May 19, 2016
The Post Office has swiftly called time on its MVNO ambitions in the UK, claiming mobile didn’t possess enough commercial potential to be sustainable going forward.
Post Office Mobile will be closing after a trial involving distribution of SIM cards via its website and in just 263 of its 11,600 stores nationwide. According to a statement from the Post Office, it will stop selling to new mobile customers with immediate effect and is contacting existing customers to advise them that they have three months to find a new provider before the service is withdrawn.
It announced its intentions to launch an MVNO two years ago, claiming it would be bringing aggressive, transparent pricing to an already crowded MVNO market with diverse and niche market offerings. It hoped to wrangle itself a potential multiplay offering, having already launched broadband and landline telephony services.
However, considering Post Office Mobile only fully launched a year ago, and in an increasingly competitive MVNO market in the UK, plus the concession that mobile didn’t prove to be a sustainable commercial model moving forward, it probably didn’t gain quite the market traction it was hoping for.
“We have decided to conclude this trial as results did not give us sufficient confidence that mobile was going to contribute to our goal of becoming commercially sustainable,” said Chief Commercial Officer of the Post Office, Martin George. “This decision demonstrates that we are prepared to make difficult decisions to focus our investment where it can have the biggest benefit, such as in continuing to improve our retail network, digital capability and our product portfolio. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes our ‘Pay As You Go’ mobile customers and our focus is now on letting them know how to switch to another supplier, keep their existing number and receive any refunds they are entitled to.”
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