Carphone Warehouse says new iD network will address rivals’ ‘lack of flexibility’

Carphone Warehouse has today launched its own mobile phone network under the brand iD, a decision fuelled by the ‘lack of flexibility currently on offer by the other mobile networks,’ according to its marketing director Julian Diment.

Carphone warehouse ID logo

iD, which will be available from May and operate on the Three network, in the same way Tesco Mobile uses the O2 network, is aiming to tempt new customers through shorter term 12-month contracts and what it promises will be the ‘best value 4G tariff in the UK market.’

“Sometimes coming into the market a little later on and learning the lessons from customers across 800 stores can help you spot opportunities maybe others haven’t,” Diment told Marketing Week.

He said that Carphone Warehouse will likely launch a TV campaign to promote the new phone network brand, which was created in partnership with design consultancy Bow & Arrow, later in the year.

Citing a recent study by Which?, which found that overspend on mobile phone charges in the UK amounts to £5.42bn every year, Diment says that by launching a new brand Carphone Warehouse can establish itself as a ‘true value brand’ from day one unlike its competitors.

It will achieve this, he claims, by doing away with ‘standardised bills’ and instead pushing ‘controlled and capped plans, at the lowest prices in the market.’ iD will also offer free roaming for the highest number of countries, 22, of the UK’s mobile networks.

However, Diment said the proposition will not upset rival networks, which Carphone Warehouse, which is owned by Dixons Carphone, sells to consumers in its stores.

He insisted: “We see ourselves as complimentary. ID offers an alternative where existing networks don’t and we won’t sign people on inflexible long term deals. We aren’t looking to take customers away from them, there’s plenty of room for all of us.”

In September 2014, former high street rival Phones 4 U was put into administration following the decision by Vodafone and EE to not renew their contracts with the company.

Diment says Carphone Warehouse has learnt from the mistakes of rivals and is committed to high street retail.

He concluded: “This has been in development for 18 months so preceeds Phones 4 U. But look, we feel iD is solidifying our future on the high street.

We are committed to the high street and the beauty of this proposition is it will generate more footfall, and give customers locations down the road for network advice. iD is about supporting our primary high street offer.”

Back in January, parent company Dixons Carphone said it expected pre-tax profits of up to £375m for the year ending May 1; above its previous forecast of £354m. Boosted by the success of its Black Friday promotions, it posted a 7% increase in like-for-like sales for the nine weeks to January 3.

Carphone Warehouse is set to launch a new TV campaign this May, not connected to iD, which will refresh the brand to consumers and talk up the investment the business has made to improve its customer service.

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