Jan 21st, 2020
- 99% UK Network Coverage
- Data rollover for up to 3 years
- Data speeds slower than competitors
- Data plans limited to 20GB
Half Cooked’s overall rating for Three: (4 / 5)
Sky Mobile gets a rating of 4 stars from Half Cooked – on the reliable O2 network, customers will get 99% network coverage by population and Sky Mobile offers perks such as tethering and thousands of nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots. Sky Mobile also has the unique perk of data rollover for up to 3 years which is the longest in the market – saving customers on out of plan charges. However, with expensive roaming prices and data plans with a maximum data allowance of 20GB there is still areas Half Cooked feels could be improved.
Click here to go direct to Sky Mobile’s website and see their latest SIM offers.
Skip to the Half Cooked breakdown to find out how Sky Mobile performed in each of our main categories by clicking here.
Otherwise read on for our full review or skip to a specific section by choosing from the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
Network Coverage & Speeds (3 / 5)
Sky Mobile is a virtual network, similar to the likes of giffgaff & SMARTY. Sky Mobile piggybacks off the back of the O2 network, which means as a Sky Mobile customer you will be getting identical coverage to an O2 customer. We still recommend checking out Sky Mobile’s coverage checker before purchasing.
O2 has around 99% population coverage for its combined 4G & 3G network – which means you will be covered throughout the UK. They also recently won the uSwitch 2018 mobile award for best network coverage – showing their recent investment in improving their network has paid dividends for their customers.
Data speeds however are not as impressive. If we look at Open Signal results for H2 2018, O2 is tracking behind EE & Three in terms of data speeds with an average download speed on 4G of 15 MB/s vs EE who leads the way with 28MB/s.
Voice Call Quality (3 / 5)
Again, looking at call quality we need to look at O2’s performance. Generally speaking, there won’t be any problems making a call on Sky Mobile but certain elements of the call quality for the O2 network is tracking behind its competitors.
In recent tests run by P3 Communications, O2 came last out of the major operators with a score of ‘satisfactory’. The main reason for this is that you will find connection times & audio clarity will be slightly better on some of the other competitors. We don’t think this is or make or break and it shouldn’t impact a decision on joining Sky Mobile.
Tethering (5 / 5)
Tethering allows users to turn their mobile device into a mini Wi-Fi hotspot, using their data allowance to get other mobile devices connected to the internet. You sometimes find tethering is limited by network providers as it leads to heavy data usage and with limited space on the network, this can lead to slowing down the network for other customers.
Sky Mobiles perform well in this category, with no restrictions on tethering data for its SIM only or handset customers. Customers can tether their full plan data if they wish. Before tethering we recommend checking Sky’s out of plan charges.
International Roaming (2 / 5)
Sky Mobiles roaming offer is comparable with the rest of the market. They offer 35 EU destinations inclusive to your plan; however, this is now a legal requirement with the EU roaming regulation change that came into effect.
Beyond your standard EU destinations, Sky Mobile offer a roaming passport for an additional 12 countries which gives customers the opportunity to use their data abroad as much as they want for a fixed daily fee. Minutes and texts however are not included and for any destinations beyond these 12, the roaming costs are some of the highest in the market.
We rate Three’s Go Roam proposition as the best roaming proposition in the UK, check out our detailed Three Network Review to learn more.
Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots (2 / 5)
Wi-Fi calling allows customers to place calls and send texts using wireless networks instead of using their 3G/4G network. This is a great perk if you are somewhere without mobile connection but have access to Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, there is nothing currently offered in terms of Wi-Fi calling to Sky Mobile customers. This is disappointing as several of the smaller virtual networks that compete with Sky Mobile now offer this.
Wi-Fi hotspots are somewhere Sky Mobile slightly better – Sky Mobile customers get access to Sky Wi-Fi hotspots free of charge. However, a thing to note is that these are not exclusive to Sky Mobile customers. These Wi-Fi hotspots are called ‘The Cloud’ and are found in public locations such as restaurants, bars & shopping centres.
Not sure with SKY mobile Wi-Fi calling, check out our best UK network for Wi-Fi calling comparison
Data Rollover (4 / 5)
Data rollover means you can keep your unused data at the end of the month. For e.g. if you have a 3GB plan and only use 1GB the following month you will have 5GB as the extra 2GB would have been rolled over.
Sky Mobile allows customers to keep their data the longest out of all of the networks in the market. Sky’s proposition is called ‘Roll’ and allows customers to roll over their data into a piggybank for up to 3 years. The average in the market offered by the likes of iD Mobile is only 1 month.
Sky have now also started offering the opportunity to cash in your rolled over data for rewards. These change monthly and can be viewed on the My Sky app.
We’ve also covered the best UK Networks for Data Rollover if you want to find out more about other networks.
Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans (3 / 5)
Some networks are now offering customers discounts on any additional SIM or phone contract purchases they make to incentivise people to sign up their family & friends.
With Sky Mobile, you can have up to 5 plans in one account. They currently don’t offer any discounts for having multiple plans in one account but one perk is that rolled over data can be shared between different plans.
This is a great perk that helps save on out of plan charges if someone in the family uses more data and another usually has data spare at the end of the month. The data can then be transferred between accounts using the piggybank of rolled over data available.
Customer Rewards (2 / 5)
Some networks are now offering customer perks to differentiate themselves from their competitors to help them attract or keep customers.
At the moment, the only reward you will get with Sky Mobile is if you are an existing customer. Existing customers have the option to watch recordings from their Sky+ box at home through their mobile device. The only downside you might find is that this will lead to you burning through your data faster if not connected to Wi-Fi.
Sky Mobile has limited customer rewards with much better options available with the likes of O2 and Three.
Other Perks (1 / 5)
With the mobile market becoming more and more saturated with new networks popping up, some of these operators are trying to differentiate themselves by offering other perks.
Inclusive entertainment subscriptions are one type of perk being offered to customers. EE for example provide access to the BT sport app and Apple Music – saving customers cash on two premium subscription services. Unfortunately, there is nothing currently offered to Sky Mobile customers.
Free data streaming is another perk offered by some networks, we recommend Three’s Go Binge proposition. This gives unlimited streaming on popular apps such as Netflix. Again, this is something not offered by Sky Mobile.
These perks aren’t common among the cheaper virtual networks such as Sky Mobile, this is to be able to offer the competitive pricing that they do.
Sim Deals & Phone Contracts
Sky Mobile currently offer 4 different SIM only deals ranging from £6-£20 with between 2GB & 15GB of data. All the plans come with unlimited minutes and texts and are all 12 month plans.
In terms of handsets Sky Mobiles offers a range of devices from low end all the way to the latest flagship models from your popular brands such as Apple, Samsung & Huawei. Sky provide the option of mixing and matching your data plan and device and give you a cost of the handset and data plan separately.
They also treat the handset as a loan over a 24 or 30 month period, however if you go for 30 months – Sky increases the total cost of the handset.
An additional benefit that Sky offers is the option to swap your handset every 12 or 24 months through their ‘Swap 12’ or ‘Swap 24’ scheme. Sky offer to buy back your phone – paying off the remainder of your loan and gives you the option to get a new device. You don’t necessarily get the best value from this scheme.
When you come to the end of the 12 or 24 months, the device is almost paid off and you would be giving back a device to start paying for a new one. If you also damage the device, there will be a reduced payment of the loan and there will be an outstanding payment.
Half Cooked Overall Breakdown
Half Cooked’s overall rating for Sky Mobile:
(3 / 5)
- Network Coverage and Speeds – Running on the O2 network with 99% 4G coverage you will always be covered, but data speeds drop off behind the likes of EE & Three.
- Voice Call Quality – P3 Comms rated voice call quality as ‘Satisfactory’ tracking behind all the other major operators.
- Tethering – No limit to tethering on any of Sky Mobile’s plans.
- International Roaming – 35 EU destinations covered & roaming passport available for £5 per day for unlimited data usage in specific destinations.
- Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots – No Wi-Fi calling available but customers can access Sky’s large ‘The Cloud’ network free of charge.
- Data Rollover – Data rollover of up to 3 years means this is the longest rollover period available in the market.
- Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans – No discounts available to customers but you can have up to 5 plans on a single account with the option of sharing rolled over data between plans.
- Customer Rewards – Limited customer rewards with Sky Mobile.
- Other Perks – No subscriptions or free data streaming available to Sky Mobile customers.