6/11/2009 1:59:00 PM
Tesco sets sights on Carphone Warehouse with mobile broadband
Tesco is gunning for a big slice of the 200,000 per month dongle market with new laptop deals.
The retailer will sell Orange and 3 dongles bundled with a choice of around 30 ‘free’ laptops.
The supermarket has stepped up its ambitions under CEO Lance Batchelor, who aims to overtake Argos and challenge Carphone Warehouse on prepay. He is now looking to build Tesco’s share in mobile broadband through the supermarket’s 42 dedicated ‘phone shops’.
Plans are underway to extend the range of laptop models and tap into Tesco’s electrical range if sales prove successful, with the retailer aiming to make claims of the biggest range of laptops and mobile broadband.
Tesco will sell mobile broadband as a bundle where users can create their own bespoke ‘build your own’ option on the website or in store.
Deals include a free Dell Studio XPS 16 on a 24 month contract on 3 for £29.36 per month, and a Compaq CQ60-214EM for £34.26 per month on either Orange or 3.
There are also plans to strike deals beyond Orange and 3, and with other networks in due course. 3 currently holds around 40% of the dongle market with one million UK customers, followed by T-Mobile and Vodafone with nearly one quarter each, Orange has around 13% and O2 around 4%.
Batchelor (pictured) said Tesco expects mobile broadband to ‘really take off in 2009’, as it gears up in its plans to be the UK’s largest telecoms player.
One senior director at a rival said: ‘Tesco are a bit late. Mobile broadband “really took off” last year. They are playing catch up.’
The retailer will go head to head with Carphone, which launched free laptop and mobile broadband packages in September 2007.
Tesco plans to open 100 dedicated ‘phone shops’ by March 2010, and to have them in all of the 210 Tesco Extra supermarkets in around two to three years’ time.