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Phones 4u looses another network operator

The future of Phones 4u was put in the spotlight last week after network operator Vodafone announced that they will not be renewing their contracts with the retail firm.

Vodafone has been in partnership with Phones 4u since 1996 and the change of direction will take effect from February 2015. This puts Phones 4u in a weaker position against other high street competitors as they have also lost other mobile network operators recently; namely Three Mobile in 2012 and O2 in January this year.

This means that the Phones 4u retail group will only be able to provide services running from the EE network (EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin and Life Mobile).

Phones 4 u and Vodafone logos

Industry analysts have stated that while not necessarily a death stroke this reduction of network operators severely hampers Phones 4u's chances of attracting new customers. The high street retailer will no longer be able to provide customers with offers that these networks often champion and it could be a sign of things to come, possibly the end of the 18-year-old company.

David Kassler Phones 4u chief executive has stated that, "Although we are disappointed, Phones 4u continues to trade well in the market. We have high levels of market share, especially in the youth segment."

Kassler also went on to add, "Transactions and search traffic through our new mobile commerce site are growing rapidly as customers increasingly look to begin their purchase journey online, and they are continuing to choose to shop with Phones 4u."

Vodafone UK announced that, "Vodafone will be enhancing its distribution partnership with Dixons Carphone and will not be extending its existing contract with Phones 4u. We will continue to work with a range of other indirect partners, who represent an important part of our business mix."

This helps to further strengthen the hold that Dixons Carphone (formerly Carphone Warehouse) now has on the mainstream mobile retail market. As for Phones 4u - only time will tell.