SUPERMARKET giant The Co-operative Group is advancing into mobile with the launch of its first mobile pay-as-you-go Sim card, Mobile can exclusively reveal.
The move, in partnership with MVNO The Phone Co-op, sees the UK’s fifth largest food retailer target the cut price end of the mobile market, with plans to sell low priced Sim cards across nearly 2,800 stores.
The strategy lays down a challenge to rival supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which are also targeting the budget end of the mobile market.
The retailer said it will offer ‘highly competitive rates, transparent pricing and extensive UK coverage.’ Pricing has yet to be announced.
The service will be provided by The Phone Co-op. The independent MVNO, which offers cut price rates on EE's network, holds similar ethical views to the Co-operative group as the only co-operative telecommunications supplier in the UK. The deal will see the retailer’s customers offered the first co-operative pre-pay mobile package in the market.
Steve Murrells, chief executive retail at The Co-operative Group, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with The Phone Co-op to offer one of the most transparent and competitive packages, which will challenge the industry with a more equitable charging structure.
‘This exciting partnership with The Phone Co-op will utilise the strengths of both businesses to provide a mobile pay-as-you-go Sim card package that represents great value for Co-operative customers.’
Vivian Woodell, CEO of The Phone Co-op, said it was a ‘milestone deal’ for the MVNO, adding: ‘Telecoms products and pricing can be very confusing and this can undermine consumers’ trust. We want to tackle this head on. The Phone Co-op is owned by its customers and puts them first. Our high ethical standards are reflected in the way we operate.’