UK mobile phone retailer Phones 4u is to launch as an MVNO over EE’s network in March.
The venture will be called LIFE Mobile and will offer “a wide range of great value tariffs and… data packages as standard.”
At launch the MVNO will only use EE’s 2G and 3G networks but will be able to access the operator’s 4G-LTE network “later in 2013”. EE, the UK market leader, is currently the country’s only 4G operator with rivals not due to launch until the Spring.
The operator describes itself as “the largest MVNO operator in the UK” – a status attained by the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK that created EE in 2010.
Since launching its new 4G brand last year EE has been relatively quiet on the MVNO front. However, ‘the People’s Operator’ – an MVNO that gives a quarter of its profits to charity – was launched on EE in November.
According to Wireless Intelligence, there are over 90 MVNOs in the UK.
Phones 4u will be hoping that its extensive retail presence will enable its MVNO offering to stand out from the crowd. The retailer has over 600 stores on the UK high street and a further 100 ‘store-in-stores’ in Currys/PC World as part of a commercial venture with Dixons Retail.