Tesco Mobile Limited
FormerlyTesco Mobile Communications Limited (June–August 2003)[1]
Company typePrivate
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded29 May 2003; 20 years ago (2003-05-29) in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England
HeadquartersWelwyn Garden City, England, UK
Area served
United Kingdom, Ireland, Slovakia, Czech Republic
Key people
Tom Denyard (CEO)[2]
Mark Bowden (CFO)
ProductsMobile telecommunications
Owner
  • Tesco Mobile Services (45%)
  • Tesco Mobile Communications (5%)
  • O2 UK (50%)[3]
Parent
Websitetescomobile.com Edit this at Wikidata

Tesco Mobile Limited is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. It is operated by British retailer Tesco, using the network O2 as its carrier except in Ireland, where the network operator is Three Ireland.

Overview

Tesco Mobile was established in May 2003[4] and launched pre-paid mobile services in Tesco stores and online by the end of the year.[5] In January 2014, the network in the United Kingdom started offering 4G service, for its pay monthly and SIM only customers at no extra cost, extending the service to pay as you go customers in July of that year.[6][7]

As of December 2017, the company was a 50:50 joint venture between Tesco (through its subsidiaries Tesco Mobile Communications Limited and Tesco Mobile Services Limited) and O2 UK.[8]

In 2023, Tesco Mobile was serving 5 million mobile customers and was the biggest virtual mobile network in the UK.[9]

Outside the United Kingdom

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Ireland

In December 2006, Tesco Ireland announced that it would enter into a joint venture with O2 Ireland to offer mobile telecommunications services.[10] The service, which was Ireland's second MVNO (the defunct Cellular 3 having been the first), used the O2 network but operates separately. It has been allocated the area code 089. As with Tesco's mobile service of the United Kingdom, it is branded Tesco Mobile.[10] The network commenced operation in 2007. Tesco Mobile had 375,000 customers in Ireland as of August 2017.

In March 2015, after it was announced that Three had purchased O2's Irish operations, it was announced that the O2 Ireland network would close and that the O2 website, shops and network would merge into Three Ireland. As a result, Tesco Mobile Ireland moved from the O2 network to the Three network. Since August 2018, Tesco Mobile customers can access Three masts, which means that they can now avail of 4G as well as increased 3G coverage.

Slovakia

In December 2009, Tesco Stores SR announced that it would enter into a joint venture with Telefónica Slovakia to offer mobile telecommunications services. The service, which is Slovakia's second MVNO (the naymobile having been the first), uses the O2 network but operates separately.

Czech Republic

In May 2013, Tesco Stores ČR a.s. announced that it would enter into a joint venture with Telefónica Czech Republic to offer mobile telecommunications services. The service uses the O2 network.

Discontinued operations

Tesco Mobile Hungary was a 50:50 joint venture, providing Tesco Mobile branded services in Hungary through Tesco stores and online, using Vodafone's technology and network. Services were ended in April 2016, and the service was taken over by Vodafone.[11]

References

  1. ^ "TESCO MOBILE LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 29 May 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  2. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-denyard-63b6839/[self-published source]
  3. ^ "DueDil". www.duedil.com.
  4. ^ "Tesco Mobile Limited". Duedil.com. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Tesco enters mobile market". TheGuardian.com. 4 June 2003.
  6. ^ Collins, Katie (30 January 2014). "Tesco Mobile introduces free 4G for new and existing customers (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  7. ^ "4G". Tesco Mobile. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Tesco Mobile Limited - Annual Report and Financial Statements". Companies House. 31 December 2017. p. 26. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  9. ^ "why-tesco-mobile". Tesco Mobile. 6 April 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  10. ^ a b "O2 signs 136,000 contract customers". Mobile Today. Noble House. Archived from the original on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2006.
  11. ^ "Vodafone Hungary to take over Tesco Mobile". Budapest Business Journal. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2020.