Tesco Mobile has announced that pay-as-you-go customers will now avail of 4G speeds at no extra cost. The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) offers its mobile service using O2's spectrum.
It will move all pre-pay data plans to the new speeds from today. The supermarket’s pay-monthly users have had 4G speeds available to them for no extra charge for some time.
New customers can choose from a number of data bundle options offering 4G data from 500MB to 8GB; for those who do not want to sign up to a bundle, they can access 4G data for 10p per MB.
Tesco Mobile said that its new pay-as-you-go 4G deals will be available on a number of handsets such as the Motorola Moto G 4G and the Nokia Lumia 635, available for £139 and £119 respectively on a SIM-free offer.
'The world we live in is becoming ever more fast-paced and data hungry,' said Simon Groves, chief marketing officer for Tesco Mobile.
'No one likes being made to wait around, and we see no reason why our pay-as-you-go customers shouldn’t have access to the same speeds as pay monthly ones, which is why we now offer 4G to all our customers at prices that are accessible to everyone.'
Commenting on the news, Rob Kerr, mobile expert at uSwitch.com, said: 'Tesco's new free 4G pay-as-you-go offering now gives it the edge on the competition of the other MVNOs, Giffgaff and Virgin Mobile. Crucially for mobile users, it makes 4G well and truly affordable, even for those not on contracts.'
Tesco’s move should force the others into action, he said, as Virgin Mobile has been silent on the matter up to now.
He continued, 'Giffgaff now needs to stop its 4G trial and move to offer a full-blown 4G set-up, otherwise it will risk losing out - despite being big on PAYG and running from the same network as Tesco Mobile.'
No premium for 4G has to be the way forward, he added, even more so as the industry slowly approaches the two-year anniversary of its arrival in the UK.
'Bigger inroads of affordability need to be made,' he said.