Spar goes shopping for MVNO deal; T-Mobile to collaborate on ‘S-Budget’

11 Aug 2011

According to WirtschaftsBlatt, retail chain Spar has confirmed that it will launch as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on 26 August. The virtual network will piggyback on T-Mobile Austria’s infrastructure. The service, which will launch under the ‘S-Budget’ brand, is expected to go head-to-head with Yesss!, Orange Austria’s discount brand, which is currently sold by prominent grocery retailer Hofer. Spar currently stocks A1 Telekom Austria’s no-frills brand Bob, although the future of this tie-up remains unclear. T-Mobile has promised that the introduction of S-Budget will lead to ‘product innovations’ and price savings, with a range of S-Budget-branded smartphones rumoured to be in the pipeline. Spar has billed the agreement as ‘the start of a far-reaching cooperation with corresponding depth’. Spar, which originated in the Netherlands in 1932, is believed to have 12,400 stores in 34 countries. The firm has not yet confirmed whether it has plans to launch MVNO services in any additional marketplaces.