Sky Mobile 5G Coverage

Sky Mobile’s 5G network currently has coverage in at least 200 towns and cities at the time of writing, though coverage isn’t yet comprehensive in these places.

Sky launched its 5G service on January 16th, 2020, making it the third MVNO to do so (after BT Mobile and VOXI). It uses O2’s infrastructure, so its coverage matches O2’s – meaning as O2’s 5G coverage increases, so too will Sky’s.

Below you’ll find full details of Sky Mobile’s 5G network, including a list of the key places that its 5G is available, and how it compares to other 5G networks.

 Sky Mobile 5G Summary

Sky Mobile 5G summary chart

Sky 5G coverage

At least 200 UK towns & cities

Coverage checker

Check Sky coverage

Network speeds (average download speeds)

5G – 100.6Mbps (Opensignal tests of O2)

4G – 18.2Mbps (Opensignal tests of O2)

Sky 4G and 3G coverage

99% population coverage

5G phones

5G phones on Sky

5G home broadband

N/A

5G SIM only

5G SIM only on Sky

How does Sky's 5G coverage compare to others?

We keep track of which networks offer 5G coverage across 120 major UK towns and cities, so you can see at a glance how they compare in key locations.

Sky Mobile has the same number of 5G locations as O2 below:

  • O2 has launched 5G in 81 of the 120 locations below. 
  • Three has launched 5G in 105 of the 120 locations below. 
  • EE has launched 5G in 107 of the 120 locations below. 
  • Vodafone has launched 5G in 66 of the 120 locations below. 

As noted above, coverage in most places isn’t comprehensive – in fact, it’s often quite patchy, and it can also differ inside and out. A tick on the chart below just means a network reports some amount of coverage in one of these towns or cities, so it’s worth using Sky’s official coverage checker to be sure the 5G coverage is in the bits you need.

Town/City

EE

+BT +CMLink

Vodafone

+ASDA +VOXI +Virgin +Lebara

Three

+ iD Mobile +SMARTY

O2

+Sky +Tesco +Giffgaff +Lyca

Aberdeen

Bath

Birmingham

Blackburn

Blackpool

Bolton

Bournemouth

Bradford

Brighton

Bristol

Bromley

Cambridge

Canterbury

Cardiff

Carlisle

Central London

Chelmsford

Chester

Cleveland

Colchester

Coventry

Crewe

Croydon

Darlington

Dartford

Derby

Doncaster

Dorchester

Dudley

Dumfries and Galloway

Dundee

Durham

East London

Edinburgh

Enfield

Exeter

Falkirk and Stirling

Galashiels

Glasgow

Gloucester

Guildford

Halifax

Harrogate

Harrow

Hemel Hempstead

Hereford

Huddersfield

Hull

Ilford

Inverness

Ipswich

Kilmarnock

Kingston upon Thames

Kirkcaldy

Kirkwall

Lancaster

Leeds

Leicester

Lerwick

Lincoln

Liverpool

Llandrindod Wells

Llandudno

Luton

Manchester

Milton Keynes

Motherwell

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newport

North London

North West London

Northampton

Northern Ireland

Norwich

Nottingham

Oldham

Outer Hebrides

Oxford

Paisley

Perth

Peterborough

Plymouth

Portsmouth

Preston

Reading

Redhill

Rochester

Romford

Salisbury

Sheffield

Shrewsbury

Slough

South East London

South West London

Southall

Southampton

Southend-on-Sea

St Albans

Stevenage

Stockport

Stoke-on-Trent

Sunderland

Sutton

Swansea

Swindon

Taunton

Telford

Tonbridge

Torquay

Truro

Twickenham

Wakefield

Walsall

Warrington

Watford

West London

Wigan

Wolverhampton

Worcester

York

Latest locations to get Sky Mobile 5G

The most recent places to get Sky Mobile 5G (via O2) as of July 2022 include Colchester, Croydon, Romford, Southall, Stevenage, and Twickenham.

Sky Mobile coverage checker

Sky Mobile has an online coverage checker that will give you a detailed look at 5G coverage across the UK, as well as highlighting 4G, 3G and 2G coverage.

5G coverage is currently very limited, even in many of the towns and cities that have 5G at all, so it’s definitely worth checking your coverage before buying a 5G plan or 5G phone.

Check Sky 5G Coverage

4G coverage

Sky Mobile will continue to offer 4G (as well as 3G and 2G) coverage, so until 5G coverage is comprehensive, this remains important, as Sky will revert to these network technologies in places where 5G isn’t yet available.

Through O2, Sky Mobile has around 99% 4G coverage, which is comparable with rivals as you can see in the table below. It also has a similar amount of 3G and 2G coverage.

5G networks 4G population coverage (2022)

EE

(+BT +CMLink)

>99%

Check Coverage

Three

(+ iD Mobile +SMARTY)

>99%

Check Coverage

Vodafone

(+VOXI +Virgin Mobile +Asda + Lebara)

>99%

Check Coverage

O2

(+Sky +Tesco +Giffgaff +Lyca)

>99%

Check Coverage

5G roaming abroad

You can’t currently roam abroad at 5G speeds on Sky Mobile, but it’s not alone there, as  very few networks allow 5G roaming at the time of writing. However, on Sky Mobile you can roam in over 55 destinations at a cost of £2 per day, using 4G or 3G.

5G Network Speeds

O2’s average 5G download speed

O2’s median 5G download speed

O2’s max 5G download speed

100.6/115.7Mbps (Opensignal/Point Topic)

169/103/155Mbps (RootMetrics/Point Topic/Ookla)

302.1Mbps (RootMetrics)

We don’t have much data on Sky Mobile’s speeds specifically, but we do have some on O2’s, and they might well be similar, since the same infrastructure and spectrum is used.

Our main data there comes from a Point Topic study from September 2020. This states that O2’s average 5G download speed is 115.7Mbps, while its median 5G download speed is 103Mbps, and its maximum 5G download speed is 247Mbps.

We also have a significant amount of data from RootMetrics. The results in data from the second half of 2020 show a maximum download speed from O2 of 302.1Mbps, while the highest median speed recorded in a more recent H2 2021 report was 169.2Mbps.

RootMetrics also found during the first half of 2021 that O2’s fastest ‘everyday 5G’ median download speed was 179.3Mbps. This speed was recorded using a mix of pure 5G, and switching between 5G and 4G for the same data activity, to paint a more ‘everyday’, real world picture.

More recently, Opensignal tests published in April 2022 recorded an average 5G download speed of 100.6Mbps for O2.More recently, Opensignal tests published in April 2022 recorded an average 5G download speed of 100.6Mbps for O2.

Speedtest/Ookla meanwhile in the first half of 2021 recorded O2’s median 5G download speed at 155Mbps, so there’s not total agreement there.

Latency

Latency refers to how long a mobile network takes to respond to a request before it starts transferring data. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms) and a high latency can make even an otherwise fast network feel sluggish.

While Sky Mobile hasn’t detailed its 5G latency yet, we know that on 4G latency tends to be in the region of 30-50ms, and that eventually 5G could offer latency as low as 1ms. Right now though it’s likely to lie somewhere in the middle. Indeed, according to 2021 data from Ookla, O2’s median 5G latency is likely 31ms.

Sky Mobile’s 5G frequency allocation

Frequency

Network type

3.6GHz (3600MHz)

5G

3.4GHz (3400MHz)

5G

2.3GHz (2300MHz)

4G

2.1GHz (2100MHz)

3G and 4G

1.8GHz (1800MHz)

2G and 4G

900MHz

2G and 3G

800MHz

4G

700MHz

4G and 5G

Sky Mobile uses the same spectrum as O2, which means it’s relying on the 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz bands for 5G at the time of writing. Those bands are high frequency, which typically means there’s more capacity available, helping with things like reliability and large numbers of simultaneous connections.

With the huge numbers of connected devices around and ever-growing data demands, that’s important, especially for 5G.

The lower frequency bands listed in the chart above are mostly used for 4G, 3G, and 2G. These have different strengths, as they’re longer range and better at passing through obstacles.

Spectrum in the 700MHz band might be used for either 5G or 4G, but at the time of writing we’re not sure what Sky (through O2) will use it for. This spectrum was acquired at the second 5G spectrum auction, and while it’s not generally considered ‘5G spectrum’ as it’s too low frequency, it has been identified as a candidate for strengthening 5G networks.

As for how much 5G spectrum O2 (and by extension Sky) has, they currently have access to 40MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum and 40MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum (so 80MHz in total), which is identical to what EE has but marginally less than Vodafone’s holdings of 90MHz and a lot less than Three’s total of 140MHz.

But while some networks have more spectrum than O2, the network has at least arranged to trade some spectrum with Vodafone, allowing it to obtain a contiguous block for all 80MHz – something which can help improve the speed and latency of 5G services.

Those totals don’t include the 700MHz spectrum, since as explained that’s not conventionally thought of as 5G spectrum, but if you factor that in then Sky Mobile has 100MHz, EE has 120MHz, Three has 160MHz, and Vodafone still has 90MHz, as it doesn’t have access to any spectrum in the 700MHz band.

It’s possible that these totals will change over time, as there may yet be future 5G spectrum auctions.

Networks that have launched 5G in the UK

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