Asda, the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain, is to start selling branded mobile phones to its shoppers through a deal struck with Vodafone. The deal will be similar to the agreement between Tesco and Telefonica’s O2, under which the UK’s biggest grocer rents airtime on the O2 network. More than a million Tesco customers have so far signed up to the service. Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone carrier, has been looking for ways to increase revenues in western Europe, where many markets have reached saturation point. News of the deal between Vodafone and Asda, which is owned by Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, came ahead of a presentation on the mobile operator’s businesses in the UK and Germany, its two biggest, and most competitive, markets.
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