Carphone’s 99p handset upgrades


Carphone Warehouse MVNO Talkmobile has introduced a new £7.50 SIM-only contract as Carphone looks to increase its share of the SIM-only market.

It is also offering customers handset upgrades at 99p on top of the £7.50 value deal, although customers are committed to the (£8.49) contract for 24 months when they take a handset.

The LG Cookie, LG KF360, Nokia 6303, Samsung S3500, and Sony Ericsson W302 and W580 are all available at a 99p premium at launch of the new contract range.

Talkmobile has introduced rolling SIM-only contracts at £7.50, £10 and £12.50.

The £7.50 ‘SIMple’ tariff allows customers 100 minutes talktime and 100 text messages, or 50 minutes and 300 texts.

The £10 deal allows either 200 minutes and 200 texts, or 100 minutes and 600 texts. The £12.50 contract allows 300 minutes and 300 texts, or 150 minutes and unlimited texts.

Talkmobile is also offering free voicemail and 30p daily unlimited internet access on each tariff.

Also, Talkmbile is making the LG Viewty, Samsung Tocco Lite and the Sony Ericsson W910 and W980 available on £15 two-year contracts.

Talkmobile director Paul Layte said: “Customer insight, as well as data from [market researcher] GfK tells us there are around 1.2 million SIM-only sales per year, or around 100,000 per month. Carphone takes a seven per cent share of the SIM-only market, and so under-indexes in relative terms.

“Our feeback is customers tend to shop online for SIM-only, and in network stores. We want Carphone [stores] to take a greater share, and to offer customers quality, great value and an assisted sale around the offer.

“SIM-only represents a kind of holding pattern for customers, looking for good value in the interim, between handset upgrades. But the SIM-only market cannot exist indefinitely. In these times, it is a great way for customers to save money in the shorter term.

“With these 99p upgrades, we are offering customers a way to get a great new handset at a good price, with a quality service that affords the kinds of extras usually available at a higher pricepoint.”

Talkmobile runs off the Vodafone network, and supercedes Carphone’s Fresh and Mobile World MVNOs on T-Mobile. It offers prepay, SIM-only and full contract terms. Its contract offerings are available through Carphone’s direct channels only.

Fresh and Mobile World customers will continue to be served by their original MVNO brands, but Carphone has ceased marketing them to push its Vodafone-backed Talkmobile service.