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Tesco To Offer iPhone With Unlimited Calls & Texts Package?

Tesco will need to strike hard and fast if it is to have any chance of capturing a sizable chunk of the UK iPhone market over the next few month.

The supermarket giant's flagship offer is an unlimited SIM Only tariff that costs £30 per month and give 1080 points (or £41.20 worth of benefits) per annum. Furthermore, it has a one-month commitment only and provides with £500 worth of credits every month.

This amount allows you to make 2500 minutes worth of calls or send 5000 texts or a mixture of both. Tesco Mobile unfortunately charges for Voicemail and to call the customer care.

O2's corresponding Simplicity tariff, which provides with 1200 minutes and 2400 texts, costs £29.38 and comes with a free bolt-on. A 24-month iPhone 3G/3GS contract with 500 texts (rather than 2400) costs £44.05 which means that the price of the phone by itself adds around £15 per month.

Based on the assumption that Tesco would likely offer more for the roughly the same price, one can therefore assume that they will be giving the phone away with an unlimited phone and data package (which they don't currently offer) for £45 (give or take a few pounds) for the iPhone 3GS 16GB.

The problem for Tesco will be to integrate a competitive data scheme for its users, something that is essential if it wants Tesco Mobile customers to adopt smartphones, thereby increasing its ARPU (average revenue per user).

Our Comments

Right now, Tesco is still using the old per MB consumption and only lists GPRS as the technology used to transmit data. This is simply not acceptable if it has to compete with O2 and Orange.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.