Carphone Warehouse has announced plans to launch its own mobile phone carrier, with a stated M.O of low prices for 4G, flexible plans and freedom from punishing roaming charges.
Dubbed iD and based on Three’s network infrastructure, the UK’s latest mobile virtual network operator's (MVNO) offering is set to go live in May and will sell its wares at Carphone Warehouse, Currys and PC World stores and online.
At the core of its business plan are what iD claims will be “capped plans for the lowest price on the market”, as well as roaming plans that “cover more European countries than anyone else”.
iD’s other big ‘sell’ is 12-month 4G contracts for “those who want great value 4G, with the flexibility of a shorter term commitment”.
The first promo of this sort is on the Samsung A3, which iD will be hawking for £19.50 per month on a 12-month 4G plan. That gets you monthly allowances of 300 mins, 5000 texts and 1 GB data.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It’s quite a coup that iD piggybacks off Three’s network given that Carphone Warehouse hasn’t offered any deals from the network in years. Perhaps iD Mobiles was the olive branch.
“The promise of 12-month contracts is likely to be a major win with mobile users who crave flexibility – we know that because of the rising popularity of SIM-only deals."
Doku added: “The mobile market is seeing a big shift where consumers want to be in control, especially younger phone owners.
“But iD’s success all hinges on how keenly these shorter contracts are priced. We eagerly await more concrete details, in terms of cost and the full range of handsets that will be offered.”