If Three’s owner Hutchison Whampoa successfully buys O2, the pair could wield even greater power in the UK than we thought. Less than a week after Sky announced plans for an O2-powered mobile network, Dixons Carphone is doing the same — but this time it’s struck a deal with Three. According to the FT, the merged retailers are hoping to stand out with tariffs that allow customers to easily switch their minutes and data mid-contract. The idea being that if you have unlimited texts, but find that you’re only using half of your allowance each month, you won’t have to wait two years before downsizing your contract.
But that’s not all. To give it some firepower against the major networks, Dixons and Carphone Warehouse will bolster their contracts with bundled connectivity for smart home appliances. We’re still awaiting details on how this will work, but the broader picture is clear: Dixons Carphone wants to avoid the same fate as Phones4U, and it’s hoping a pseudo-network of its own will ease its reliance on the major carriers. EE recently signed a new multi-year deal with the company, but with so many of the major players teaming up or launching new networks, Dixons Carphone is clearly erring on the safe side.