Dixons Carphone is planning its own mobile network too

If Three's owner Hutchison Whampoa successfully buys O2, the pair could wield even greater power in the UK than we thought. Less than a week after Sky announced its plans for an O2-powered mobile network, Dixons Carphone is doing the same -- only it's struck a deal with Three. Details are scarce, but the FT reports the merged retailer will stand out with tariffs that allow customers to easily switch their minutes and data mid-contract. The idea being that if you have 5,000 texts, but find that you're only using half of them each month, you won't have to wait two years before downsizing your contract.

But that's not all. To give it some firepower against the major networks, Dixons and Carphone Warehouse will be bolstering their new tariffs with bundled connectivity for smart home appliances. It's not clear exactly how this will work, but the broader strategy is obvious: Dixons Carphone wants to avoid the same fate as Phones4U, and it's hoping a pseudo-network of its own will ease its reliance on the UK's top carriers. EE recently signed a new multi-year deal with the company, but with so many of the major players teaming up or launching new networks, Dixons Carphone is clearly erring on the safe side.