Post Office to become mobile phone operator

Post Office attempts to grow its services portfolio in the telecoms sector by launching an MVNO venture

The Post Office has announced it is to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), as part of its plans to grow a presence in the telecoms sector. 

The company will launch its own mobile phone service running on the EE network this autumn.

It will sit alongside the Post Office’s existing home phone and broadband services, which boast around half a million customers, and will be piloted through 50 Post Office branches, before a network-wide roll-out later this year.

Citing figures that suggest over a third of consumers might consider the Post Office as their mobile provider, the organisation is on a major drive to back up its commercial retail operations with a wider variety of financial and home services businesses, and polish its existing offerings, which include banking and insurance.

Last year it received more than £640m from the government to assist in redeveloping both its bricks and mortar presence and services proposition.

Post Office chief commercial officer Martin George said: “Our research tells us that people are seeking greater value, with one in three of those surveyed saying they intended to move away from one of the mainstream providers for their next service.

“This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the Post Office brand. Launching our own mobile service is a milestone in the Post Office’s journey of change and a testament to our continuing efforts to offer more essential services for our customers.”

George said the Post Office had the “perfect platform” to become a more credible provider of mobile services in a market, which the Post Office believes is dominated by complex offers.

The Post Office has not yet revealed details of the tariffs, services or handsets it will provide.

EE already provides the underlying network infrastructure for a number of MVNO customers, including handset retailer Phones 4u, supermarket chain ASDA, and even BT, itself a distant relative of the Post Office.

An EE spokesperson said: “We’re delighted that the Post Office has selected EE to power its mobile services, reinforcing our position as the UK’s biggest, fastest and most reliable network.”

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