A Carphone Warehouse sign hangs outside a branch in west London
iD, the new mobile phone network from Carphone Warehouse, is positioning itself as the cheapest 4G network in the UK Reuters

iD, the new mobile phone network from Carphone Warehouse, will offer customers "the cheapest 4G deals in the UK" when it launches, costing from just £7.50 per month.

The new network, which piggybacks on Three's infrastructure, will launch on Tuesday, 12 May but has already revealed some of the tariffs it will be offering customers.

The new MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has been playing up the fact it will be the "cheapest 4G network in the UK" since the high street retailer announced its plans earlier this year, and it is hoping that the appetite for low cost access to 4G networks will help it attract customers in the highly competitive UK smartphone market.

According to uSwitch, the cheapest 4G tariff available today is an £8.50-a-month, two-year contract from O2 which will get you just 100MB of data.

Carphone Warehouse has told IBTimes UK that those opting for the £7.50 plan will get 250MB of data and a Lumia 635 smartphone for no up-front cost.


The network will also offer those who don't want to get tied into a long-term contract the ability to access its 4G network from just £7.50 on 30-day rolling contracts, with data allowances ranging from 500MB to unlimited.

Another selling point from iD is what the network is calling "shockproof plans", which mean plans are automatically capped to "avoid nasty surprises" with a £5 monthly buffer that customers can view and change online.

The company will also leverage Three's arrangements with networks in countries around the world to offer no roaming charges in 22 countries, which Carphone Warehouse says is more than any other network - including Three UK which offers free roaming to UK customers in 18 countries.

Carphone Warehouse has not revealed which countries specifically it is offering the service in yet.

Just the beginning

Graham Stapleton, UK CEO at Carphone Warehouse, said this is just the beginning: "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 & needs and will be using this insight to help develop and evolve iD over the coming months."

The launch of the iD mobile phone network comes at a transitional time for UK networks, with BT sealing a deal to buy EE and Hutchison Whampoa (owners of Three) securing a deal to purchase O2 from Telefonica likely to create a lot of uncertainty in the coming months.

Both multi-billion pound deals will need to clear the UK's competition authority before being finalised of course, but we are also set to see Sky enter the mobile phone market by launching an MVNO (piggybacking on O2's network) of its own at the beginning of 2016 as it seeks to give customers a "quad-play" offering.

Adding to the uncertainty in the industry, Tesco is reported to be ready to off-load its popular Tesco Mobile MVNO business as is sells off non-core assets of its operation in the UK with one analyst saying it could be worth as much as £850m.