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What is data rollover and which networks offer it?

14th May 2020

Data Rollover

Table of Contents

What is data rollover?

Data rollover means having your unused data roll over from one month to the next. So, if for example you have a 4GB data allowance and only used 3GB one month, the next month the 1GB that you didn’t use would be added to your allowance, giving you 5GB to play with.

On networks that don’t have data rollover you instead lose that data, meaning you can end up paying for lots of data that you don’t use. So if your data use varies from month to month it can be very beneficial to be on a plan with data rollover.

It also lets you plan ahead – if you know you’ve got a heavy data use month coming up, you can use less the month before to ensure you have enough.

Read on below for a look at which networks offer data rollover as well as the specifics of it, such as how long you can keep your rolled over data for.

Which networks offer data rollover?

A number of networks offer data rollover and you’ll find them all below, along with information on the exact terms and availability of their data rollover offer.

UK Networks Data Rollover Policies

Network

Pay Monthly

Pay As You Go

Sky Mobile

Up to 3 years

-

iD Mobile

1 month

Virgin Mobile

1 month

SMARTY

Money back for unused data

-

FreedomPop

at additional cost

-

Vodafone

1 month

EE

1 month

O2

Three

Tesco Mobile

BT Mobile

Giffgaff

VOXI

Plusnet Mobile

Asda Mobile

Lycamobile

Ctrl Mobile

Lebara Mobile

Talkmobile

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Sky Mobile

Data rollover for up to 3 years

Sky Mobile lets you roll over all your unused data each month and it’s available to use for up to three years, so if you’re regularly using less than your allowance you can keep building up what you have available.

The data you roll over is stored in your ‘Sky Piggybank’ and to use it you have to manually roll it back into your allowance in 1GB chunks. This can be done through your Sky account at any time.

Sky Mobile’s data rollover is available on all plans, and you can have up to seven SIMs on a single account, all sharing the same Piggybank, so you can potentially pool your data with family or friends.

You can also cash in unused data for rewards, such as accessories and discounts, so if you’re never likely to use your rolled over data it still doesn’t go to waste.

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Virgin Mobile

Data rollover for 1 month

With Virgin Mobile you can roll over your unused data from one month to the next on all 4G Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans.

However, the data you roll over is only available the next month. It’s not stored for years like it is on Sky Mobile.

Virgin Mobile will automatically use your rolled over data before using your standard allowance each month.

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iD Mobile

Data rollover for 1 month

All of iD Mobile’s current Pay Monthly plans come with data rollover, which includes phone and SIM contracts.

It works the same way as Virgin Mobile’s, which is to say any unused data from one month is rolled over to the next and will be used before your normal allowance that month.

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FreedomPop

Data rollover at an additional cost

FreedomPop charges extra for data rollover. You have to pay £1.49 per month to be able to roll over up to 500MB of unused data each month, or £2.99 per month to roll over up to 1GB each month.

So it’s quite restrictive in terms of how much you can roll over and the added cost makes it less appealing than some networks. But it does at least let you continue to store your rolled over data for more than one month.

In fact, you can keep it rolled over until you cancel the data rollover service, though you can’t store more than 20GB of rolled over data in total on the cheaper plan, or more than 40GB on the pricier one.


O2

Data rollover only with Big Bundles

O2 lets you roll over your data from one month to the next if you purchase one of its Big Bundles on Pay As You Go, assuming you automatically renew your bundle the next month. However, you can’t roll over data on contracts.

O2 also caps the amount of data you can roll over from one month to the next, with the figure varying based on what Big Bundle you have, though the figure is your usual monthly allowance – so if you have a 5GB allowance then you can roll over up to 5GB, giving you up to 10GB in total the next month.

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Vodafone

Data rollover only on Pay As You Go

If you purchase one of Vodafone’s bundles on Pay As You Go, any unused allowances (including minutes and texts as well as data) will be rolled over into the next month’s bundle. However, it only rolls over once, so you have to use the rolled over data within the next 30 days.

You also don’t get the rolled over allowances if you renew your Big Value Bundle early, change the value of the bundle, or wait beyond 30 days to renew it.

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EE

Data rollover only on Pay As You Go

EE’s data rollover is also limited, in that it’s only available on Pay As You Go or with a Flex Plan. However, you can get it when purchasing any Pay As You Go pack that includes data (at the time of writing).

You can also get it with any Flex Plan, this essentially being a 30-day SIM Only plan.

Any unused data will be added to the next pack you buy – as long as you buy the next pack within seven days of the first one expiring.

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SMARTY Mobile

Get money back for unused data

Technically SMARTY Mobile doesn’t offer data rollover, but it offers a similar and arguably even more useful service, as it will buy back any data you don’t use each month on some plans (called data discount plans).

Specifically, it will give you a £1 discount off the following month’s price for every 1GB of unused data, and you don’t need to have a full gigabyte left over – it will pay you back for each individual megabyte. It pays you back at the same price the data costs you in the first place, so unless you specifically want to build up a pool of data this could be a great option.

However, at the time of writing data discounts are only available on plans with low data allowances, so this is only useful for light data users.

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Conclusion

For conventional data rollover, Sky Mobile is clearly the best choice as it doesn’t cost extra or have any real restrictions and it lets you store your data for up to three years.

If your concern is more about avoiding wasting money than actually having a pool of data to call on then Smarty Mobile could be an even better choice, as you essentially only pay for what you use.

Virgin Mobile and iD Mobile are honourable mentions, as they both offer data rollover on a range of plans, but only being able to store your rolled over data for one month makes them rather more restrictive.

All the other options are a lot worse for one reason or another, as you can see above, but can still make for a nice bonus if the network appeals in other ways.

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