The first MVNO to announce a 5G date
Sky Mobile will launch 5G in November, making it the first UK MVNO to announce a date for the service.
The MVNO, which uses O2’s network, will roll out the service in the same cities as O2, aiming to launch in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds and Slough, before expanding to 20 cities by the end of 2019 and 50 by summer 2020.
Sky is also among the first in the UK to range the previously delayed Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, along with Three and Carphone Warehouse. It will be available from £42 per month with 1GB of data, or £46 per month with 8GB.
Sky will also offer the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, with more handsets to be announced later in the year.
The 5G offerings will come with Sky’s USPs, including Roll, which allows unused data to be rolled over and kept for up to three years, or redeemed for more data; Mix, which allows the changing of data allowance to match monthly usage without changing contracts; Watch, which allows unlimited streaming on Sky apps; and Swap, which allows flexible upgrades without changing contracts.
Sky Mobile’s commercial director Sophia Ahmad said: “We will be the only mobile operator to be able to combine the launch of next generation superfast 5G connectivity with Sky Mobile’s unique features including Roll, Swap and Watch.”
Telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore said of the announcement: “The mobile network operators need to watch out as this move poses a considerable threat. 5G represents a significant opportunity for Sky to steal market share.
“It is becoming harder for telcos to differentiate on connectivity beyond price alone. Sky armed with its innovative mobile features and breath of content is very well placed to compete head on. For now, from an overall services perspective it seems to be in pole position.
“If you look at their huge subscriber base, 5G, does represent a significant opportunity to propel them. If you have content and connectivity, you’re in a strong place. Sky’s core service is TV, which can help discount mobile to a large degree.”