Sky Mobile Review 2020: Hold onto your unused data for up to 3 years!

Sky Mobile is the virtual network run by Sky, better known for their TV & broadband internet services they piggyback on the reliable O2 network to provide mobile customers with some added unique perks. Read on below to get Half Cooked’s SKY Mobile review and full breakdown

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While being a MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator) powered by O2, Sky Mobile provides multiple great features we rate very highly at Half Cooked. On Sky Mobile your spare data rolls over for up to 3 years and you can also turn the extra data to reward points and get discounts. Customers also benefit from voice call quality improving features like 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling. On top of that, Sky Mobile offers thousands of Wi-Fi Hotspots so you can maximise your data savings. You also get unlimited data on all relevant Sky TV apps to stream the latest shows for free.

Pro’s

  • Allows you to keep your unused data for up to three years.
  • Unlimited Sky TV apps streaming, if you’re a Sky TV customer.
  • 5G, Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling are included.
  • Free Wi-Fi Hotspots.

Con’s

  • No unlimited data plan. Maximum data plan is 20GB/month.
  • 12 month contracts.
 

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Sky Mobile: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Table of Contents

1. Sky Mobile Plans & Pricing

– SIM Only Deals

– Pay As You Go

– Pay Monthly Phones

2. Network Coverage & Speeds

– 2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

– 5G Coverage

– Voice Call Quality

– Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling

– Wi-Fi Hotspots

– Tethering

– International Roaming

3. SKY Mobile Features

– Roll

– Watch

– Mix

– Swap/Upgrades

4. Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Sky Mobile Plans & Pricing

SIM Only Deals

sky mobile sim only dealsSky Mobile has only four price plans to choose from and they are low to mid data offerings. While you can switch between plans on a monthly basis, the minimum length for a SIM only contract is 12 months.

DataMinutes & TextsPrice
1GBUnlimited £6/month
3GBUnlimited £8/month
10GB
Unlimited £12/month
15GBUnlimited £15/month
25GBUnlimited £25/month

On Sky Mobile all SIM only plans require a 12 month minimum term.

Priced at £6/month the 1GB data plan is quite wallet friendly and it’s one of the most affordable SIM Only plans on the UK’s mobile market. While Sky Mobile plans come with great features, the maximum amount of data you can get is 25GB for £25/month.

If you are more interested in low-cost deals that offer larger data allowances, we’d recommend you to check SMARTY. It’s powered by Three and the network proposes a unique money back scheme. Currently, for £20.00 you can get an unlimited data deal.

Pay As You Go

Sky Mobile doesn’t have a PAYG mobile service, nor does it offer any monthly rolling plans. If you wish to join Sky Mobile you’ll have to undergo a credit check and sign a contract.

If you need a pay as you go service with O2’s network coverage, you might want to check out giffgaff’s goodybags. Make sure to read Half Cooked’s extensive giffgaff review before you make your final decision.

Pay Monthly Phones

Sky Mobile proposes a nice selection of phones from popular manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Sony and Huawei. The network’s selection includes the latest flagship handsets which support 5G services like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11. You can also find cheaper entry-level devices and mid-range to high-end mobile phones.

Sky Mobile locks you in for a long time if you want to purchase a phone with your SIM deal. The carrier gives you two options in regards to contract length and how often you can upgrade your handset. Swap12 allows you to upgrade your device every 12 months, however your contract length will be 24 months. Swap24 works the same way, as you can upgrade your phone every 24 months and your phone contract will be for 36 months. The latter offers a lower monthly price, however overall you’ll be locked in for a year longer.

You can have a look at Sky Mobile’s official store to see which handsets are available.

Network Coverage & Speeds

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

Sky Mobile uses O2’s network to offer its customers identical coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G in the UK. The mobile virtual network provides over 99% population coverage alongside decent landmass coverage. Regardless, you should still use Sky’s coverage checker

However, looking at data speeds we see that O2 lags behind all the other networks. Open Signal’s April 2020 report shows that the carrier has an average download speed of 16.6Mbps and upload speeds are measured at 5.8Mbps. This makes O2, & therefore Sky Mobile the slowest network provider in the country in regards to data speeds.

Top spot still belongs to

EE with 34.6Mbps average download speeds and 9.7Mbps upload speeds. You might want to see how O2 compares to EE and we’ve got you covered. Make sure to have a look at Half Cooked’s EE vs O2 review.

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5G Coverage

sky-mobile-5g-coverageUnlike most other MVNOs Sky Mobile offers 5G signals to its customers. At the moment Sky Mobile customers can get 5G services in 60 towns and cities, and this number will only increase over time.

To benefit from Sky’s 5G coverage you must have a compatible handset. 5G is free for Sky VIP members, and if you’re not a VIP member you can easily become one using Sky’s main app at no extra cost. If you wish to use 5G without being a VIP member, you’ll have to pay an extra £5 monthly.

Voice Call Quality

As Sky Mobile is powered by O2, we must focus on O2’s call test results. When it comes to voice call quality, we rely on tests done by independent bodies like Open Signal and umlaut. Both are respected and widely accepted as authoritative and objective when it comes to testing.

O2 shows significant improvement over the last few years and the network’s customers enjoy better voice calls as a result. The network also jumped ahead of Three according to umlaut and it’s ranked in the third place with a score of ‘satisfactory’. However, it’s still behind EE and Vodafone.

Both Open Signal and umlaut say, the call setup times of O2 were considerably longer than those of EE and Vodafone, and on par with Three’s.

Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling

sky-mobile-wifi-calling-4g-callingWith Wi-Fi calling even if there’s no signal available, you can make & receive calls and send & receive texts like you regularly do. All you have to do is connect to an available Wi-Fi with a compatible handset.

And with 4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) you can make and receive calls over a 4G network. Instead of using 2G/3G signals, your network will utilise 4G and your calls will connect quicker and they’ll be clearer.

More often than not mobile virtual networks will opt out of these two perks to offer more competitive prices. This is not the case for Sky Mobile though. The network offers both these awesome features at no extra cost and all price plans are included.

Don’t forget to make sure your device is compatible with these features.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

sky-wifi-hotspotsWith Sky WiFi, you can get free and unlimited Wi-Fi in thousands of popular places across the UK by connecting to hotspots when you’re out and about.

Some carriers like BT Mobile and Virgin Mobile offer free Wi-Fi hotspots all around the UK. Sky Mobile has thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots too. The scheme is called Sky WiFi and it’s quite simple to use. With Sky WiFi you can get free and unlimited Wi-Fi in some of the most popular places across the UK. You’ll have to sign up and log in to the service once and from that moment on you’ll automatically connect wherever there’s a Sky WiFi hotspot.

Tethering

sky-mobile-tetheringTethering is using the mobile signal from your device as a Wi-Fi connection to connect other Wi-Fi enabled devices to the internet such as other mobiles, tablets or computers. This is also known as using your handset as a personal hotspot.

On Sky Mobile you’re allowed to tether on all plans freely at no extra cost. You may even use the rolled over data in your Sky Piggybank. If you’re regularly tethering you should be extra careful, because tethering eats up data at a much faster rate. Given how Sky Mobile doesn’t offer large data allowances you should be extra careful.

International Roaming

sky-mobile-international-roamingIf you’re a Sky Mobile customer you can freely roam in over 30 European destinations like at home. This scheme is a bit limited, especially compared to some other networks in the UK. If you’re willing to pay an extra £6, you can purchase the ‘Roaming Passport Plus’ add-on and access your UK data in 12 more destinations in a 24 hour period.

Roaming Passport Plus works in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar, South Africa, Christmas Islands and Cocos Islands.

SKY Mobile Features

Roll

sky-mobile-rollAt Half Cooked we rate the ‘Roll’ feature very highly. Hands down it’s one of the best data rollover schemes in the UK. Regardless of your tariff the leftover data will transfer over to your Sky Piggybank at the end of each month. You can store unused data for up to three years and withdraw it any time you want or cash it in for Sky reward points. With the reward points you can get a discount when buying a new handset or a voucher for renting movies and TV shows on Sky.

Another great thing about this scheme is you can also share this data with other plans if you have multiple tariffs under one account. This makes Sky Mobile a great choice for family mobile plans.

Watch

sky-mobile-watch-v3If you own a Sky TV membership as well as an active Sky Mobile plan, you can watch Sky TV and use all the other Sky apps without using any of your regular data. You’ll also get Sky Go Extra at no extra cost.

If you don’t have a Sky TV subscription you can still benefit from this feature, but only on the Sky apps that don’t require a subscription. You’ll need to have at least 50MB of data available in order to use Sky Mobile’s ‘Watch’ feature. The scheme also works when you’re tethering to other devices, just make sure you’re watching through a Sky app and not a web browser.

Mix

sky-mobile-mix-alternativeWhile Sky Mobile locks you in fo 12 months, the network offers some flexibility between tariffs. You can switch between any plan you want thanks to the network’s ‘Mix’ scheme. Plus unlike most other mobile networks, Sky won’t reset your leftover data when switching between plans. That data will be safely stored in your Sky Piggybank.

If you’re switching to a bigger data plan, your new data allowance kicks in immediately, however, if you wish to downgrade changes won’t apply till your next bill date.

Swap/Upgrades

sky-mobile-swap-alternativeSky Mobile makes upgrading mobile devices as simple as possible. You can cash in your unused data from your Sky Piggybank and get money off a new handset.

‘Swap’ is another eye catching proposition from the carrier. When buying a handset from Sky Mobile you can choose either Swap12 or Swap24 payment plans.

Swap12

will allow you to get an upgrade every year. However, you’ll be signing up for a 24 month contract on Sky Mobile. You’ll choose a new device to upgrade to and once you get your hands on it, you’ll send your old one back to Sky. The network will put the value of your old device towards what’s left to pay on your credit agreement.

Swap24

essentially works the same way but you’ll be given an option to upgrade every two years and the operator will lock you in for 36 months. Swap24 deals come cheaper on a monthly basis, but overall you’ll be paying more due to committing to the network for a year longer.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Sky Mobile: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

  • Network Coverage and Speeds – Sky Mobile is powered by O2, and the network offers over 99% population coverage and decent landmass coverage. However, their data speeds are the slowest in the UK.
  • Voice Call Quality – umlaut rated O2’s (therefore Sky’s) voice call quality as ‘satisfactory’. Main problem was longer call set up times than other networks.
  • Tethering – You can tether freely on Sky Mobile, but data plans are small.
  • Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling – Sky is one of the only few MVNOs with both Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspots – Sky Mobile also offers thousands of free Wi-Fi Hotspots to its customers.
  • International Roaming – There are two ‘Roaming Passports’ available to Sky customers. You can roam freely in 30 European destinations at no extra cost. You must pay an extra £6 per 24 hours to roam like at home in 12 more destinations.
  • Roll – Sky’s ‘Roll’ allows you to keep your unused data for up to three years and you can share this data with others or cash in for rewards.
  • Watch – If you also own a Sky TV subscription, you can watch and use all Sky apps without using your regular data.
  • Mix – While Sky locks you in for at least 12 months once you sign up, you can switch between price plans every month.
  • Swap/Upgrades – Purchasing a handset from Sky Mobile, you’ll have to choose either Swap12 or Swap24. With Swap12 you can upgrade your device every year and with Swap24 every two years.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sky Mobile support Wi-Fi Calling?

Yes, Sky Mobile supports Wi-Fi Calling and all price plans are included.

Does Sky Mobile have 4G Calling?

Yes, just like Wi-Fi Calling, Sky Mobile customers get to benefit from 4G Calling too. While being a MVNO, Sky Mobile manages to offer both of these voice call quality improving features.

Does Sky Mobile allow tethering?

Yes, you can freely tether to other compatible devices on Sky Mobile. However, when using your handset as a personal hotspot you should always be careful as this process will eat up your data at a much faster rate.

Which network does Sky Mobile use?

Sky Mobile is powered by the O2 Network, hence customers of these operators get identical network coverage and data speeds.

Does Sky Mobile have 5G?

Yes, Sky Mobile offers 5G on all tariffs. However, to get 5G for free you have to be a Sky VIP member. You can also purchase a 5G add-on and pay for it monthly.

Does Sky Mobile have an app?

Yes, Sky Mobile does have an app and it’s very simple to use. The application is called My Sky, and it comes in handy when you want to switch between plans or purchase add-ons. It’s also very useful to monitor your monthly data spending and you can also use it to check your Sky Piggybank.

How long can I keep my unused data on Sky?

Sky Mobile’s unique data rollover feature allows you to keep your leftover data for up to three years. The feature is dubbed as ‘Roll’. You can share your unused data with other Sky members or cash it in for reward points.

Does Sky Mobile have PAYG?

No, unfortunately there isn’t any pay as you go service on Sky Mobile. You might want to check out SMARTY, giffgaff, VOXI or the four major network operators in the UK for PAYG deals.

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