Argos is planning to launch a contract phone offer and go toe to toe with Tesco Mobile and Asda Mobile. The retail giant will trial its service by offering online contract deals and phones in more than 200 stores across the UK starting in April. If all goes well, a second trial of SIM-only phones will also launch, reports Mobile Today.
The move comes as sales of pre-paid phones continue to tumble and Argos faces more competition from Tesco Mobile, Asda Mobile, Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. If all goes well and contract sales prove sufficient, Argos plans to enter talks with carriers to set up its own MVNO later this year.
Argos is reportedly already hiring account managers for ‘Argos Mobile’, as that’s apparently the working name for its MVNO. Former Vodafone UK manager Ben Murr is apparently playing a major role the effort.
Analysts believe Argos could pull it off, as it already has a sizable customer base and might make inroads in the entry level and mid range market. In all likelihood, Argos will try to focus on value driven contract deals. There is room for high end gear, but Argos will probably go for the penny pinching crowd.