back to article Watch out Tesco Mobile: Vodafone, Sainsbury's want to eat your lunch

Sainsbury's, the “Premium Economy of supermarkets”, has launched a branded mobile virtual network operator service with Vodafone, offering the usual cross-branding and shelf space – and, of course, Nectar points. The service will launch in a month or two, so we don't have critical factors like pricing or a detailed breakdown …


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  1. dogged

    Hold on a second...

    O2 own half of Tesco Mobile?

    I thought Tesco were an MVNO piggybacking t-Mobile?

    1. dogged

      Re: Hold on a second...

      Downvotes from gits aside, does this mean Tesco use O2's network?

      If so, that would actually make them an option in rural areas.

      1. Captain Queeg

        Re: Hold on a second...

        Yes, Tesco use O2 and for GSM very good it is.

        I'm on my way though as the data offer (O2 provided again) is dismal beyond belief.

  2. Simon Rockman

    Interesting for Help at Hand

    The O2 service which is sold through Sainsbury's Pharmacies : Help at Hand might struggle to sell against native competition in Sansburys.

  3. AbortRetryFail

    "in much of the UK there are now only two networks of masts"

    And yet we *still* don't have cross-network roaming in the UK. As a geek, it annoys me that the reason for this isn't technical, but regulatory / business reasons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "in much of the UK there are now only two networks of masts"

      Except "cross network roaming" is one of the differentiating factors between the "EE" networks and the "Cornerstone" networks.

      Oh, and O2/VF don't exactly rent a network from CTIL, as much as install their own equipment on a CTIL-built tower.

      1. AbortRetryFail

        Re: "in much of the UK there are now only two networks of masts"

        And how long has that taken to come about? I think the first phone I had that was capable of cross-network roaming was in the late 90's.

        So perhaps very latterly my statement has been weakened by EE but it still stands.

  4. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge


    actually provide a damn good service at a very competitive price. Better than their standalone partner and far better for the non business user than Orange for example

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tescos

      But nowhere near as good as Ovivomobile

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tescos

      But it is Tesco. Do you really want to hand even more information about yourself to them than they already get from your ClubCard?

      As someone who only uses Tesco for shopping as a last resort, I tried to get one their sim-only deals a while ago. Because I didn't have a ClubCard it became like watching paint dry, painful. In the end I gave up.

      I'll also pass on the Sainsbury's deal as well. I really don't want all these stores to find out more about me than they already know. I know that my Luddism does cost me a few ££££ but frankly, I think it is worth it.

      Anon because you never know who is listening in.

      1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

        Re: Tescos

        I don't understand - are you worried they'll use voice recognition software while listening in on your calls? Will they parse your SMSs? Data-mine your internet history?

        Or maybe just... dun, dun, DAAAAH! .... throw a couple of loyalty points your way?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Tescos

          I'm with the OP here.

          Did you see the article about the MOTO Phone that send whole rafts of personal data back to Moto?

          I wouldn't put it past ANY supermarket to hide an app on your phone that collectes what they call 'essential' customer data.

          Then there is the GPS and Targetted ads when you are in the store.

          Beep. "Did you know that Tesco Baked Beans are on special offer in Aisle 23?"

          Beep. "You bought xxx brand condoms last time you shopped here. Why not try the Tesco 'De-Luxe' brand this time for greater sensitivity."

          etc etc

          BB naturally.

      2. gerryg
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Tescos

        <= in remembrance of the commune

        yeah, because I buy all those tonnes of fertiliser from the gardening section to support my plans to overthrow this fascist regime and I wouldn't want anyone knowing that

  5. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    Does Jamie Oliver still do adverts for Sainsbury's?

    If he does, will this mean that when you phone up the Sainsbury's Mobile pay as you go Top-Up line you'll be greeted with...

    "allo me old mockney sparrahw , big up for calling the Sainsbury's top up line! Spend a monkey on top ups this month and we'll give you a pukka helping of web access for free and a couple of scores of free texts!...."

  6. Cliff

    The Premium Economy of Supermarkets

    I like that line. I can see Waitrose sitting comfortably in Business whilst Fortnums, etc spread their backsides in First, comfortable in the knowledge Asda aren't going to start snoring and farting in their airspace.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: The Premium Economy of Supermarkets

      Premium Economy.

      Meaning more expensive than Tesco or Asda or Morrisons, but not as classy as Waitrose.

      I think Sainsbury's appeals to people who don't want to be seen in Tesco. Mind you they do have Orange label milk.

      1. Cliff

        Re: The Premium Economy of Supermarkets

        As they say, Sainsbury's is there to keep the riff raff out of Waitrose.

    2. dogged

      Re: The Premium Economy of Supermarkets


      Where's Lidl then, in the baggage hold?

  7. Lloyd


    I can't comment on what the network's like outside of London but inside you make as well use smoke signals to shift data, Vodafone just crap out constantly, your phone says GPRS but you screen just hangs....

    and hangs.....

    and hangs....

    Whilst I despise the life out of Tesco at least they use O2 who seem to have a network that actually allows data backwards and forwards (except when it falls over, obviously).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIngtone will be....

    " Do you ahve your Fucking Nectar card" everytime it rings or receives a message. Hell, there will even be screensaver asking for your Nectar card!

    I feel sorry for the workers in these stores, who will soon all need psychiatrist help in getting the words "Nectar points/card" out of their heads. They must be saying that in their sleep and to their children dropping off to school and also their partners, when making love.

    Seriously, there should be a law against these brainwashing techniques adopted by Sainsbury in having their staff repeating "Nectar" everytime a customer comes by.

    Repetitive strain (mental) injury claims should fly by now.

    1. DF118

      Re: RIngtone will be....

      That is some of the bleakest humour I've read round here in years.


    2. stu_ekins

      Re: RIngtone will be....

      >and also their partners, when making love.

      Yes I have, luv. Where do you want me to swipe it,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RIngtone will be....

        Between the butt cheeks, obviously

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: RIngtone will be....


      'Do you have a ClubCard?'

      (Other loyalty cards are available)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are all pants compared to Giffgaff (also on O2).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is amusing as Giffgaff is pants compared to Ovivo, (also on Vodafone)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tesco ain't that clever

    As a user of one of their credit cards I am regularly asked by them if I would like house insurance with them too. What ever clever things they do with all the data it doesn't include checking if I'm already have house insurance with them....

    I'm assuming data protection between different companies running all this shebang for Tesco stops them from being able to do reasonable cross product analysis.

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