Sky Mobile set for full market launch from 2017

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SIM-only deals will be available from launch, with handsets being sold from spring

Sky has announced its upcoming MVNO service is set for a full market launch at the start of next year.

The broadband giant first gave initial launch details of Sky Mobile at end of last month. Using O2’s network, the MVNO has already been open for pre-registrations and SIM-only contracts will be available to existing Sky customers from mid-December. Sky claims it has received more than 46,000 sign ups in just over a month.

Sky Mobile ‘offers something entirely different for the UK mobile market,’ according to the company who claims it has four USPs. The first is called ‘Roll.’ Customers can save unused data from any billing period for up to three years. Second is ‘Mix,’ which allows subscribers to upgrade or downgrade their data plans. Third is ‘Save,’ which waives any charges on minutes or texts for Sky TV customers. Lastly ‘Sync’ will allow Sky TV customers to watch Sky box shows on their smartphone

SIM-only deals will just be available from launch, with handsets being sold from spring. No set date has been given, but Sky has confirmed it has direct relationships with Apple and Samsung. There will be three year-long data plans available from launch; 1GB for £10 per month, 3GB for £15 per month and 5GB for £20 per month. Non-Sky TV subscribers can add unlimited minutes and texts for an additional £10 per month. Out of bundle charges for minutes and texts are 10 pence each.

Sky UK and Ireland chief executive Stephen van Rooyen said: “We felt it was time to shake up the mobile market and give customers a completely new way to manage their mobile plan – something no one else is offering. With £2 billion being wasted each year on unused data in the UK, Sky Mobile customers will only pay for what they use.”

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The industry agreed a major selling point of the new MVNO is the ability to roll data over. uSwitch.com spokesperson Ewan Taylor-Gibson said: “Sky’s first mobile offering is very competitive, as long as you’re already a Sky TV customer.

“The fact that Sky is letting people roll over data and store it for three years is both unique and compelling. And for those who like to watch TV on the go, Sky TV customers taking advantage of this mobile offering will also get Sky Go Extra for free – usually £5 a month for its TV customers.

Cable.co.uk spokesperson Dan Howdle added: Sky’s huge customer base will almost certainly ensure it will make up rapid ground on market incumbents.

“Sky’s ‘hook’ is allowing customers to ‘piggybank’ data that went unused at the end of each month and store it for up to three years. No mobile provider has ever offered this before. It shows a keen understanding of how customers consume their data – some months they use a lot, others they use very little.

“This flexibility should allow consumers to choose a lower data tariff on the basis of rolling over data they don’t use during lower-usage months – and that will save them money.” 

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