Sky has launched Sky Mobile to complete its quad-play line-up, as it joins the company's TV, broadband and home phone services.
The news is no surprise, as Sky announced it would launch its own network in 2016 when it signed a deal with O2 back in January 2015, but some of the details are intriguing.
Its three 12-month contracts are focused on data, with 1GB, 3GB and 5GB plans priced at £10, £15 and £20 per month respectively.
That's just for the data though, with users then required to choose between either pay-as-you-use calls and texts (10p per minute and 10p per text) or unlimited calls and texts for an additional £10 per month.
Savings for Sky customers
There’s good news for Sky customers though, as you’ll get unlimited calls and texts for free – meaning you’ll just need to pay the monthly data cost.
Any unused data each month isn’t lost either. The excess is instead rolled into a ‘piggybank’, which users can then call upon to top up their allowance (in 1GB increments) in future months if they’re running low.
This data is stored for up to three years, meaning there’s no rush to get through additional data the following month.
For families, Sky Mobile allows you to have up to five SIMs tied to the same Sky account. The account holder can then control web security settings for each SIM card – allowing parents to turn on safe surfing for kids – while also controlling who gets excess data from the piggybank.
You'll also be able to view your Sky box's planner from your phone when out and about and download or stream your favourite shows to your handset via the Sky Go app.
Mix it up
If you find you’re constantly under or over using your data allowance, you can switch between plans – with Sky Mobile allowing you to move up and down its three data tiers.
You can change a maximum of once a month, every month. A move up the tiers sees the additional data applied instantly to your account, while a move down will take affect at the end of the month.
For those currently not with Sky, the offering is less attractive. Take Sky’s 3GB of data deal and add in unlimited calls and texts and you’re looking at £25 per month.
Rival MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) giffgaff for example - which also uses O2's network - offers 4GB of data, 1,000 minutes and unlimited texts for just £15 per month, while £18 sees your minutes doubled and data bumped to 6GB.
Non-Sky customers will still benefit from the data rollover piggybank and five SIMs per family offering – but there are better deals to be had if you’re not already tied to Sky.
The service will be available to those who pre-registered this December, with general availability of Sky Mobile starting from January 2017.
For those looking to get a handset as well as a contract, Sky will also start selling phones from Spring 2017 - including the flagship Apple and Samsung devices.