Sky Mobile plays the long game with low-key pre-launch

Sky, mobile, o2

Sky Mobile will launch with a promise that customers can keep unused data for up to three years as it looks to differentiate itself in the UK’s crowded market.

The broadband and pay-TV provider gave an insight into its offering that will not be launched until early next year.

To date around 46,000 have registered their interest in signing up for the MVNO service, which will run on O2’s network.

The 12-month contracts offer 1GB of data for £10 per month, 3GB for £15 per month and 5GB for £20 per month.

Sky TV customers do not have to pay for UK calls or texts with any Sky Mobile data plan.

Non-Sky TV customers can add on unlimited calls and texts for £10 per month, or choose to pay for calls and texts on a “pay as you use” basis.

Thanks to a feature called Mix, subscribers will be able to change the amount of data, calls and texts on their plan every month.

Sky said it had canvassed 30,000 people to come up with its plans.

It said UK consumers use on average less than half of the mobile data they buy every month, wasting an estimated £2 billion each year.

Handsets from Apple and Samsung will be available “later in 2017”, Sky said.

Devices from other providers to be confirmed nearer the time, it added.

Stephen van Rooyen, UK and Ireland Chief Executive at Sky, 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.

“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.

”CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said he was “somewhat underwhelmed” with what Sky is proposing.

“We feel that Sky has missed a trick by not placing greater focus on its biggest asset, content,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

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