uSwitch.com mobile expert Rob Kerr said the move could “force” mobile operators to make their 4G offerings more affordable
Tesco Mobile is offering free 4G from today (January 30), becoming the first MVNO to do so.
The deal applies to new and existing customers on contract and SIM-only contracts, meaning it has removed the £2.50 premium which previously made 4G more expensive than 3G.
Tesco Mobile also said it will soon offer 4G on prepay, and will add the Motorola Moto X and Sony Z1 compact to its range of 4G handsets.
The cheapest Tesco Mobile 4G SIM-only tariff will be priced at £7.50 per month and includes 250 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB of data.
The MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) uses O2’s network to provide 4G services. It currently covers around 25 per cent of the population and aims to cover 98 per cent by the end of 2015.
uSwitch.com mobile expert Rob Kerr said: “Being an entry-level offer, the data allowance with the £7.50 monthly contract isn’t hugely generous. Anyone who takes advantage of premium-free 4G will have to keep an eye on how quickly they’re racing towards their limit.
“At the moment Three is the only other network set to offer 4G without a premium – but Tesco has pipped it to the post and is also the first MVNO to give the mobile giants a run for their money. And with Tesco’s brand power and the same coverage as O2, it could force the hand of the bigger networks to continue making 4G more affordable across the board.”