Sainsbury’s today becomes the first UK supermarket to launch a mobile phone service. The service, called Sainsbury’s One is the only mobile phone service in the country to guarantee customers the best deal using a unique system which checks calls against every standard tariff through the UK’s four mobile phone networks and charges the lowest price available.

Sainsbury’s Marketing Director, Sara Weller said “This is the biggest shake up the UK mobile phone market has ever seen. With Sainsbury’s One consumers need never worry about paying too much for their mobile phone bill no matter what new tariffs are introduced or how much their call pattern changes.

“In Sainsbury’s One customers have the reassurance of a name they know and trust, ensuring they receive the best value and a quality service. This is fantastic news for the ever growing number of mobile phone users and is an exciting additional benefit for our Reward Card holders.”

Customers will receive a monthly bill listing the calls they have made. Each month the bill will also show an analysis of the customer calls comparing the standard tariffs from each of the UK’s four mobile phone networks. Customers will be charged whichever is the best rate.

The amount of money customers could save varies depending on their call pattern during the month. For example a heavy mobile phone user who goes on a long holiday could save over 70% on their monthly bill or a low level user who uses their phone more than they had planned could save around 40% on their monthly bill.

An OFTEL report published earlier this year estimated that over 50% of people use their mobile phone more or less than they had planned. Buying mobile phones has until now been a confusing process with over 25 different mobile phone tariffs currently on offer through the four UK networks, all with different call and line rental charges.

Sainsbury’s One offers simplicity ensuring that customers get the best deal available for the calls they make, irrespective of call usage, and will take into account any new tariffs introduced to the market.*

The UK’s mobile phone market has a total turnover of £2.8 billion with over 23 million people in the UK now owning a mobile phone.

From today customers who wish to register for the service can call the ‘Sainsbury’s One’ Call Centre on 0800 015 80 80 or pick up a leaflet in store. The service is only available for Reward Card holders.
Notes to editors:
This service will be operated in partnership with Mosaic Group Inc. and BT Cellnet. Mosaic, the world’s largest below the line, independent marketing services group, will provide marketing and billing services through its subsidiary e-Force and its associate company, Intelecom Systems, Inc. including a major instore marketing and direct mail campaign. Sainsbury’s has chosen BT Cellnet, the UK’s leading mobile Internet network to provide air-time for the new Sainsbury’sOne service.

How the system works

The system calculates the price of individual telephone calls against the widely used and widely published standard tariffs (currently over 25 different tariffs) from each of the UK’s four mobile phone networks, BT Cellnet, One2One, Vodafone and Orange and then calculates a total cost for these calls each period for each individual tariff.

The customer will receive a monthly invoice identifying the lowest charge for each of the four networks. The customer will pay the lowest of the four totals featured on the invoice.

* Does not include promotional offers.

Sainsbury’sOne will use BT Cellnet’s network to support its service. BT Cellnet covers 99% of the UK.

Statistics on the UK mobile phone market

Taken from OFTEL’s ‘Consumers’ use of mobile telephony’, June 2000 and OFTEL customer research conducted by IPSOS-RSL, April 2000.

  • Mobile phone ownership continues to rise and has almost doubled in the last 18 months.

  • 1 in 20 people asked had been put off buying a mobile phone at all because of difficulties in working out the best deal

  • Over 50% said they used their mobile phone less or more frequently than they had envisaged

  • Average monthly mobile spend is £23

  • The UK has approx. 23 million mobile phone users

  • 1 in 10 say cost is a barrier to them getting a mobile phone

  • 1 in 7 put off changing network or package because of difficulties in comparing the services and prices offered by different suppliers.