BT is radically overhauling its major mobile distribution contract, introducing quarterly handset e-auctions and letting the logistics element separately, Mobile understands.
The overhaul has been criticised by some industry sources, who warned the e-auctions would force prices down to an unsustainable level and create stock supply and management problems.
The multimillion-pound handset, accessories and logistics deal, due to expire this autumn, is currently being retendered. The three-year contract, held by 20:20 Mobile, involved the supply of around 175,000 BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung handsets each year and pre- and post sales logistics services.
Bidders for the new contract, which has been split into a handset and accessories element and a logistics element, are said to include BrightPoint, Brightstar, Ingram Micro, Micro-P and 20:20 Mobile. Incumbent 20:20 Mobile is tipped to win the logistics element of the contract.
One source said: ‘People are questioning the value in [the e-auctions]. It raises all sorts of issues on holding stock and allows BT to horse trade on prices, which could bring them to an unacceptable level.’
A BT spokeswoman said: ‘BT cannot comment on the specifics of this tender. However, as part of any IT tender, BT seeks to identify ideas from potential suppliers that will generate improvements to performance and cost reductions, and these are evaluated as part of our processes.’
Editor: Carol Millett