The Co-operative Group has accelerated its drive into mobile with its first own-brand pay as you go (PAYG) Sim card as part of its MVNO partnership with the Phone Co-op.
The Co-operative Mobile MVNO, which was revealed exclusively by Mobile in February this year, will make its PAYG Sim card available in more than 3,800 Co-operative Food stores across the country from this month.
The Co-operative Mobile pledges to offer low-cost national and international rates, transparent pricing, with no rounding up to the nearest minute and extensive UK coverage on EE.
National calls cost 8p a minute with calls to other Co-operative numbers costing just 4p a minute. Texts cost 4p with texts to other Co-operative Mobile users only 2p. Data usage will be charged at 5p per MB.
The Co-operative Mobile said the Sim will be sold in more outlets than any other supermarket branded Sim card.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of retail at The Co-operative Group, said: ‘It is a major milestone for The Co-operative Group to be entering the telecoms sector with its own branded products. We believe that by working with The Phone Co-op we are able to offer one of the most competitive and straightforward mobile pay as you go Sim card packages in the market. It’s a genuine own-brand co-operative product, fair and simple, with no strings attached.’
Vivian Woodell, founder and CEO of The Phone Co-op, added: ‘Up to now, consumers have been forced to accept that if you want to get very good national rates, you’ll have to pay a lot for an international call, and vice versa, or that you’ll be charged an arm and a leg for calling 0800 or 0845 numbers. Some providers have low ‘headline rates’ but then charge for a whole minute when you’ve just spoken for a few seconds.
‘With The Co-operative Mobile that won’t happen, and it’s the combination of all these features that makes us so different. We’re proving it’s possible to have all these benefits in just one SIM card. The Phone Co-op is owned by customers, so there are no outside shareholders to pay. That means we can give people the value, and the service, they deserve.’
Consumers can buy the new Sim card in their local Co-operative Food store for 99p or order them online and by phone, free of charge, from The Phone Co-op.