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Sky Mobile swims against tide with handset swap scheme

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With the rest of the industry trying to move away from the subsidized handset model, Sky’s mobile offering has decided to go the other direction.

The new initiative, Swap, allows customers to upgrade devices prior to the end of the contract, should the user desire to do so. If the user is happy with the current device, Sky says it will reduce the bill until the end of the contract. It has even been quick to include the new Samsung Galaxy S8 into the scheme

“Our mission to shake up the mobile market continues,” said Stephen van Rooyen, UK and Ireland CEO. “Customers told us they want an affordable way to have the phone they want, when they want – so that’s exactly what we are doing. This means no more paying for expensive upgrade fees or long waits to get the latest models.

“Customers are already loving the flexibility and great value of Sky Mobile and we expect Swap to make this the most compelling offer in the market.”

While more traditional MNOs are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, this is reflected in comparatively modest profit margins, Sky’s late entry could help it out in the long-run. The MVNO agreement allows it to avoid the painful process of moving away from legacy equipment and business models, focusing on a more disruptive approach.

Numerous telcos have highlighted the desire to move away from the subsidized handset proposition, due to the declining profitability. How effective this strategy from a commercial perspective remains to be seen, however it does seem to be playing to the short-term desires of consumers who’s eyes widen at the slightest rumour of an upgraded device.


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