Supermarket chain Asda is taking on BT with the launch of its own pre-paid phone cards, which it claims will undercut BT prices by up to 60 per cent.
An Asda insider says the cards will offer savings on BT domestic rates, though the chain has yet to announce details of the deal.
The move is part of Asda’s policy of launching high-profile discount campaigns to promote itself as a value supermarket chain.
In the past, it has campaigned against the price-fixing Net Book Agreement, and it tried to break Resale Price Maintenance for over-the-counter medicines.
Recently, the supermarket chain has entered the home entertainment market with Asda-branded greatest hits CDs under the “Hot Hits” banner.
The cards, branded as Asda Price Phonecards, are being produced by Telecom UK, which is part of the Infotel Group.
The cards will be tested in 13 Asda hypermarket stores before being introduced to all the chain’s 214 outlets.
The phone card market is worth 110m and is likely to grow substantially over the next 18 months. Asda insiders expect the supermarket to make profits from the offer.