Consumers can expect more competition in the Irish mobile market from 2023 when Sky, the television and broadband provider, plans on launching its new mobile service.
Sky has announced it will enter the Irish mobile market next year, in a move that will see it compete with the likes of Three, Vodafone, Eir and Virgin Mobile.
Vodafone Ireland provides over 99% 4G population coverage for its customers, which Sky customers will have access to upon its launch.
The news means Sky will be the latest so-called mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to offer a service to phone users here.
MVNOs piggyback off another provider's network to offer mobile services under their own brand name as opposed to building and rolling out their own network. Virgin Mobile, 48, Lyca Mobile and Tesco Mobile, which all use the Three network, are examples of MVNOs operating in Ireland at present.
The news from Sky comes ten years after it first launched triple play services in Ireland and also means that Sky now joins Vodafone, Eir and Virgin Media in offering Irish customers quad-play services, which is TV, broadband, home phone and mobile packages.
Commenting on the partnership announcement, Sky Ireland CEO, JD Buckley, said:
Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the continued growth of the Sky business in Ireland. As Ireland’s leading TV platform and fastest growing broadband provider, our primary focus is on serving our customers and enhancing our customer offering.
Sky has a proven ability to launch new services at scale and we are excited about launching Sky Mobile to customers here, next year.
Do we know anything else about dates and pricing?
In short, no. Sky’s initial announcement only mentioned a planned launch sometime in 2023, with no specific dates revealed at this moment in time.
It also hasn’t indicated what types of plans will be available, nor has it given any indication of pricing yet. It's also unknown whether Sky will allow users access to Vodafone's 5G network. At the moment, all MVNOs only offer 4G speeds.
How much customers can expect to pay will of course depend on the type of plan chosen, however it’s not yet known whether Sky will focus on bill pay, prepay, or SIM-only deals, or maybe all three!
It is however expected that prices will differ slightly from the UK, where it already offers mobile services.
Speaking about its partnership with Sky, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, Anne O’Leary had this to say:
The entry of Sky to the mobile market provides enhanced choice for mobile consumers across the country, and shows Vodafone’s continued commitment to providing competitive wholesale access to Ireland’s leading mobile network.
Good news for competition
Needless to say, Sky entering the mobile market here is to be welcomed as it will provide even more choice and competition to consumers at a time of rising prices.
Sky also has a good reputation for its customer service here, an added benefit for those who might be considering switching. ComReg's most recent report on customer service in the telecommunications sector shows that Sky had the lowest percentage of complaints when compared with Virgin Media, Vodafone, and Eir.
It's a shame potential customers will have to wait another ten months, at the very least, before being able to sign up, but details on products and pricing may well be announced before the end of the year, which you’ll be able to read about on this blog.
It'll be interesting to see what types of plans Sky eventually announces, especially in relation to SIM-only plans, which have exploded in popularity in recent years as demand for low-cost and high-data deals have become ever more popular among consumers.
Helpful information for mobile customers
If you're looking to save some money on your mobile phone bills this year, we have plenty of helpful articles and guides to aid your research.
Take a look at some of our latest content here for more:
- Going SIM-only? Check out our piece on five of the hottest SIM-only deals available right now.
- Read more about Virgin Media’s €5 a month plan here.
- If data is important to you, you can consult our definitive guide which explains how much you might need.
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Head over to our broadband comparison page to find the best deals available in your area. Simply enter your address or Eircode and filter your results to see the deals that best suit your needs.
What are your thoughts?
Are you excited about Sky branching into mobile? Are you already considering signing up? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with any questions you may have.