Sainsbury’s in mobile deal with Vodafone

SAINSBURY’S has become the latest firm to enter the increasingly-crowded mobile market, launching a tie-up with Vodafone that will go live later this summer.

The supermarket chain announced the joint venture, Mobile by Sainsbury’s, yesterday, promising to “reward customer loyalty [and] offer great quality value-for-money mobile products together with attractive offers”. In a clear indication that it is targeting its current customers, Sainsbury’s also said that its deals will include its Nectar points reward scheme.

The company is likely to offer a budget, no-frills, range of tariffs in a similar way to Tesco, which entered the mobile market 10 years ago and now has a 3m-strong customer base.

“Together with Vodafone, we’ll be able to develop mobile products and services that represent great value for Sainsbury’s customers,” Justin King, the supermarket giant’s chief executive, said.

Rather than a traditional wholesale network deal, in which an operator pays a network to use its airwaves, Mobile by Sainsbury’s is being set up as a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies. Sainsbury’s said the partnership would take advantage of “Vodafone’s expertise, technology and network”.