Tesco Mobile mulls offer to take on 'Talk Talk'

The chief executive of Tesco Mobile has revealed it is mulling launching a combined mobile phone and broadband offer to take on Carphone Warehouse's Talk Talk, as it guns to become the UK's leading telecoms player.

Lance Batchelor said: “We have looked at it and are considering it,” but he stressed Tesco had not yet pinned down details or a timeframe for a launch.

He said: “A one line summary of my business plan is to be the leading telecoms player in the UK by any core metric, such as profitability, and that includes being bigger than Carphone Warehouse and Virgin [Mobile].”

Tesco Mobile - a 50:50 joint venture between Tesco and O2 - exclusively sells 02's technology and network in the UK. Similarly to Carphone Warehouse, it also sells contracts and pre-pay products of the other major network operators in its largest Extra stores and online. Tesco competes with Virgin Mobile and Asda in the mobile virtual network operator market.

Mr Batchelor said it will ramp up its revenues from mobile services by installing Tesco Telecoms shop-in-shops in all its Extra stores over the next few years. It is already rolling out emergency handsets and top-up cards to its petrol stations and selling laptops and mobile broadband “dongles” in its stores and online.