From this summer all Sky Mobile tariffs, starting at £6 a month, include unlimited free calls and texts to UK mobiles and landlines.
Not content with its position as the UK’s largest TV provider and second-largest internet service provider (ISP), Sky is upping the stakes in a crowded market.The network also has some special features, including Roll, Watch and Mix, which we’ll look at below.
What’s the catch?
Seems too good to be true? Well, not quite, but the offer is only available to customers who take out a 12-month minimum contract and you need to actively select the unlimited calls and texts plan as you complete your purchase, otherwise you’ll be on the standard rate.
The unlimited free calls and texts excludes the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, pager numbers or virtual 070/076 numbers.
Of course in the world of telecoms, “unlimited” doesn’t mean unlimited and Sky, like every operator, has an “acceptable use” clause included in its terms and conditions. This stipulates that your use of “unlimited” services should not exceed that “reasonably expected of a reasonable person using the Sky Mobile services for personal purposes as a consumer”.
What network does Sky Mobile use?
While the UK has dozens of operators, building and running a mobile network isn’t cheap, so whatever one you choose you’re going to be relying on the infrastructure of one of the big four: EE, O2, Three, or Vodafone. Sky Mobile piggybacks on the O2 network, which means network coverage and speeds are equivalent to O2’s provision in your area.
Do you have to have Sky to get Sky Mobile?
No, but Sky TV customers do get to take full advantage of unlimited streaming of Sky TV content via its plethora of apps. If you're on Sky Mobile but don't have a TV subscription, you can still watch some content from apps like Sky News for free.
Does Sky Mobile offer Wi-Fi calling?
Sky provides Wi-Fi calling, which is very useful if you get a poor signal at home or indoors. With Wi-Fi calling you can call and text like normal even with no mobile signal, just by connecting to any available Wi-Fi with a compatible phone.
What is Sky Mobile Roll?
All plans come with a feature called Roll. At the end of the month, any unused data allowance gets put into a “piggybank”. This can be kept for up to three years, longer than the standard month other networks usually allow. The piggybank can even be used as credit towards new phones or accessories.
Can I change my plan?
Sky’s Mix feature lets you raise or lower your data allowance at the start of each month without changing your contract. The options available are:
|Price per month||Data|
Yes, the 4 GB tariff is more expensive than the one giving 8 GB, there appears to be no reason for this. Selectra has reached out to Sky about this discrepancy.
When signing up, the Sky website allows you to choose between the unlimited calls and texts option and a “pay-as-you-use” option. The two cost the same and provide the same amount of data, but the pay-as-you-use option charges 10p per text and 10p per minute for calls so there doesn’t seem to be any reason anyone would choose it, other than Sky trying to pull a fast one.
Can I keep my existing mobile number?
Of course. New regulations in the UK mean it’s now easy to switch providers via text message. All you need to do is send a text message to your current operator with the letters PAC to 65075.
Then, you’ll need to activate your Sky Mobile SIM and submit your request online.
Can I keep my existing phone?
Yes, you can use the new SIM in your current handset but you may need to get your handset unlocked by whichever company provided it originally.
Is Sky Mobile offering a good deal?
While other operators, notably Vodafone and Three offer unlimited call and text packages, Sky Mobile are the only ones to do it across all tariffs.
In reality though, this is one base tariff of unlimited UK calls and texts which can then be supplemented with a data allowance as you need. If you’re a Sky TV subscriber you likely won’t be needing too much extra data as you can stream or download as much Sky TV as you want. So, in that case, it’s probably a pretty good deal.
For everyone else, there are alternatives to Sky Mobile. For example, Vodafone has contract packages providing unlimited calls and texts plus unlimited data starting at £23 a month for 2 Mbps download speed or £26 for 10 Mbps. While Three currently offers unlimited calls, texts and data from £20 a month on a 12-month contract.
Customer satisfaction with Sky Mobile is fairly mixed. Some people appreciate the straightforward pricing structure, but others are left unhappy with the company’s attitude to customer service. It’s always worth shopping around.