Sky, a company known primarily for its satellite TV service, and then perhaps its broadband, began dipping its toe into the mobile market in 2017, offering SIM only deals to Sky customers primarily. Sky Mobile does not operate its own network, but rather piggybacks on the O2 network.
Since 2017, Sky Mobile has blossomed into a fully fledged provider, offering contract handset, SIM only, data only SIM and contract tablet deals. You don't have to be an existing Sky customer to take advantage of these deals. Let's take a look in a bit more depth.
Sky Mobile has named its defining selling points with a series of not entirely clear single-word 'brands': Roll, Watch, Swap, and Mix. Rather than sending you digging through Sky Mobile's website to find out what these mean, we've boiled them down into a series of features that we feel are much easier to understand.
This is what you'll get with a Sky Mobile deal.
Sky Mobile offers contract phones from a small-ish selection of popular manufacturers – it has the main bases covered, basically. On top of that it offers a (also small) range of SIM only deals with bonus data for Sky TV and broadband customers.
Despite a very long list of UK mobile providers, there are actually only four network providers. Network providers are companies who do everything other providers do, but also own and maintain their own physical UK mobile network. They are: Three mobile, O2 mobile, EE mobile and Vodafone mobile. As for everyone else, they piggyback (lease space) on one of these four networks.
Sky Mobile is on the O2 network. As such, the data speeds and network coverage match O2's own. According to a 2021 report by Opensignal, the O2 4G network is actually the slowest of the four when it comes to download speeds, offering average real-world download speeds of 17.1 Mbps. Vodafone fares better with an average of 21.2 Mbps, Three better still at 25.2 Mbps, and EE is the clear winner with average download speeds of 44 Mbps.
Now the UK has left the EU, mobile contracts don’t automatically include roaming in Europe. However there are a number of European countries where you can still use your call, data and text allowances as you would at home with no additional charges.
They are Austria, Azores (Portugal), Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira (Portugal), Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
You can also add something called 'Roaming Passport Plus', which will allow you to use your minutes, texts and data as you would at home for 24 hours, for a flat fee – around £6 at the time of writing. Countries included in Roaming Passport Plus are USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Qatar, Switzerland, Thailand, Hong Kong, Christmas Islands and Cocos Islands, and Turkey.
For other destinations, you will need to check what the situation is before departing. Sky Mobile will also allow you to add a roaming spend cap, meaning you will not be able to accidentally spend over a set amount.
Sky Mobile is on the O2 network, meaning its data speeds and coverage/signal availability will match exactly with O2's. If you want to check whether you are likely to get a good signal where you live and/or work, you can use O2's signal map, found on its website.
No. Sky Mobile operates completely independently of Sky TV and Sky Broadband.
Sky Go is free if you are a Sky TV customer. You cannot access Sky Go unless you have a Sky TV subscription. However, if you do have one, watching content on your mobile with Sky Go won't use up any of your data allowance.
Because it doesn't own its own physical network. A network consists of masts as well as the underlying fibre cables that connect it all. Most providers piggyback onto one of the four UK networks. Sky piggybacks on O2.
Yes, it does. Although it is not available on every single device that Sky Mobile offers. You can do wifi calling on Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy models, some Sony Xperia models and some Oppo and Huawei models.