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Tesco Expanding UK Mobile Phone Business

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The UK's dominant grocery retailer, Tesco is to expand the number of its in store "phone shops" which promote its own brand MVNO products. The company is reported to be aiming to have 100 of its phone shops by the middle of next year, up from around 50 at the moment.

Tesco's MVNO, which runs over O2's GSM network already has a reported 13% market share in the UK's PrePay market. According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the company ended last year with a shade under 2 million subscribers, which represents around 10% of O2's total customer base in the UK.

Lance Batchelor, head of Tesco Telecoms, told The Times newspaper that he sees a market for a nononsense retailer to help shoppers choose handsets and networks. "Consumers are very often confused by offers put in front of them," he said. "Some of the tactics are reminiscent of the used-car industry, they are very aggressive."

He added that Tesco was neck and neck with Argos in the prepay market but some way behind Charles Dunstone's Carphone. It is starting to move into contract phones with a pay-monthly service.

On the web: The Times - Mobile World

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Tags: prepay  tesco  mvno  o2  tim  gsm  UK