Catalogue store retailer, Argos, could soon join the fray in the UK’s SIM only market if it goes through with plans to set itself up as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), later in the year.
This would put it in the same basket as existing MVNOs such as Virgin Mobile and Giff Gaff, both of which offer their services by piggybacking on the existing network infrastructures of larger providers.
Argos is apparently considering the move because it has seen a dip in the number of handsets that it is selling, as its rivals take advantage of the fact that they can also make money and secure long term custom from consumers by offering SIM only contracts, according to Mobile Today.
Argos has begun trialling its own contract offers and is reported to be preparing an official launch for later this month, with more than 200 of its high street outlets being prepped to support the release.
If this proves to be successful, then Argos could initiate a wider rollout in the coming months, putting it in a good position to steal some sales away from retail competitors, including Phones4U and the Carphone Warehouse.
It is expected that the new MVNO formed by the company will go by the name of Argos Mobile and as well as offering SIM only deals, it will be providing a range of subsidised smartphones on fixed contracts.
Further details about the launch remain murky, but analyst, Neil Mawston, said that Argos Mobile could earn itself several hundred thousand subscribers by 2015, if pricing and marketing work in its favour.
Of course, the UK’s MVNO market is already booming, with plenty of different providers catering to the needs of niche audiences, that are not necessarily satisfied by the contracts of mainstream networks.
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