UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is looking to get in on the telecoms action by launching its own mobile network in the coming months.
The company announced its intentions to launch the network, called Mobile by Sainsbury’s, today. While Sainsbury’s will be billing you for the services, it’s Vodafone’s network and technology that will be underpinning the service thanks to the two companies new MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) agreement.
“Our customers trust us to provide top quality products and service at fair prices, and Mobile by Sainsbury’s feels like a natural extension of our brand as well as a great way to reward our customers,” Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s Group Development director, said. “We’re extremely pleased to be working with Vodafone and look forward to developing a range of mobile products and services that will take the stress out of purchasing decisions in a familiar environment, offering what’s right for them whatever their needs may be” Luke added.
The company said the service was being launched to ease the “stressful experience” of deciding between new mobile deals and tariffs. However, a spokesman said we’d have to wait a little bit longer for specific deal and pricing info.
While the competitiveness of the the services on offer are impossible to judge right now, one thing that Sainsburys can offer over some other mobile networks is earning Nectar card reward points while you use your phone.
The push comes as Sainsbury’s looks to ways to diversify and grow its core retail business. In the past year the company has also launched eBooks by Sainsbury’s, MP3 downloads and a video on demand service.
The service will go up against offerings from other large supermarket retailers in the UK, such as Tesco, which uses O2’s network as its backbone and Asda, which also uses Vodafone’s network. Sainsbury’s didn’t say when exactly it would launch the service, but expect it to go live “this summer”.
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