9/23/2008 1:00:00 PM
Sainsbury’s set for MVNO launch
Sainsbury’s is poised to be join its bigger rivals Asda and Tesco with its own mobile network brand.
Former electricals chief at the supermarket, Rob Cooke, is known to be working on setting up a Sainsbury’s MVNO business and is in discussions with several networks, with plans set earlier in the year to have a service ready for launch before Christmas.
Orange appears to be the most likely candidate as O2 is in a joint venture with Tesco, while Vodafone has a wholesale deal with Asda (not that it would necessarily preclude them from a deal with Sainsbury’s).
Mark Overton, Orange’s vice president of new business and wholesale strategy, said: ‘It’s about getting to where shoppers shop. We are targeting those parts of the market we don’t have yet.’
Tesco’s own-brand mobile business has reached two million customers, Mobile reported earlier this month, while Asda has enjoyed a high-profile start with cut price deals, offering 8p per minute on calls and 4p for text messages. It also launched handsets for £5.