Sainsbury’s takes on Tesco with mobile launch

Sainsbury’s and Vodafone have announced the launch of a new virtual mobile network Mobile by Sainsbury’s in a move to directly rival Tesco and O2’s Tesco Mobile offering.  


Mobile by Sainsbury’s was announced this morning (1 July) as a 50/50 joint venture and is scheduled to launch this summer offering mobile phone services to consumers running on Vodafone’s network – this is known as an MVNO.  

The new MVNO’s management team will be drawn from both the retailer and mobile operator’s existing personnel with marketing highlighted as a key area of focus. No further details about the new management team have officially been released at present. 

Sainsbury’s claims the new offering will bring “value-for-money mobile products” with a focus on “simplicity” and reducing the “stressful experience” of deciding which tariff and devices to opt for. 

Justin King, Sainsbury’s CEO says: “Together with Vodafone, we’ll be able to develop mobile products and services that represent great value for Sainsbury’s customers.”

Meanwhile, Guy Laurence, Vodafone CEO, says: “Both businesses will capitalise on their respective strengths in this venture to offer an exciting product range to customers.”

The pairing brings both Sainsbury’s and Vodafone into direct competition with both O2 and Tesco whose MVNO Tesco Mobile dates back almost a decade with an emphasis on offering basic, value-for-money mobile services.  

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