Sky Go is a true breakthrough when it comes to pulling up anchor on your expensive TV subscription. Until now you needed to be in your home and, just as often, in a particular room to be able to access the content you pay so dearly for. Not anymore. Sky Go allows you to take your Sky TV subscription with you wherever you go by making it available through your smartphone or tablet. It’s a huge leap forward when it comes to making the most of your subscription, but it comes with one enormous caveat: streaming video will eat up your data allotment faster than you can say “What happened?”

The Issue

While Sky Go represents the first steps toward making your TV subscription mobile, it also represents a threat to the monthly data allotment on your mobile phone. Don’t believe it? Consider this: according to Sky themselves Sky Go will use approximately 110MB for every 10 minutes of streaming high quality video. At that rate watching Sky Go can completely drain your 1GB monthly allotment in just over 90 minutes. Sky Contact Number

Of course there is no law which states you must use the highest quality settings when using the Sky Go app. Here’s a comparison of data usage using the three available Sky Go video control settings:

  • Low quality setting – .3 GB per hour
  • High quality setting – . 5 GB per hour
  • High quality and Fast mobile Internet – .7 GB per hour

As you can see the low quality setting will consume less of your data transfer allotment per hour than the high quality setting. But if someone is using Sky Go consistently they can still drain a 1GB monthly transfer allotment in less than ½ a day using low quality settings.

Increasing Your Mobile Data Allotment

According to Sky if you stream content with the Sky Go app every day for an hour you’ll use 20GB a month at the highest quality settings. The implication then is clear: if you want to watch Sky Go on a regular basis (outside a free Wi-Fi hotspot) you’ll need to increase your monthly data transfer allotment. You might even need an unlimited plan.

Note: many “unlimited” plans knock back your connection speed once you hit a certain data transfer limit which can really put a crimp in your Sky Go viewing quality. Also, Sky Go allows for up to 4 devices streaming simultaneously, which means if more than one of these devices is covered by the same monthly mobile plan data consumption associated with that plan will be biblical.

So What’s a Dedicated Sky Go User to do?

The bottom line is that there are three ways to use your Sky Go app without undermining other aspects of your smartphone services. They are:

  • Wait to use Sky Go until you are in a free Wi-Fi hotspot, like at a coffee shop or a shopping centre. This way you’ll preserve your data transfer allotment for other things.
  • Buy into a data plan with a higher limit, or ideally, no limit. This is the simplest solution though it could cost you a pretty penny.
  • Restrain thyself. Not always the easiest thing to do but the thing that will save the most money in the long run.

A Note About Another Particularly Vexing Sky Go Limitation

Even if you have reconciled yourself to sacrificing large chunks of your monthly data allotment to Sky Go you may still try to watch your favourite TV show and get the following message: “Programme Unavailable Due To Rights Restrictions”. Huh? Here’s what’s going on:

  • While Sky Go may be ready to unchain your TV package and let you take it wherever you go, not every content provider is on board with this idea yet. As such as you move about the country you’re likely to enter areas where certain programmes have been blacked out for arcane legal reasons.
  • Beyond wandering into blackout areas you may find there are certain programs that won’t come through no matter where you are. Again, this is an issue between Sky and the rights holder of the programme who has decided, for whatever reason, that making the programme available to a mobile platform is not something they want to allow.

Conclusion

At some point in 2016 Sky will launch their own Mobile service which means you’ll be able to have all of your digital needs combined on a single bill. You can also be sure they’ll have data plans that are specifically tailored to accommodate the bandwidth chewing monster that Sky Go can be.