Sainsbury's has joined forces with Vodafone to launch a new mobile phone network that aims to compete with the O2-powered Tesco Mobile and Asda Mobile, which is also run by Vodafone. The joint venture, called Mobile by Sainsbury's, will be owned in equal parts by Vodafone and Sainsbury's and will launch later in the summer.
It comes after news earlier last months that phone shops will be deployed in more than 400 Sainsbury's stores across the country and will be backed up by an online website as well. An introductory offer of 2,500 Nectar points (roughly worth £25) will be offered to new customers signing for a contract.
Sainsbury's already sell SIM and smartphones instore so it makes them for them to offer an MVNO service. The supermarket has also confirmed that it will sell Apple's flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5 and, in order to make its mark, it will offer the Samsung Galaxy S4 (opens in new tab) on O2 with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB data for £32 per month.
It remains to be seen whether customers on "Mobile by Sainsbury's" will be able to use phones locked to Vodafone. It will also be interesting to check out whether other major retailers, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis/Waitrose emulate Sainsbury's.