Sky has decided to join BT and Virgin Media in offering its own mobile network service alongside TV, landline and broadband.

Sky Mobile will be available for general sign-up from January 2017 and offers a few features you might not find anywhere else.

That's why we've decided to give you a low down on the new network, what it costs and what you get for your money.

In addition to its TV, broadband and landline services, Sky now offers a 4G mobile network service too. Sky Mobile is for existing Sky subscribers and new, non-Sky customers. There are benefits to having Sky TV too, but it is not necessary.

At present, it offers SIM only 12-month contracts, but that is likely to change at some point in 2017. Sky told Pocket-lint that it also plans to offer phones, such as those by Samsung and Apple's iPhones, later next year.

It isn't likely to add many other price plans though, as the aim of Sky Mobile is to be as simple and transparent as possible.

Sky mobile has a simple structure. There are three data plans and two options for calls and texts. You pick one of the plans, then choose how you want to pay for your calls and texts.

  • 1GB of data: £10 per month
  • 3GB of data: £15 per month
  • 5GB of data: £20 per month
  • Pay as you use: 10p a minute or talk time, 10p a text
  • Unlimited calls and texts: £10 per month for non-Sky TV customers, free for Sky TV subscribers

For example, if you want 1GB of data a month and unlimited calls and texts, it'll cost you £20 per month if you don't also subscribe to Sky TV.

A Sky TV household can have up to five SIMs so a whole family can make use of free unlimited calls and texts on individual phones.

As an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) Sky leases mobile spectrum from O2, so anywhere there is an O2 4G signal you will be able to use 4G data on your Sky Mobile service too.

You can check 3G and 4G coverage for your area in the UK here: www.o2.co.uk/coveragechecker

With so many other network providers, you might wonder why you should consider Sky Mobile over a rival, especially if the prices are similar? Sky has included a few interesting additional incentives to make its service a little different.

Unlike most, if not all, other providers Sky Mobile allows you to roll over your data allowance to use at a later date. What's more, you have up to three years to use it.

At the end of every month, any leftover data is stored in a virtual piggy bank and you can cash in each 1GB you have acquired, which is then added to that month's allowance. All rolled over data is also cumulative, so you can pile it up for when you need it most.

Although Sky Mobile contracts are locked to 12-months, you have the option each month to change your plan. You can opt to either go up or down in data allowance and pay for than band from then on. Or you can switch from unlimited calls and texts to pay as you use and vice versa.

Sky+ customers with Sky Mobile can create playlists of their favourite content and stream or download them to their phones, over Wi-Fi or 4G. It also gives every Sky Mobile customer free Sky Go Extra (which usually costs £5 per month), and they can each use Sync on up to four devices.

The feature will also be coming for Sky Q customers later in 2017.

If you run out of data or know you will need more in a specific month, you will be able to buy 1GB of extra data. We're still waiting on pricing for add-ons.

You will be able to use your Sky Mobile SIM when travelling around the world. Prices are yet to be revealed, but will be the same as rivals in Europe especially - considering that EU pricing throughout member states is capped. From June 2017 all data and mobile roaming throughout EU countries will be the same cost as at home.

We're still waiting for pricing for roaming in places such as the US and Australia.

Sky Mobile will be officially available from January 2017, with some customers who pre-registered early possibly getting it before Christmas. You can pre-register for your Sky Mobile SIM, whether you are an existing Sky customer or not, at sky.com/getmobile.