Is Tesco Mobile The Next Victim Of Supermarket’s Fire Sale?

Tesco store carpark shop logo © JuliusKielaitis Shutterstock

Reports suggest the Tesco Mobile MVNO is up for sale as retail giant streamlines

Tesco’s fire sale of its digital businesses could see it dispose of Tesco Mobile, its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) joint-venture with O2.

According to The Guardian, the company is under pressure to reduce its estimated £21.7 billion in debt and scale down its operations as its core retail business faces intense competition.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco store shop logo © JuliusKielaitis ShutterstockTesco has already sold its broadband and Blinkbox video streaming businesses to TalkTalk, which has been mooted as a potential buyer for the MVNO. TalkTalk is to move its MVNO from Vodafone to the O2 network and offers mobile services to its broadband, television and landline customers.

O2 has also been mentioned as a suitor, but it is in the process of being sold to Three in a £10.25 billion deal.

Tesco Mobile was launched in 2003 as a cheaper alternative to the major networks. In recent times it has offered 4G at no extra charge on its pay monthly and SIM only deals.

However Tesco now competes in an increasingly competitive and converged marketplace currently populated by EE, Vodafone, O2, Three, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. Sky is also set to join in next year when it launches its own MVNO using O2’s infrastructure.

Tesco declined to comment to TechWeekEurope on the reports.

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