Co-Op enters the mobile phone business – let's hope it is better at it than banking

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The Co-operative Group have announced that they’re getting into the mobile phone business. The company plans to offer PAYG SIM cards at 3800 Co-Op supermarkets around the country starting this month.

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The Co-Op hopes to be competitive on three fronts: pricing, coverage and – yes, this from the company that Paul Flowers used to be chairman of – honesty.

Calls will apparently cost 8p per minute – and only 4p/minute to other Co-Op users, with text messages at 4 pence (2p to other Co-Op users). Data will apparently be 5p per megabyte (perhaps better wait until you find a wifi connection then).

Perhaps most interesting in the new tariff is that they say they won’t be rounding the cost of calls up to the nearest minute – so whereas other networks would make you pay the price of a minute’s call for a ten second phone call, with the Co-Op it’ll only cost a couple of pence. Not bad if you’re cost-conscious.

The network itself is a virtual operator, working on the EE network – so wherever you can get EE coverage, you can get get Co-Op.

Whilst this probably isn’t big news for any data-hungry early adopters, it could prove useful if you need a SIM card for your mum, or if you’re a wannabe drug dealer in need of a ‘burner’ phone.

James O’Malley

2 comments

  • It’s interesting to see Co-op making this move. Small players struggle to compete with the competition, which is why Blackberry have their profit issues, its great that they’ve tried to enter this market but it will be interesting to see how many go for it

  • It's interesting to see Co-op making this move. Small players struggle to compete with the competition, which is why Blackberry have their profit issues, its great that they've tried to enter this market but it will be interesting to see how many go for it

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