Dixons Carphone will launch mobile network next year as Three seeks more MVNO partners
Dixons Carphone has entered into a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with Three and will launch a range of “innovative and highly personalised connectivity options” from the Spring.
This is likely to include services supporting the Internet of Things (IoT), powering connected devices like white goods and cameras among other electronics. Dixons, with merged with Carphone Warehouse last year, believes the IoT is an opportunity worth up to £5bn to the new company.
“The announcement of our new network supports our strategic vision to continue to offer customers the widest range of connections, for when they are at home or on-the-go,” said Graham Stapleton, CEO of Carphone Warehouse UK & Ireland.
Three MVNO push
Dixons Carphone is believed to have held talks with all four major operators, but instead opted for Three, which already powers the retailer’s mobile broadband service.
The selection of Three as an MVNO partner is curious given that the operator has not sold contracts through Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U since late last year and has not been as proactive as other networks in securing MVNO deals. EE for example has more than 25 such arrangements with the likes of Virgin Mobile and The People’s Operator.
However, Three is looking for more partners after being strengthened by the 800MHz spectrum it acquired in the Ofcom 4G auction last year and could benefit from a merger with O2 if parent company Hutchison Whampoa concludes a takeover of the Telefonica-owned operator. O2 itself has just agreed a major MVNO deal with Sky.
Dixons Carphone strategy
“This is our biggest new customer to date and a great opportunity to be the MVNO partner of a large scale brand with real mobile expertise and insight,” said Lynda Burton, director of wholesale at Three Our network capability, recognised as best for smartphone customer satisfaction and reliability, is a great platform and we look forward to supporting the UK’s biggest mobile specialist’s MVNO success.”
Dixons Carphone has also secured a long-term partnership with EE having already entered into similar arrangements with Vodafone and O2 late last year, going some way to avoiding the fate suffered by Phones4U which went into liquidation.
“Creating deeper relationships with our network partners reinforces the ongoing importance of providing customers with independent advice and deals that are personalised to their needs,” added Stapleton. “With the pace of change happening across the industry, we are thrilled that all the major networks value Dixons Carphone’s contribution to their business in the UK. This enables us to continue our ambition to offer customers ever-increasing connectivity options.”
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