Earlier this month, UK retailer Sainsbury's announced plans to launch a mobile carrier of its own. Technically, the company isn't actually launching its own carrier. In reality, it's launching a MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, that piggybacks on Vodafone's infrastructure. Still, the company promised us its own tariffs as well as a loyalty system that would tie in with the Nectar points system already in place in its grocery stores.
Though Sainsbury's offered nothing more specific than 'this summer' as a launch time frame, it seems the company is ready to go. Today, the very first Mobile by Sainsbury's plans were announced. Sainsbury's has three bundles, each of which come with an allotted number of minutes and specified data cap (unlimited texts are included in all three plans). Check them out below:
- £10 Bundle: 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data
- £15 Bundle: 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data
- £20 Bundle: 800 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data
As far as loyalty points are concerned, the company is offering double Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel to customers purchasing Mobile by Sainsbury’s bundles. The company says that a family of four on the £10 bundle stands to earn back £180 in Nectar points provided they link their mobile numbers to the household Nectar card and spend the UK weekly average on food and fuel each week.
"The average UK family is feeling the pinch, and this is an easy way to make your pound stretch further,” said Emma McLaughlin, Mobile by Sainsbury’s Marketing Director. "Sainsbury’s has demonstrated that a family of four can eat five meals for just £20, so the £180 worth of Nectar points would feed a family across 45 meals a year."
Customers that don't want to sign up for any of the above bundles will be able to get a basic price plan. This plan charges 8p per minute for calls, 4p per text and 50p per day for up to 25MB of data. It also offers double Nectar points on the value of top-ups.
No, Tesco piggy backs on the O2 network.
The more competition the better as it should result in lower prices for all especially when LTE/4G becomes more mainstream.