With all the exciting news about Google’s latest batch of Nexus devices (Nexus 6/9/Android TV) and Android 5.0 Lollipop finally being officially named, other snippets of news can often slip by unnoticed. News such as the announcement that the UK carrier EE has agreed to acquire Life Mobile, Phones 4U’s MVNO network for around £5 million($7,97 million).
Life Mobile has around 85,000 subscribers and handily piggy-backs on to the EE network which should mean that the acquisition should run smoothly. The network has been running for around 20 months, and just weeks before going into administration Phones 4U had stated that the network was “enjoying a great first year, with customer growth ahead of expectations”. Life Mobile is a budget network, offering low-cost 12 month tariffs offering 100 minutes/100 texts/100MB data from just £6($9.50) monthly. While Life Mobile’s subscribers are by no means big spenders, there are still 85,000 of them that won’t be going to a competitor such as Talk Talk. Or possibly even a new player such as the retailer Argos who are rumoured to want to acquire a mobile network for themselves and had reportedly been sniffing around Phones 4U’s carcass. Hopefully, the move over to join the ranks of EE will be smooth sailing for customers and workers alike, although it hasn’t been confirmed whether EE will continue to operate the brand in future.
In case you missed it, Phones 4U were a 3rd party mobile phone retailer who once sold phones and contracts for all four major UK carriers O2/Vodafone/EE/Three, but one by one the networks left the retailer. Finally, it was left with selling phones for just Vodafone and EE and when Vodafone decided not to renew its contract with Phones 4U, the retailer promptly went into administration. It was a shock announcement, particularly with the upcoming launch of two of the mobile industry’s big-hitters, namely the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. The retailer made the announcement on September 14th and it’s shops never opened their doors again. As for the workers, well over 2,000 of them have been transferred over to both Vodafone and EE who have bought stores and concessions from Phones 4U, although more than 1,700 workers were made redundant. EE have declined to comment on the acquisition of Life Mobile. Did you work for Phones 4u? If so, let us know your thoughts on the acquisition at our Google Plus page.