prices starting from £3.99.
- Offers a data rollover option.
- Wi-Fi Callling & 4G Calling support.
- Doesn’t support 5G yet.
- No entertainment packages or such.
- No family/friends plan options.
Click here to check out iD Mobile’s latest offers.
Who is Sky Mobile
Sky Mobile is also a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) and it’s powered by O2 Network. It belongs to the Sky Group and owned by Comcast.
Sky Mobile users can get decent 4G coverage all around the UK thanks to O2’s network and on top of that they already enjoy 5G in some towns and cities with no extra cost, though you have to be a Sky VIP member to get 5G speeds. Then again, being a Sky VIP member is very easy, all you have to do is download MySky app to your mobile device, log in with your Sky ID and tap the Sky VIP button and you’re done. Sky Mobile comes with unique features, albeit with only a handful price plans. Sky’s Roll feature allows users to roll over their unused data for up to three years. Yeah, no joke, up to three years. If you are also a Sky TV customer then you get to Watch Sky TV apps without losing any data allowance.
Sky Mobile also allows you to upgrade your handset every year via their Swap feature. Mobile phones improve at a fast pace and more often than not they feel outdated by the time our contracts end. Given the long term commitments we make with phone deals Swap really stands out for Sky Mobile.
While these features all great, it only offers four different plans and unfortunately there’s no unlimited data option in any of these plans. At present, the maximum amount of data you can get is 20GB, which makes Sky Mobile a bad choice for data hungry users. There’s no PAYG option either, so you always have to sign a contract and go through a credit check if you want to go with Sky Mobile.
Thankfully there are many other network operators in the UK with Pay As You Go option. If you don’t want to sign a contract or don’t want to deal with a credit check, have a look at our No Credit Check SIMs Guide.
- Supports 5G in all SIM Only plans.
- Offers the best data rollover feature, you can save rolled over data up to 3 years.
- If you are also a Sky TV member you may use Sky TV apps without consuming data.
- Even the best plan offers limited data (20GB Max).
- Reward system is loyalty based.
- No short term contracts.
Click here to check out Sky Mobile’s latest offers.
Table of Contents
Network Coverage & Speeds
iD Mobile is a virtual network and its piggybacking on the Three network for 3G and 4G coverage. This means iD Mobile users get the very same coverage with Three users. Meanwhile Sky Mobile is powered by O2, meaning Sky users and O2 users experience and enjoy the same coverage.
All the major network providers in the UK offer %99 or better population coverage for 3G & 4G. Meanwhile EE still leads the competition with its superior land mass coverage. As Half Cooked, we strongly recommend you to check the coverage in your area for any network before you make your final decision. You can check iD Mobile’s network coverage by clicking here and for Sky Mobile’s network coverage by clicking here.
While these two networks seem to be equal in 3G & 4G coverage, there are two key factors giving the edge to Sky Mobile in overall coverage. iD Mobile doesn’t support 2G devices. Old as it may be, 2G is still being used and can come in handy in some situations.
The second major difference is all the Sky Mobile plans come with 5G. There are over 20 towns and cities live on Sky Mobile’s 5G and about 20 more to come. Unfortunately iD Mobile doesn’t offer any 5G plans and there is no news or any announcement about it yet, so it’s a mystery when their customers will get a taste of superior speeds of 5G.
iD Mobile has slightly faster average download and upload speeds in 3G & 4G compared to Sky Mobile, but the gap between is as little as 0.45 Mbps. This is almost nothing and shouldn’t really make any noticeable difference for user experience. Since iD doesn’t offer any 5G coverage, at all, overall we can say Sky Mobile has the lead over its competitor in this case.
Verdict: This is an easy win for Sky Mobile as iD Mobile doesn’t support neither 2G nor 5G. Sky Mobile covers more grounds and offers faster speeds thanks to 5G.
Find Out More About SKY Mobile Network and Coverage speeds
Voice Call Quality
As long as you are in populated areas, towns and cities, neither network will let you down. However, iD Mobile thrives here, especially indoors as it supports 4G calling. 4G Calling (4G Super-Voice or VoLTE) means you get to make and receive phone calls over a network’s 4G connection. Your mobile device won’t fallback to 2G or 3G during calls, thus you’ll experience a much better call quality and indoor coverage. Of course, for this feature to work you must have a compatible mobile device. Thankfully iD Mobile’s 4G Calling supports pretty much all the new generation mobile phones. You can check if your device supports 4G Calling feature on iD Mobile’s official website.
At the time of writing, Sky Mobile’s 4G calling only works with Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.
In rural areas Sky is a tiny bit better as you can fallback to 2G. We can’t say the same with iD Mobile as you’d lose connection completely due to the network not supporting 2G at all.
Verdict: iD Mobile offers a much better 4G calling service, therefore gets the win in this category over Sky Mobile.
Tethering or using your mobile phone as a personal hotspot means sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other compatible devices such as your laptop, your tablet or other smartphones. Most networks used to draw a strict line when it came to tethering as it could lead up to clog ups, but almost all of them are more lenient now.
Up until 2019 iD Mobile didn’t allow its users to Tether but now they can do so freely. The same goes for Sky Mobile users, there are no restrictions, data used through tethering will be deducted from your monthly download allowance.
Here is the kicker though, Sky Mobile doesn’t propose any unlimited data plans. The most data you can get in a plan is 20GB with Sky, which is actually plenty, but definitely not enough if you are planning to tether on a regular basis.
iD Mobile is way more flexible; has an unlimited data plan and if at first you make the wrong call for tethering, you can change your plan the next month.
Keep in mind though, the more devices you connect and use simultaneously the more data you’ll eat up. You might want to check which networks offer the best unlimited data plans
before you make your final decision.
Verdict: iD Mobile takes the cake here with its unlimited data plan and flexible options.
The current EU roaming regulations allow you to use your data, calls and texts in the European Union destinations for no extra charge. iD Mobile lets you roam like at home in 50 different destinations throughout the EU, EEA and in some other countries. You can visit iD Mobile’s international roaming page for more information.
Sky Mobile lets their customers roam internationally by a feature they call Roaming Passport, with which you’re allowed to use your normal UK allowances in 30 destinations with no extra cost. Then there is Sky Mobile’s Roaming Passport Plus which covers 12 more destinations outside the EU, but for this feature to kick in customers must pay £6 per 24 hours.
Sky’s only advantage over iD in this category is there’s no fair usage limit on Sky Mobile.
Verdict: iD Mobile covers more destinations with cheap and flexible options. iD Mobile is the distinct winner here.
Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots
Wi-Fi calling allows you to make and receive high definition voice calls, using a high speed internet connection over a Wi-Fi network. Basically you use a Wi-Fi connection instead of your provider’s network.
It’s a great feature to have, especially if you live in a rural area with poor network coverage. Wi-Fi Calling is available on both iD Mobile and Sky Mobile, but only on selected handsets. iD Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling feature is compatible with more phones than Sky Mobile’s though. Please make sure to check if your mobile phone supports Wi-Fi Calling.
As for Wi-Fi hotspots you won’t find any for iD Mobile. On the other hand Sky Mobile offers thousands of free Wi-Fi Hotspots to their customers. This helps immensely to save precious data on Sky. If you want to know which other networks are offering this service don’t forget to check our Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in the UK guide!
Verdict: When it comes to Wi-Fi calling iD has the upper hand, though only slightly, but with thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots Sky Mobile is the clear winner here.
Some networks allow their customers to take any unused data from one month and use it the next month or in Sky Mobile’s case up to three years. iD Mobile allows data rollover too, but in a more classic manner.
On Sky Mobile this feature is simply called Roll and it allows users to stash their unused data at the end of each month in their Sky Piggybank up to three years. From the Piggybank you can withdraw unused data in 1GB increments or exchange them for a discount on a new device and some other cool rewards. And if you have other family members on the same Sky Mobile account, rolled over data can be shared between members.
iD Mobile’s data rollover is, as stated before, quite simple. Any unused data will transfer to the next month, and you’ll be finishing up that data first. However, any data you don’t use from the ‘previous month’s rollover’ will vanish at the end of the month.
Verdict: Sky Mobile’s Roll feature is unmatched. No other network comes even close.
Sky Mobile has a family plan in which you can have up to 5 plans in one Sky Mobile account. Unfortunately this option doesn’t bring any discounts, but as we stated above, rolled over data can be shared between family members and it’s a great perk! All the available unused data can be transferred between family accounts using the Sky Piggybank.
Another option would be to save more data in the Piggybank and exchange it for a new device or other rewards.
On the other hand iD Mobile doesn’t offer any family plans, but it’s already at the end of the cheaper end of the market. There really isn’t much room to wiggle and include a family or friends plan to begin with.
If you are looking for networks with family/friends plan offers check out Half Cooked’s Best Family Mobile Plans in the UK 2020 guide.
Verdict: Given that iD Mobile doesn’t offer any family plans and Sky Mobile’s family plan being a decent one, we have a clear winner here in Sky Mobile.
Other Perks & Customer Rewards
There are no customer rewards for being on iD Mobile, nor any other outside the box advantages to it. Being a lower cost MVNO, to remain competitive at their price point iD Mobile must opt out of this type of special deals.
Sky Mobile offers a variety of rewards and the more loyal you are the better rewards you get, but overall they are not super exciting. You can store your unused data up to three years and exchange them for Sky Store vouchers. You don’t get anything for inviting people over or just by joining them either. Sky could offer more but it would make the network pricier.
At the end of the day, both iD Mobile and Sky Mobile focus on quality service and rather cheaper prices. If you are mainly looking for freebies, coupons and discounts, likes of O2, EE, BT, Three and Vodafone are all better choices for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I keep my number if I switch networks?
Which mobile network does SKY use?
- Yes you can. It’s a simple procedure. All you need is a PAC code (porting authorisation code) from your current mobile telephone network operator. PAC code will allow you to transfer (port) your current mobile phone number to Sky Mobile or iD Mobile. Once you have your PAC number click on the carrier name you want to switch to and follow their guidelines.
Which mobile network does iD Mobile use?
- Sky Mobile uses O2’s network, their customers get the same network coverage and speeds with O2 customers.
Does iD Mobile support 5G?
- iD Mobile uses Three’s network power. Their customers get the same network coverage and speeds for 3G and 4G, but as of yet no 5G on the horizon.
Does Sky Mobile have 5G?
- Unfortunately, no. At the moment iD Mobile is sticking to 3G and 4G coverage and speeds.
What is Sky VIP? How do I join Sky VIP?
- Yes it does. It’s exclusive to Sky VIP members.
Does Sky Mobile have Wi-Fi calling?
- Sky VIP is their loyalty programme and it’s open to all Sky Mobile members. To join, you must download the My Sky app, log in with your Sky ID and tap the Sky VIP button. Sky VIP is free.
Does iD Mobile have Wi-Fi calling?
- Yes, Sky Mobile has Wi-Fi calling, but only limited 4G Calling (VolTe).
- Yes, iD Mobile has Wi-Fi calling and it also supports 4G calling. As long as your mobile device supports it you can use both features.
It’s a tight race between the two network operators, really hard to call a distinct winner, therefore we think it’s a tie between the two network providers. iD comes with a great variety of plans and they are budget friendly. Sky Mobile has 5G and also 2G,iD Mobile doesn’t support either. If you need a cheap, reliable provider then iD is the way to go. If you don’t mind limited data, and can benefit from 5G then Sky is the right choice for you.