It’s been the mobile industry’s worst-kept secret, but the details of Sky’s new mobile-phone service has been kept strictly under wraps. Now we know the details, though, and it’s no normal mobile service: Sky Mobile will be the first network to allow users to keep hold of unused data and store it up for later use for up to three years.
“We felt it was time to shake up the mobile market and give customers a completely new way to manage their mobile plan,” said Stephen van Rooyen, Sky Mobile’s chief executive.
The service, a “virtual network” that sits on top of O2 Telefonica’s infrastructure, will go on general sale in the UK in January 2017, and will initially launch with three separate 12-month minimum term tariffs:
- £10 per month for 1GB of data
- £15 per month for 3GB of data
- £20 per month for 5GB of data
Unlimited calls and texts will be free for Sky TV customers, will cost £10 for anyone else, and customers will also be able to associate up to five Sky Mobile SIM cards with any one account and share unused data between them. Perfect for families with data-hungry teenagers.
Although Sky Mobile will launch as SIM-card-only service, the company plans to offer contract smartphone sales from spring next year.
Your flexible friend
What’s really interesting about Sky Mobile, though, is that the new service doesn’t lock you into a particular tariff once you’ve committed to a 12-month deal. You could start on the 5GB tariff, build up a bank of unused data, then switch mid-month back to the £10-per-month deal at any time.
Users will be able to make changes to contracts online or via the Sky Mobile app, although downgrades will only be reflected the month following your change. Upgrades, on the other hand, will be reflected on your account immediately.
Finally, owners of Sky+ systems will also be able to create “personal playlists” of recorded or favourite shows that are synced from their Sky box at home, and then watched on their phones wherever they are. Oddly, the facility won’t be available to Sky Q owners at first, but it will arrive for the company’s premium TV service later on in 2017.
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