Here in the US, the carrier landscape has changed a lot over the past five years or so thanks to the introduction and rise of 4G LTE, as well as T-Mobile’s UNcarrier games changing the way many use their cellular service and what they expect out of it. Across the pond in the UK however, where many enjoy cheaper plans and contracts for the most part, things are changing in a big way. The recent acquisition of the nation’s largest network, EE, by British Telecom for a cool £12.5 Billion seems to be just the start, too. Three UK’s parent firm, CK Hutchison Holdings, is looking to purchase O2 from Telefonica for roughly £10 Billion, and now Tesco Mobile, known for its cheap offerings, could be looking to expand its presence.
As the Telegraph reports, Tesco could be looking at buying O2 out of their fifty-fifty joint venture, and then move over to Three’s network in a bid to further expand their presence in the market. Tesco is well-known as one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, and back when Tesco first launched their mobile offering, it was often looked upon as a cheaper alternative, and not one that was all that “cool” to sign up with. Now however, Tesco Mobile is thought of much like any other network in the UK, and with advertizing appealing to a younger audience and more in-store stores in big supermarkets up and down the country, Tesco Mobile has made a name for itself.
Such a move would see Tesco Mobile become an independent network of sorts, merely leasing a network from Three, rather than operating the business with O2. Should this end up going through, it’s possible customers might end up paying 1% more. Right now, Tesco have yet to comment on the speculation, but a move like this could be an important one for the supermarket brand, as it sees traditional revenue squeezed by lower-cost chains. An independent network and source of revenue like their own wireless network could presumably help put Tesco back in the minds of shoppers across the UK, and also help their bottom line, too.