Sky Mobile launches, hoping to fix everything wrong with phone contracts

The company claims that the network is the UK's 'most flexible mobile service' and that it will lure people who are already with the company for TV and internet

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The Independent Tech

Sky has launched a new mobile network that it hopes can fix the problems with all the existing ones.

The new carrier, known as Sky Mobile, is intended to be the UK's "most flexible mobile service". It's looking to do so by including new features, perhaps the biggest of which is letting people roll over their unused data so that tehy can use it when they want.

The other headline features of the network – which the company is calling a smart network for smart devices – include tariffs that let people only pay for the data they use and letting people change how much data is in their plan each month.

The network also has extra features for those people who are already Sky TV customers. As well as giving those customers unlimited calls and texts for free, they'll also be able to sync their Sky+ recordings to their phone – something that isn't available to customers on other networks.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's UK and Ireland CEO, said that the network was intended as a way of bringing the same disruption it brought to broadband and TV to phone. It did that in part by interviewing 30,000 people and finding out what their main irritations were, he said, and then looking to design the network to get aorund them.

The main features of the network boil down to four different headings, according to Sky: "Roll", "Mix", "Save" and "Sync".

Roll means that anyone using the network wil be able to roll over ther unused data into a "piggybank". That will allow people to re-use any leftover megabytes in following months, since that data will be available for up to three years.

Mix means that people wil be able to choose the right plan for them, and then change that every month. Though customers will commit to 12-month contracts, they'll be able to change the price of that from month-to-month.

The tariffs come with three data plans – offering 1GB for £10, 3GB for £15 and 5GB for £20. Those are relatively limited compared to the maximum allowance of some other networks – and the company doesn't offer an unlimited option – but Sky says that most people tend to use just 1GB of data per month and so billions are being spent by customers on data that they don't actually need.

Save means that Sky customers don't have to pay for calls or texts on top of that data. People who don't already pay for Sky TV can just pay £10 for unlimited calls or texts, or 10p for each minute or message.

And Sync refers to the feature that lets people download their recordings onto their phone, from their Sky box.

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