Sky upgrade deals for existing customers
In this guide
- Add Sky Mobile SIM-only
- Upgrade and you may miss out
- If your Sky broadband speed is slow
- Upgrade your broadband speed
- Sky's TV upgrades are inflexible
- Lower your bills by upgrading calls
If you're a Sky customer and looking to upgrade your Sky services in some way, we have all the information you could possibly need – what's available, how to get it, and what the pitfalls might be.
Adding mobile SIMs, more TV channels, making your broadband run faster – it all seems so simple: just give Sky a call and let it know what you want. But there are a few things you should know about upgrading with Sky before taking the plunge. It's not all unicorns and rainbows.
Add Sky Mobile SIMs to your existing package for very little money
One of the best ways of getting more from Sky is to move your mobile contract (and indeed those of your entire family) to Sky, either with a new SIM, or, if the timing is right, by upgrading your existing handset. Sky doesn't discount its SIMs or its handsets for its existing broadband and TV customers, but if you already have Sky TV, you can watch your subscribed channels via any Sky TV app (including Sky Go Extra, Sky News, Sky Kids, Sky Sports and Sky Store) without eating into your data allowance when you’re away from your wifi connection.
If you are not already a Sky TV customer, you can sign up to Sky VIP, Sky’s loyalty programme, and claim a free film as a welcome gift as well as enjoying various other perks on offer, including free data, experiences and tickets exclusive to VIP members.
Sky Mobile also, more generally, has a raft of attractive features if you choose it as your mobile provider.
Sky Mobile will allow you to not just roll over but keep any unused data in your Sky Piggybank for up to three years. You can then dip into it whenever you like or share it with up to seven SIMs on your account.
Customers can also upgrade to a new phone or tablet at any point via the Swap24 or Swap12 contracts, both of which allow you to swap to a new phone after just 31 days.
Sky Mobile customers are also free to change their data plan without penalty from month to month if they wish – this applies both to increases and decreases in data.
Upgrade and you may miss out on cashback, free gifts and huge savings
Cable.co.uk, as a service, is here to help you switch provider – it's how we help you, in finding the best deal for you, and how we keep the lights on at Cable Towers. So, looking at this cynically it would be easy to assume that this section of switching away from Sky is more in our interests than yours. Not so.
You see, while Sky would definitely like to see you upgrade/take out more of its services, both from a monetary and quality-of-service perspective, that may not actually be the best course of action on the table. If you're already past your initial contract period, you may be in a position to get a better deal from another provider.
It's war out there in the UK broadband and TV market, which means providers are constantly battling it out to win your custom. As a result there are always dozens of great introductory offers out there – everything from rock-bottom prices to free gifts and substantial amounts of cashback. If you're on Sky's TV and broadband, your best bet for a switch is going to be either BT with its inclusive Sky Entertainment channels (including Sky Atlantic) and up to 900Mbps broadband now available in certain areas, or Virgin Media as it offers four times faster broadband and comparable TV services to Sky. Worth taking a look to see what deals are on, at least.
If your Sky broadband speed is awful, upgrading might not help.
If you're thinking of upgrading your broadband speed to help you cope with your household usage, here's something you might want to consider. All broadband providers in the UK run on the Openreach network, except Virgin Media which runs its own separate fibre network. Why is this important?
It's important because of the technology used by Openreach. In most fibre broadband deals, the connection is, in fact, only part-fibre. The cabling as far as the green cabinet on your street corner is fibre optic, but between the cabinet and your house it comes through a copper phone wire. Depending on how far you live from the cabinet, if you are beyond 800 metres or so this is going to substantially slow down the maximum speed you can get.
So if you're thinking of upgrading your speed with Sky because it's not what you thought you were going to get, or if it's just hellishly slow, you're not going to improve your situation much by upgrading to fibre. You may get some extra benefit, but it's unlikely to solve your problems. Ideally, a switch to one of Sky’s new Ultrafast packages, offering 145Mbps or 500Mbps download speeds is the best option, but these are currently only available to around 15% of UK households. These connections run without any copper cabling, so will not be limited in the same way as standard fibre packages.
If that isn’t an option, the only other alternative is to switch network and make the move to Virgin Media - the only widely available provider that doesn’t operate over the Openreach network.
Upgrading your broadband speed brings a host of benefits
If you're getting something approaching the speed you're paying for, but stretching those limits quite frequently, upgrading your broadband speed is definitely going to help. If you're not getting the speeds you're paying for, then please refer to the section above, which contains important information about networks and speed limits.
As a general rule, we advise setting aside 10Mbps for each household member who uses the internet, and if any of them are online gamers and/or movie/TV streaming addicts you should double that in their case. This will provide you with a good amount of headroom so you don't butt up against those speed limits at busy times – with half the household staring at little spinning circles.
If you're on Sky's standard ADSL (non-fibre) broadband at 10Mbps, you have the option to upgrade to Sky Broadband Superfast, which offers speeds averaging 59Mbps. You can use the rough guide above to decide which one is best for you.
Alternatively, if you are one of the homes fortunate enough to have access to Sky’s ultrafast connections, you can give your speed a real boost by switching to either Sky Ultrafast with its 145Mbps download speed or Sky Ultrafast Plus, which comes with an average download speed of 500Mbps.
Sky's TV upgrades are incredibly flexible these days
Up until fairly recently Sky partitioned its TV offerings into specific TV bundles, which on the one hand made things somewhat easier to understand, but on the other caused quite a lot of waste – if you went for the Family Bundle because you wanted kids' TV you probably also had a bunch of channels you weren't so fussed about. These days there's only one TV package – Sky Ultimate – onto which you can bolt on whatever you need.
That has made upgrade options rather numerous. You can add on Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sport, Kids' TV, extra HD channels, Multiscreen or even Disney+. Netflix is included as standard. Perhaps to keep things as simple as possible, Sky actually throws in the Indian and Asian channels these days, whereas they used to cost extra.
Not too long ago Sky had all the Premier League and Champions League football matches. These days it has to share them with BT Sport. Where competition is usually good for the consumer, this most definitely is not because it means you have to bolt on BT Sport to your Sky TV package to be able to watch it all. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the cost of football never stops rising.
Finally, you can lower your bills by upgrading your call plan
Lastly, you can upgrade your calls package in an effort to pay for less calls made from your landline. Of course, this will only be useful to households where the landline is in frequent use, and you'll likely upgrade as soon as you get a bill with call charges you don't like the look of, but it's worth mentioning. If you're finding your Sky bill is higher than you'd like, look into upgrading your calls package to include anytime calls or mobile numbers.