The Post Office has announced plans to launch a mobile phone network of its own, in a press release that inexplicably doesn’t include a pun about “first class service”.
The new network will be an MVNO – a mobile virtual network operator. In other words, the company won’t be building transmitters but will instead be piggybacking on the EE network, much like how Virgin Mobile also uses EE, and Tesco Mobile uses O2.
At the moment we don’t have any details on tariffs, or what phones will be available… or pretty much anything – other than that operations will begin in the Autumn, with the service being sold from 50 Post Office branches before a national roll out.
Apparently the rationale is that because the Post Office’s has a large network of over 11,500 branches, it will enable them to offer effective customer services – and it will augment the other services that branches tend to offer (insurance, travel money and so on).
And as older readers may know, this isn’t the first time that the Post Office has got involved in the phone network. Until 1981 the Post Office was also responsible for phones until that was spun off as British Telecom. So to some extent this is the Post Office going full circle.