Sainsbury’s to launch own mobile phone network

Possibly with Orange and T-Mobile

On-line mobile industry publication Mobile Magazine has learnt that the supermarket Sainsbury’s could be partnering with the mobile phone network umbrella company Everything Everywhere, to launch their own network in the UK.

The news will have Sainsbury’s compete with Tesco, who is already a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with O2 – in the Tesco Mobile venture.

Mobile magazine has noted that Sainsbury’s is close to sealing an MVNO deal following discussions with a number of operators, with Everything Everywhere being tipped as the likeliest contender as Vodafone already has an MVNO deal with Asda.

The title stated that one source said the deal was imminent, adding: ‘Sainsbury’s has been trying to get an MVNO off the ground for sometime and has now got the green light to go ahead.’

Tesco Mobile launched in 2003 and has opened 194 Tesco Phone Shops within its supermarkets to date, building a customer base of around 2.6 million.

Sainsbury has 557 supermarkets where this would be the second attempt to launch an MVNO, as in 2000 the supermarket launched a prepaid MVNO solution, which it eventually sold to O2.