As anticipated, Sky has revealed full details of what it describes as the UK’s most flexible mobile service as it ramps up its multiplay offering better to compete with the likes of BT and Virgin Media.
It says Sky Mobile, its new mobile network, offers something entirely different for the UK mobile market. For the first time ever, mobile phone owners will be able to keep their unused data for up to three years, to be redeemed whenever they like, and have the flexibility to change their plan every month. Additionally, Sky TV customers will enjoy even greater value with both free UK calls and texts with any Sky Mobile plan, plus the ability to sync with their Sky+ box.
According to Sky, UK consumers use on average less than half of the mobile data they buy every month, wasting an estimated £2 billion each year. “For the typical pay monthly subscriber, that’s over £50 a year spent on unused data, which they lose each month while still paying the same monthly fee. With Sky Mobile, a customer’s data will be theirs to keep,” it says.
By drawing on extensive consumer research, Sky Mobile has been designed to reflect the way consumers use their phones today, focusing on offering flexibility, great value and ensuring that customers don’t waste money paying for data they don’t use or need.
Sky Mobile says it will give customers the most flexible mobile service in the market, offering greater choice and value every month through a combination of four key features:
“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,” said Stephen van Rooyen, UK and Ireland Chief Executive. “We’ve designed it based on what people told us they want – it’s easy, flexible and transparent and it puts the customer in control. With £2 billion being wasted each year on unused data in the UK, Sky Mobile customers will only pay for what they use. Plus we’re giving Sky TV customers a fantastic offer which will allow them to get even more value from their subscriptions. It’s time for people to have a smart new way to manage their mobile contract.”
Pre-registrations for Sky Mobile have already reached over 46,000. Sales for Sky Mobile SIM only contracts start in mid-December to existing customers and those who have pre-registered. A full market launch will begin in the New Year. Later in 2017, Sky Mobile will expand its offering to include the best handsets from Apple and Samsung, as well as from other providers to be confirmed nearer the time.
With Sky Mobile, for the first time Sky+ customers will be able to access their TV recordings from their Sky box at home on their phone. This feature – Sync – will allow customers to create their own personal playlist of shows they love to watch, wherever they are. Customers can stream programmes over 4G or simply download over Wi-Fi to watch later, without the need for an Internet connection or using up their data.
Sky Mobile customers with Sky+ will get Sky Go Extra included at no extra cost, enabling them to enjoy Sync on up to four devices. Unlimited Sky WiFi is available in thousands of popular places across the UK, where customers can enjoy their recordings without using their own data. This mobile entertainment service is available for Sky+ customers at launch, with the functionality coming for customers with a Sky Q box next year.
Sky Mobile comes with three simple data plans – 1GB for £10 per month, 3GB for £15 per month and 5GB for £20 per month. Non-Sky TV customers can add on Unlimited Calls and Texts for £10 per month, or simply pay for calls and texts on a Pay As You Use (PAYU) basis.
“Overall, we are somewhat underwhelmed with Sky’s mobile offer,” commented Paolo Pescatore, Director of Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight. “We feel that Sky has missed a trick by not placing greater focus on its biggest asset, content. Mobile network operators will breathe a sigh of relief given that Sky has decided not to go down the route of giving mobile away.”
“There is a still a significant opportunity for the company to cross sell mobile into its existing core pay-TV base; as it has successfully achieved with fixed line broadband. Our own multiplay survey data shows that Sky is a brand households trust.”
“Those on a contract with a rival provider may still find it cheaper moving to Sky and there are potentially significant savings for other household members who want to sign up to Sky Mobile. Some of its features such as rolling unused data for up to three years will certainly resonate with its households.”
“We feel that for now, rival mobile network providers will not be overly concerned by this latest move. Sky is targeting its existing customer base and is taking a phased approach to rolling out its mobile service.”
“We expect Sky to offer more features, offer devices as a bundle and most likely greater synergies with its TV services. We also expect it to make its mobile offer more attractive to non-Sky TV subscribers and that is when we believe that Sky Mobile will be a force to be reckoned with.”