Mobile phone outfits line up Xmas blitz

Mobile phone companies have unveiled their most aggressive marketing packages yet, as they prepare for the peak Christmas buying season.

One2One will try to woo new subscribers by offering a free two-day break for two in a choice of over 100 Forte Heritage or Posthouse hotels. This, its most generous Christmas promotion yet, is intended to ensure it holds its position as the fastest growing network, adding up to 45,000 subscribers each month.

Cellnet is offering cash. New subscribers retaining the service after six months will receive up to 100 to reward their loyalty.

Product launches will try to appeal to users unwilling to commit to a contract. Vodafone and Orange will both ape One2One’s 199 pay-as-you-go phone, which enables users to buy minutes of talktime, and avoid monthly charges or minimum-term contracts.

Orange will offer its JustTalk phone, costing 179.99. Vodafone will undercut both its rivals with a 99 pay-as-you-talk phone. It will offer the analogue service, which offers none of the data transfer or overseas use of the digital network, but lets Vodafone undercut on price.

“Marketing is the only way to differentiate between the services and it is getting more cut-throat,” says Perdita Patterson, deputy editor of What Mobile magazine. “The analogue network has been dying, but the Vodafone deal should revive marketing, aiming it at the occasional user who wants a cheap, basic service.”

Vodafone leads the market with 3 million subscribers, Cellnet has 2.8m, Orange 1.3m and One2One 755,000.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here