Sainsbury's to launch mobile phone service with Vodafone
Sainsbury's will launch its first mobile phone service, Mobile by Sainsbury's, later this summer.
The supermarket giant has teamed up with Vodafone and will be using its mobile network spectrum to power its new non-grocery venture.
Sainsbury's will play the role of mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) and piggy-back off Vodafone's network.
Playing catch up
Sainsbury's will be following in the footsteps of O2-powered Tesco Mobile and Asda Mobile, which also runs off the Vodafone network.
But the move comes pretty late compared to its rivals.
Tesco Mobile has been around since 2003 and over ten years has amassed a strong customer base of three million users, as well as praise for its service. Most recently the brand was awarded the accolade of best telecom services provider at the Which? Awards 2013.
Asda Mobile has also been on the scene a while, launching its service in 2007. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 Asda Mobile was voted best pay-as-you-go mobile network by Which? readers.
What to expect
The full product range and details of the pricing for Mobile by Sainsbury's is being kept firmly under wraps and will be announced later on in the summer.
But a spokesperson told Lovemoney that many of the latest smartphones and basic handsets will be available to customers both online and in-store.
The service is most likely to rival Tesco Mobile so will have to match or beat what the company can offer on pay-as-you-go, SIM only and monthly contract deals.
At the moment you can get the Samsung Galaxy S4 on a 24-month contract with no upfront cost for £30 a month, which gets you 500 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500 MB of data with Tesco Mobile.
Elsewhere Tesco's cheapest iPhone 5 deal offers the handset for free if you pay £45 a month on a 24-month contract bagging you 3,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and 2GB of data.
No one knows for sure how Sainsbury's will battle Tesco and other networks on price but one thing we can count on is that Mobile by Sainsbury's will offer Nectar points to the people that join up.
But if you need to boost your points balance sooner there are other ways to rack up the points.
The American Express Nectar Credit Card for example can earn you up to four points for every £1 spent at Nectar sponsored retailers and two points for every £1 spent elsewhere. As a bonus you can get 10,000 Nectar points - worth at least £50 - when you spend £1,000 on the card within the first three months.
Alternatively Sainsbury's Bank has its own Nectar Credit Card where you can earn ten points for every £1 spent in Sainsbury's stores in the first three months on up to £1,000 each month. After the introductory period you can collect four points for every £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping. Spending elsewhere will earn you one Nectar point for every £5 you spend.
Are you looking forward to Mobile by Sainsbury's? What would you like to see on offer? Let us know in the Comment box below.
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