Sainsbury’s is going to shut down its mobile service come the start of next year.
The supermarket is an MVNO piggybacking on the Vodafone network, but apparently negotiations to take the service forward failed to reach any sort of agreement, so Sainsbury’s is closing it down instead.
The Drum reports that Vodafone and Sainsbury’s issued a joint statement to say: “We regret that Mobile by Sainsbury's – a joint venture between Sainsbury's and Vodafone UK – offering a mobile phone service to Sainsbury's customers is ending and the service will no longer be available from 15 January 2016.”
Sainsbury’s said its priority now is to ensure that mobile customers are inconvenienced as little as possible, and it has given three months’ notice to ensure that said customers have plenty of time to find a new network.
For the time being, pay monthly customers will continue to receive a normal service until January 15 next year, when the service will end. PAYG customers will be able to top-up until November 14, but after that, top-ups won’t be possible – although you’ll still be able to use any credit you have remaining until January 15.
So, it’s time to start looking for a new home for Sainsbury’s users, and if you want to keep your phone number, you’ll need to get in touch with the supermarket and obtain a PAC code to port the number to a new network. If you don’t do this before January 15, you’ll lose your number.
If you get good reception with Sainsbury’s, and want to keep that state of affairs, then the obvious choice is of course Vodafone (that’s the network you were using anyway).