Lockdown Has Become a Mine for Unused Mobile Data

While the country is staying at home and relying on Wi-Fi connection all day every day, our mobile data allowances are not being used. According to Uswitch, this has resulted in 165 million gigabytes of unused data. Measuring it with Netflix binging, you’d need to dedicate 6,278 years to use all of the data!

While key workers’ data usage has increased by 4%, the rest of Britain’s mobile data usage patterns have gone down to 1.9GB a month. If you’re wondering what you can do with all of the unused data that you’ve paid for, read on to find out.

What Are the UK Networks Doing to Help You Save Unused Mobile Data During Lockdown?

Sky Mobile

Although data rollover has been one of Sky Mobile’s key features prior to lockdown, SkyMobile are rolling over the unused data to their customer’s piggybanks to use at a later date which can be kept for up to 3 years. Alternatively, customers can exchange the unused data for money off accessory or new device purchases, or use it towards Sky Store movie vouchers.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media has had a data rollover in place before the COVID-19 outbreak, however, this is different to Sky Mobile’s offer. Virgin Media customers can roll over the unused data to use it next month without any caps, but as soon as the next month ends, the data expires. The rolled over data will be used first, and after this time you’ll start using your regular allowance. This means that if your mobile data usage patterns have changed, we’d advise you to contact Virgin Media and discuss your options of changing your plan for the time being.


Vodafone has limited its data rollover feature and offers it on its Big Value bundle for Pay as You Go customers. But, there’s a catch. You’ll need to use the rolled over data within the next 30 days. To roll over the unused data, customers just need to top up their Big Value bundle within the 30 days. The best way to help you save a bit of money would be to get in touch with Vodafone and check for yourself what can be done.

Image by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash


Data rollover on EE is available for Flex plan or eligible PAYG pack customers. Any unused data from your previous month's pack or Flex plan will be carried over to a renewed one as long as you pay for the new pack or plan within 7 days. Additionally, any remaining data can only be qualified for a rollover if you purchase a new PAYG pack or Flex plan within 7 days again of its expiry date. The rolled over data should be used within the next 30 days, or it will be lost as EE is not allowing to stockpile unused data.

iD Mobile

iD Mobile has a similar offering to the above, but it covers a wider group of customers. The feature is available for new and existing customers on 12 or 24-month GoTo plans as well as SIM-only single month GoTo plans. The rolled over data will be used first in the following month, which doesn’t let you sit on endless amounts of data, but any data left from your monthly regular allowance can be rolled over to the next month.


O2 customers can roll over data which has been purchased as a bolt-on into their next month allowance. Unfortunately, for all other scenarios, it’s a use it or lose it situation.

Those who work for the NHS and have a pay monthly contract with O2 can get an extra 10GB a month for the next 3 months, but applications for this will close on the 22nd of May. All you need to do to apply is send an email from your NHS work email to nhs@o2.com with your name and phone number, and O2 will take care of the rest. The extra mobile data will appear as a bolt-on on your account without any changes to your tariff.


Three is the only black sheep and doesn’t have any options for their customers to carry over the unused data, so this means that unfortunately, any unused data allowance you pay for every month will be lost. If your contract ends soon, assess your mobile data usage and switch to either a new provider or to a cheaper plan with lower gigabytes.

Cover image by StockSnap on Pixabay


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