Sky Mobile Network Coverage 2019 - is it any good?

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Have you ever had your mobile cut out on an important call? Or picked up your phone, to realise you’re out of service range? With people relying on mobile phone networks more and more in all aspects of their lives, it's no wonder many consumers want the best network coverage possible. Here we take an in-depth look at the level of mobile coverage that Sky Mobile network has on offer and how it compares to other UK providers.

Which mobile network does Sky use?

Sky Mobile is what is referred to as a ‘piggyback’ service. This means that although Sky is a mobile provider they don’t have their own network infrastructure so they ‘piggyback’ on an existing network. Companies that use this system are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs).

If this sounds suspicious to you, don’t worry, MNVO arrangements are common practice across the UK with countless companies like TalkTalk, GiffGaff or Tesco Mobile also falling into this category. All MVNO providers use one of four network infrastructures to deliver their service.

When looking at mobile coverage quality it’s important to take into consideration which network a company will be piggybacking off. In the UK there are only four networks; O2, EE, Three, Vodafone

Sky Mobile is backed by the O2 Network but what does this mean for the quality of Sky coverage?

With its use of the O2 network, Sky offers a competitive level of coverage. Sky boasts 99% coverage on its 4G network across the UK, and is currently working on increasing this figure. Those using 2G or 3G networks also receive a comprehensive 99% mobile network coverage across the country.

When it comes to mobile network coverage, there are several variables at play when determining its quality. These include your exact location, whether you are inside or outside and whether you are on a 2G, 3G or 4G network.

There are also other factors that can interrupt your signal, such as trees, weather conditions and even building materials. The good news is that these figures take into account both indoor and outdoor coverage on mobiles, meaning no tricky hard to reach locations slide under the radar!

Sky Network Coverage Across Service Type
Network Coverage across the UK population
2G 99%
3G 99%
4G 99%

Sky Mobile Coverage: how does it compare with other networks?

Sky mobile network comparison

Sky’s coverage is mostly on par with its competitors on a 4G network, with the exception of the network Three, which comes in at 0.8% higher. With all networks ranking neck-in-neck for overall coverage it is recommended that you use a service checker to test the level of service you would receive in the areas you live in or are likely to travel to.

This is the simplest way to gauge whether or not a service will give you coverage where and when you need it.

Network Coverage Comparison
Mobile Network 4G Coverage across the UK population
O2 (Sky) 99%
EE 99%
Three 99.8%
Vodaphone 99%

Sky Mobile Network Coverage Checker

Check your coverage in your location

If you’re curious about how Sky mobile will stack up for coverage in your area try the Sky Mobile Network Coverage Checker on their website. This user-friendly interactive map allows you to check the level of mobile coverage you would receive in a given location. It is colour coded into ratings of Good Indoors, Good Outdoors and No Coverage.

All you need to do is enter your address or click on an area on the interactive map and select 2G, 3G or 4G network. Keep reading for a step by step guide on how to use the coverage checker.

How to use Sky’s Network Coverage Checker

Want to see an innovative visual representation of Sky’s network coverage for yourself? Follow the steps below:

  1. Head to the Sky coverage checker.
  2. Enter your postcode or town into the search bar on the top left-hand side of the page and press the enter key, or you can click on an area of the map you wish to explore.
  3. Select either 4G, 3G or 2G on the left-hand side of the page.
  4. You’ll now see the results! If the area is represented by a dark green colour this means the service is good indoors and outdoors, if it is light green it is good outdoors only and if it is white it means there is no service in that area.

Handy hintIf you would like to zoom in or out you can click on the + or - symbol on the top right-hand side of the map.

Sky mobile coverage issues

Bad coverage frustration

Experiencing issues with your Sky mobile coverage? Thankfully Sky has a simple and informative tool on their website that will help you to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

The service status tool on Sky’s website provides you with information on the status of your chosen service in your area. The tool is updated on an hourly basis with information about service interruptions or maintenance work in all locations so you can be fairly confident that no matter the issue you’ll get the answers you need quickly and easily.

How to use Sky’s Service Status Checker

  1. Step 1: Head to the Service Status page on Sky’s website.
  2. Step 2: Scroll down the page and click on the button that says ‘Check Sky Mobile Service’
  3. Step 3: Enter your address, postcode or area into the search bar that appears.
  4. Step 4: Check out the update that appears below. You’ll be able to see the level of coverage by 4G, 3G or 2G network as well as any maintenance updates as well as the time the last update was received.

Sky Mobile Network Speed

Sky offers a wide range of coverage through the O2 network but how does it measure against its competitors for network speed?

Download speed comparison
Mobile network 4G coverage across UK population
O2 (Sky) 15.16 Mbps
Three 18.8 Mbps
Vodafone 21.9 Mbps
EE 29 Mbps

At present, Sky mobile offers lower download speeds than its competitors. However, the relevance of this will depend on how quickly you will need to download content or information to your mobile.

If you’re looking to download high definition movies to your mobile device in the time it takes to boil the kettle then Sky’s mobile data download speed may fall short of your expectations. For most people though, 15.16 Mbps will be speedy enough for day to day usage.

Sky Free Wifi Hotspots

Sky free wifi hotspot location

A big upside to the Ski Mobile network is that customers have access to thousands of wifi hotspots across the country which could help you save money on your data plan. All you have to do is find a Sky wifi hotspot near you and select _The Cloud from the available wifi network list.


Sky Mobile Coverage and Speed Verdict


  • Sky is backed by the O2 network and offers 99% coverage.
  • An average 4G download speed of 15.16 Mbps.
  • If there are issues with the O2 network you may also experience issues with Sky.
  • A slower 4G download speed than its competitors.

In short, Sky’s network coverage measures up to its competitors for the most part and offers a high level of coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G networks. There’s more to a mobile provider than just network speed and coverage, why not check out our article on Sky mobile in general for more information.

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