Asda and EE have today announced a partnership for Asda Mobile, an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) running on the EE network (previously with Vodafone since 2007). This new deal builds on an existing partnership, which includes in-store Wi-Fi and provision of mobile services. Asda Mobile customers will have access to EE's network, taking advantage of wider coverage and faster connection speeds.
EE already provides white labelled in-store Wi-Fi across the supermarket's retail estate in the UK, offering public access in over 568 Asda stores. The service has attracted almost half a million sign-ups and was launched to make the shopping experience more convenient for those who spend a fair amount of time running up and down isles.
Mark Ibbotson, Retail Director at Asda, had the following to comment on the MVNO deal with EE:
"EE already provides excellent service to our customers and colleagues by providing free WiFi in store, and through our business to business contract. So this mobile partnership felt like the next logical step. Our decision to take our MVNO business to EE was driven by our ambition to further improve the experience for Asda Mobile customers, by taking advantage of a bigger and faster network, with first class network coverage – and offering even better value."
Not only will EE provide public Wi-Fi for Asda superstores, as well as the MVNO capabilities and framework for the supermarket chain, but the mobile operator also provides hardware and services for employees and the stores in general. It's quite the exclusive partnership. Reasons behind the move from Vodafone to EE range from the Asda being dissatisfied with Vodafone to vice versa. EE will also offer contracted deals through Asda Mobile (potentially including Windows Phone hardware).
Further details on the MVNO deal between Asda and EE will be published soon.