Vodafone launches MVNO with Sainsbury’s

handshakeVodafone has launched an MVNO in partnership with UK retailer Sainsbury’s. The 50/50 joint venture, which will operate under the brand ‘Mobile by Sainsbury’s’ will launch later this summer, led my a management team of existing Vodafone and Sainsbury’s executives.

Vodafone’s new partner is one of the largest retailers in the UK, with more than 1,100 supermarkets. In 1997 the firm became the first UK supermarket to launch a personal finance offering, through another JV with Lloyd’s Bank. In May this year it was announced that Sainsbury would buy Lloyds out of that venture.

The firm has also expanded into online retail, energy provision and digital entertainment. It processes 23 million customer transactions each week and was one of the founding partners of the UK’s largest loyalty programme, Nectar.

Sainsbury’s rival Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, launched an MVNO with O2 in 2003. Virgin Mobile, the world’s first MVNO, launched in the UK in 1999, and operates on the EE network. Earlier this year Virgin’s parent Virgin Media was acquired by Liberty Global.

Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s group development director said: “Our customers trust us to provide top quality products and service at fair prices, and Mobile by Sainsbury’s feels like a natural extension of our brand as well as a great way to reward our customers.

“We’re extremely pleased to be working with Vodafone and look forward to developing a range of mobile products and services that will take the stress out of purchasing decisions in a familiar environment, offering what’s right for them whatever their needs may be.”


  • MVNOs North America

One comment

  1. Avatar Matthew Tapson 03/07/2013 @ 9:15 am

    Just wondering whether you have any information about this “MVNO”, in so far as I have read that Sainsbury’s is only performing the marketing and Vodafone is doing everything else?? It sounds like a reseller rather than an MVNO.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.