10/8/2008 12:10:00 PM
Tesco eyes own-brand mobile broadband
Tesco is contemplating a move into own-brand mobile broadbrand as it launches a Sim-only contract offering under its own label.
Postpay contracts branded as Tesco Mobile will become available in the coming months.
Tesco expects laptop dongles to be a logical purchase for its customer profile. It already sells a range of broadband and telecom services in its Tesco Telecoms stores.
The supermarket has also improved its prepay tariff offering, increasing the pressure on Virgin Mobile to be the UK’s biggest MVNO.
Tesco is focusing on price and simplicity as it looks to make a splash in the postpay market (see box) with three tariffs: £15, £20 and £25 per month, which will allow customers to use a mixture of calls and texts worth £60, £80 and £100 respectively, depending on the tariff.
Tesco hit 1,000 contracts per month from the established networks for the first time in May this year, fuelled largely by a rapid opening programme of its Telecoms stores in its Extra superstores. It is aiming for 70 by the end of the year.
The own-brand contract offering will initially only be sold in Tesco Telecoms stores and online, but Tesco said it plans to start selling the contracts in all its stores eventually.
Lance Batchelor, Tesco Mobile’s new CEO, told Mobile: ‘The contracts are a big expansion for Tesco Mobile - we’re going into the other half of the market.
’Yes, we are looking at mobile broadband along with many other moves. We haven’t made a commitment to it yet, but we certainly have the infrastructure.’
Tesco Mobile’s high street presence is currently on the increase; Batchelor claimed that ‘firm expansion’ plans are being put into action and says that on average two Tesco Telecoms stores are currently opening each week.
Batchelor added: ‘The ultimate goal is to be the biggest MVNO in the UK. We are second at the moment behind Virgin Mobile, and we are growing while they are shrinking. We’ve gone from a standing start two years ago to having one and a half million customers.’