The Co-op launches own-brand prepay SIM card


Product available in almost 4,000 Co-op Food stores, with the company claiming it will be sold in more outlets than any other supermarket brand SIM card

The Co-operative Group has launched its first own-brand prepay SIM card, available in more than 3,800 Co-op Food stores across the country from this month.

It is being launched in partnership with The Phone Co-op, which provides the service on the EE network using its MVNA partner Transatel. The company said it will be sold in more outlets than any other supermarket brand SIM card.

Calls to Co-operative mobiles cost 4p a minute, with an 8p per minute charge for calls to local and national numbers and other mobile numbers. Texts to other Co-operative mobiles cost 2p per message with a 4p per message cost to other mobiles. An MMS costs 25p per message.

Data costs 5p per megabyte, while there is a cost of 4p per minute for calls to customer service (500) and to access voicemail (555).

International rates are also included, starting at 2p per minute for calls to Ireland, Canada and Hungary, 3p per minute to Australia, China, New Zealand and Spain, and 4p per minute to France and Germany. There is a minimum charge of 1p. Texts cost 8p per message.

Over the next month, consumers will begin to see the new SIM card on sale in their local Co-operative Food store for 99p. They can also be ordered online at and by phone, free of charge, by calling 01608 434343.

The Phone Co-op founder and CEO Vivian Woodell said: “Up to now, consumers have been forced to accept that if you want to get very good national rates, you’ll have to pay a lot for an international call, and vice versa, or that you’ll be charged an arm and a leg for calling 0800 or 0845 numbers. Some providers have low ‘headline rates’ but then charge for a whole minute when you’ve just spoken for a few seconds.

“With The Co-operative Mobile that won’t happen, and it’s the combination of all these features that makes us so different. We’re proving it’s possible to have all these benefits in just one SIM card.”

The Co-operative Group chief executive for retail Steve Murrells added: “It is a major milestone for The Co-operative Group to be entering the telecoms sector with its own branded products. It’s a genuine own-brand co-operative product, fair and simple, with no strings attached.”