Broadband price battleCarphone Warehouse 'to start broadband price war'

10 April 2006

Mobile phone chain Carphone Warehouse is set to start a broadband price war according to media reports.

The Sunday Times says the company is expected to offer 'free' broadband as part of a bundle with its Talk Talk landline service. It's believed the move - expected to be announced tomorrow - is intended to build on Carphone Warehouse's ambition to establish Talk Talk as the leading consumer alternative to BT.

Carphone Warehouse has about 75,000 broadband customers while BT Retail has 2.3 million and NTL has 2.8 million.

Reselling BT broadband

Until now, Carphone Warehouse has been hampered by having to resell BT's wholesale broadband product. However, it's reported to be investing GBP 60 million to install its own broadband equipment in up to 1,000 BT exchanges, allowing it to reach 70 per cent of the UK population.

Such a move would give Carphone Warehouse more control of the speed, price and service standards of the broadband products it is able to offer.

BT, through its wholesale arm, supplies about 70 per cent of Britain's 10 million broadband customers, through brands that include Wanadoo, AOL and Tiscali. Carphone Warehouse is understood to have dubbed its broadband push Independence Day since it will offer customers independence from BT.

Last year Carphone Warehouse bought One.Tel and Tele2's UK businesses, which doubled the number of customers using its Talk Talk fixed-line services to 2.4 million.