New mobile network iD, which uses Three’s infrastructure, will be launched by Carphone Warehouse today. The MVNO is advertising itself as the cheapest 4G network in the UK.
While iD has not yet released full details of its 4G price plans, they are expected to be very affordable, with introductory offers starting from just £7.50 per month for 250MB of 4G data. This low cost tariff includes 150 voice minutes, 5,000 texts and a Nokia Lumia 635 at no upfront cost.
As well as standard two year plans, iD will also offer a range of 12 months contracts for customers who want increased flexibility and are getting fed up with a one-size-fits-all approach. As an example a 12 month ‘go to’ plan – a type of price plan with a generous 4G data allowance – would provide 300 voice minutes, 5,000 texts, 1GB 4G data, and a Samsung A3 handset for just £19.50 per month.
iD will also be offering customers sim-only 30 day rolling contracts, which will start from around £7.50 per month. Data allowances on these low commitment price plans will vary from 500MB to unlimited. Data-only plans will be available starting from £5 per month.
iD aims to make its plans ‘shockproof’, with monthly spend capped at a fixed amount, with a £5 monthly buffer that customers can view and amend via the website, to prevent unpleasant surprises when the phone bill arrives.
According to Graham Stapleton, UK CEO at Carphone Warehouse, “The plans available at launch are just the tip of the iceberg regarding what our new network can offer. We’ve already had a huge amount of customer interest since the official announcement last month. We are listening to our customers’ thoughts and needs and will be using this insight to help develop and evolve iD over the coming months.”
One of the many benefits of piggy backing on the Three 4G network is that iD will be able to use Three’s roaming arrangements. This will allow the network to offer customers no roaming charges in an impressive 22 countries including the US and Australia as well as 20 European countries. ‘Takeaway’ plans that include international roaming are expected to start from around £25.50 per month.
Carphone Warehouse, which is owned by Dixons Carphone, announced its intention to launch a 4G network built around its customers’ needs in April. The aim of the network, which will be competing with the likes of EE, Vodafone, and O2, is to provide “the best value 4G available on the UK market” alongside increased contract flexibility to address customer frustration with current price plans, and greater access to free roaming data.
Stapleton says “We’ve been listening to our millions of customers’ network requirements and desires for years. In doing so we have identified some common challenges. People want greater flexibility from their plans and are fed up with the ‘one size fits all’ approach. In fact, a recent study by Which? found that overspend on mobile phone charges in the UK amounts to £5.42billion each year – showing just how many people aren’t on the right plan for them. We are also a generation obsessed with the mobile internet and accessing data and services on the move – things people are either paying too much for or just aren’t getting. Addressing these challenges forms the basis of the first wave of plans from iD.”