Co-op to launch own-branded pay as you go (PAYG) service in the UK

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The Co-operative Group, in collaboration with The Phone Co-op, has announced plans of launching a low-cost prepaid SIM-only service in the UK this month.

Co-op’s plans marks the entry of yet another supermarket into the MVNO space. Co-op will provide its PAYG service through The Phone Co-op, which is a fixed-line and broadband service provider in the U.K. The deal was brokered through MVNA Transatel and will run on EE’s network.

Steve Murrells, chief executive of retail at The Co-operative Group, said “By working with The Phone Co-op we are able to offer one of the most competitive and straightforward mobile pay as you go SIM card packages in the market.”

Any calls to Co-operative mobiles will cost 4p a minute, while calls made to local and national numbers and other mobile numbers will be charged at 8p per minute. Calls to customer service and voicemail will be charged at 4p per minute.

SMS to other Co-operative mobiles will cost 2p per message while those to other mobiles will cost 4p per message. MMS costs 25p per message. Users will be charged 5p per megabyte of data usage.

International calls are fairly cheap as well considering it only costs 2p per minute to Ireland, Canada and Hungary; 3p per minute to call Australia, China, New Zealand and Spain; and 4p per minute to France and Germany.

Customers looking for bundled tariffs have three different plans to choose from: £10 will get you 50 voice minutes, 3,000 SMS and 500MB data; £15 will get you 500 voice minutes, 3,000 SMS and 1GB data; £20 will get you 1,000 voice minutes, 3,000 SMS and 2GB data.