Thursday, 2 July 2009

ASDA targets major online retailers – UK

ASDA Mobile, the MVNO owned by the supermarket chain ASDA, is attempting to take on general online shops such as Amazon and Play with the launch of its new online store which features a far more extensive range of handsets.

The store’s inventory has jumped from 6 SIM-free handsets up to a comparatively massive 72, ranging from the cut-price GBP 22 (USD 36) Motorola W156 through to the mid-range Nokia 5800 for GBP 240 (USD 389) and the high-end Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte which comes in at GBP 825 (USD 1,339). All handsets will be sold SIM-free.

The MVNO, which launched in May 2007 and uses the Vodafone UK network, will also offer its SIM cards for sale on the online store. The SIM cards will cost GBP 0.47 (USD 0.76) and will give customers calls for GBP 0.08 (USD 0.13) and text messages for GBP 0.04 (USD 0.06). Web usage will be charged at GBP 0.20 (USD 0.32) per megabyte.

Commenting on the new online store Craig Thirkell, Buying Manager for ASDA Mobile, said: “A lot of customers said there were never enough SIM-free handsets on sale. The launch of this new website solves that. We’ll be competing against the likes of Amazon, Play.com and eXpansys so the competition is fierce. However our pricing is very competitive and some of the handsets we’re selling are up to £40 cheaper than our rivals, so it bodes well for how successful this website could be.”