Sky Mobile is a popular UK MVNO that uses O2’s network and infrastructure. Here’s everything you need to know about Sky Mobile…
The upshot of going with an MVNO like Sky Mobile is that you’ll pay less for your data and SIM-only plans. At least, that is the theory anyway. As an MVNO, Sky Mobile has lower costs than actual networks like Three and O2.
Sky Mobile also does “rollover data” which basically means any data you do not use during a given month, rolls over to the next.
No other UK network does this, so this is a big PRO for going with Sky Mobile. And so too are its prices (they’re very competitive) and the fact that it includes roaming for no extra cost and unlimited tethering on all of its plans.
What Network Does Sky Mobile Run On?
As an MVNO, Sky Mobile simply piggy-backs off of O2’s network. This means it has the same level of coverage as O2 – for 3G, 4G, and 5G. If you can get a signal with O2 in your area, you’ll be able to get Sky Mobile.
However, because Sky Mobile is an MVNO you will pay less for data and contracts in general when compared to fully-fledged networks like O2 and EE.
Does Sky Mobile Have 5G Coverage?
You can get 5G coverage on Sky Mobile. As noted above, it runs on O2’s network (which has 5G capabilities). In order to get 5G, however, you will have to be in an area where 5G is available.
As of right now, 5G isn’t available everywhere in the UK. The rollout of 5G in the UK is now well underway, but smaller, more rural parts of the UK do not have access to it just yet.
5G is most readily available in and around cities and major conurbations. Here’s a list of all the places you can get 5G with Sky Mobile:
Sky Mobile 5G Coverage In The UK
Aberdeen, Ambleside, Ashford, Aughton, Aylesbury, Banstead, Basildon, Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bedford, Belfast, Bilston, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Blaydon, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bradley Stoke, Bridge of Don, Brighton, Bristol, Brombourgh, Bury St Edmunds, Byfleet, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chadwell St Mary, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Chipstead, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester, Coventry, Darlington, Dartford, Derby, Dewsbury, Dinas Powis, Doncaster, Dudley, Dundee, Dunstable, Durham, Dyce, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Egham, Epsom, Esher, Eton and Windsor, Falmer, Gateshead, Gatton Bottom, Gillingham, Glasgow, Gloucester, Gravesend, Grays, Great Yarmouth, Halifax, Harlington, Harlow, Hastings, Hebburn, Hemel Hempstead, Hextable, High Wycombe, Hove, How Wood, Huddersfield, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Iver Heath, Jarrow, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Longford, Loughborough, Lowestoft, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Monifieth, Morley, Musselburgh, Newcastle Upon Tyne, New Denham, Newbury, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Orpington, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Potters Bar, Rainham, Reading, Redhill, Rochdale, Rotherham, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Rugby, Salford, Sheffield, Shepperton Green, Slough, Solihull, Southampton, South Shields, Southend-On-Sea, Staines, Stanraer, Stevenage, Stockport, Stockton, Stoke-on-Trent, Strathclyde, Sunbury, Sunderland, Swansea, Swindon, Thundersley, Tynemouth, Wakefield, Warrington, Washington, Watford, Wavetree, West Bromwich, Weybridge, Whickham, Whitley Bay, Wolverhampton, Worthing, and York.
Sky Mobile Network Speeds – 4G
Here’s a quick breakdown of the type of speed you can expect to get with Sky Mobile. As you can see, the speeds are pretty decent – this is thanks to the fact that it runs on O2’s highly optimised infrastructure.
|Network||4G download/upload speeds||4G latency (ms)|
|O2 (Sky Mobile)||18.2/6.2Mbps||38.1ms|
According to macro speed tests conducted across the UK, Sky Mobile’s network speeds are pretty respectable – it is fast enough but there is definitely room for improvement.
Sky Mobile does lag behind EE with respect to overall download and upload speeds.
With 5G, Sky Mobile has an average download speed of 115.7Mbps, according to a September 2020 report from Point Topic. This is VERY fast. If you get a 5G phone and run it on Sky Mobile, you’ll get very impressive download speeds.
Sky Mobile Network Frequency Bands
What frequency bands does Sky Mobile run on? As you can see in the table below, Sky Mobile runs on a range of bands. This is good for the user as it means the network load can be managed effectively, ensuring better overall connectivity.
|900MHz||Band 8||2G & 3G|
|1800MHz||Band 3||2G & 4G|
|2100MHz||Band 1||3G & 4G|
For instance, Sky Mobile has the 2300MHz band which is short range and is great for use in busy areas like city centres and retail parks. It also uses 3400MHz for 5G which is ideal for delivering 5G as it is the highest frequency radio band currently available in the UK.
Sky Mobile Plans – What’s Available?
Sky Mobile mainly focusses on contracts, meaning you buy a phone and get a contract alongside it. This is the most popular way to buy phones in the UK, as you can spread the cost of an expensive phone over 24 months.
Sky Mobile has all the latest smartphones too – from Apple’s iPhone 12 range to Samsung’s latest and greatest phones, as well as plenty of other mid-range Android phones. You can check out its full roster of phones here.
Sky Mobile Contract Prices
Sky Mobile is very competitive with respect to phone contracts. You can get the iPhone 12 Pro for £35 a month – this is very respectable. Similarly, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for £38 a month. Again, very competitive.
Between these phones, you essentially have all the main bases covered: you have flagships, mid-range phones, and budget options from the two best phone brands on the planet, Apple and Samsung.
SIM Only Deals
What I like about Sky Mobile is that it keeps things simple; you don’t have hundreds of options when it comes to SIM-only plans. Instead, you have six options that cover off nearly all possible data needs.
- 2GB Per Month | £6
- 8GB Per Month | £10
- 12GB Per Month | £12
- 25GB Per Month | £15
- 40GB Per Month | £24
- 60GB Per Month | £30
- Compare All Plans Here
All of Sky Mobile’s SIM-only plans include unlimited streaming on Sky apps and rollover data. Sky also runs regular deals on its SIM-only plans; as of right now you can save money on a couple of its plans (see here for details).
All Sky Mobile plans – contract and SIM only – include unlimited tethering (AKA mobile hotspot) WiFi Calling, and VoLTE (voice over 4G). None of these things come at an additional cost either, they’re just included as part of Sky Mobile’s basic coverage.
Wrapping Up: Is Sky Mobile Worth It?
In many ways, yes, Sky Mobile is a great network to live with. It has great prices on the best phones available. You can get an iPhone or Samsung phone on contract for quite a bit less than you can with EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three.
Sky Mobile has 5G at no extra cost, decent UK coverage, and it has a robust network backing it too, so improvements are always happening. As O2 develops its network, Sky Mobile customers benefit.
In this respect, taking all of the above into account, we do recommend Sky Mobile as a great choice for UK consumers looking for value for money, great network speeds and coverage, and plenty of great options when it comes to phones.
I also really like the fact that Sky Mobile does roll-on data, so you don’t ever waste any of your data by not using it. I just wish more networks did this!
Add in things like unlimited tethering, roaming in over 30 EU and EEA countries, and the fact that you can change your plan whenever you like and it is easy to see why more and more people are turning to Sky Mobile for all their data and phone requirements.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.