Sainsbury’s to launch mobile phone service this summer

Mobile by SainsburysSupermarket chain Sainsbury’s has had enough of Tesco’s stealing all the mobile phone customers, and has announced it will launch a competing mobile phone service later this year. It’s all set to be called Mobile by Sainsbury’s, and it will be an MVNO service, which means it’ll operate on an existing network: in this case, it’s Vodafone.

Like Tesco Mobile, the supermarket has tied it in with its own rewards points system, so every time a Sainsbury’s phone is topped up with credit, points will be added to the subscribers Nectar card. According to a report in the Telegraph, Sainsbury’s will be making its network as simple as possible, so expect basic, no-nonsense tariffs.

It’s unlikely Sainsbury’s will be pushing the latest and most expensive smartphones, and it won’t be offering the Apple iPhone. Apparently it’s aiming at, “people who are not worried about having the latest smartphone with all the gizmos and gimmicks.” This apparently translates into the 45 to 54 year old age group, which fits in neatly with Sainsbury’s average customer age of 51.

MVNO’s often need a “hook” to make them standout, and we’ve seen everything from those which make charity donations, to those aimed at reducing overseas call charges. Sainsbury’s approach sounds a lot like, um, Tesco’s; so it’ll be interesting to see how it does.

There has been no official launch date provided, other than this summer, and no tariffs, call charges or data allowances announced either. Expect more news on Mobile by Sainsbury’s over the coming months.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars