The ISP TalkTalk has launched a mobile phone service, which will be exclusively available to its fixed-line customers.
The handsets will all be entirely subsidised and the contract prices will, in the case of a low-end Samsung Galaxy Y Android phone, start at £5 per month.Mobile will be what is known as a 'mobile virtual network operator' (MVNO), piggybacking on Vodafone's network rather than building its own.
The company said it was able to offer low prices because it had "stripped out all the unnecessary costs" — a spokesman suggested this meant not having a chain of high street stores or investing in celebrity advertising.
TalkTalk customers can order a phone and contract from the firm by calling them or applying online. Those that apply online get twice the data allowance.
TalkTalkthat it was preparing to launch a mobile service. Key rival Virgin Media also has a mobile offering that it bundles with fixed-line services, but Virgin Mobile is also available to people who are not existing customers.
Calls between TalkTalk mobiles and landlines will be free. The company also says it will send text alerts to customers to tell them when their monthly allowances have been 80 percent reached.
There are three tiers of TalkTalk Mobile contract: 'Small' comes with 100 minutes and 200MB of data; 'Medium; with 300 minutes and 500MB; and 'Large' with 1000 minutes and 2GB — although those data allowances all get doubled for those who sign up online.
All the contracts are 24 months in length, although TalkTalk Mobile does also offer a SIM-only deal on a rolling monthly basis.