O2 has followed Vodafone in dumping a key UK channel sales partner in favour if its own direct sales operations.

The mobile operator will no longer sell it handsets through High Street chain Phones4U, just as Vodafone pulled out of Carphone Warehouse last year.

But an O2 spokesman confirmed the retailer would continue to sell pre-paid connections and support existing contracts with upgrades.

Both O2 and Vodafone have invested heavily in their consumer-facing, direct sales channels, including their own High Street stores. O2 bought the 300-strong store estate of the Link mobile retail chain from Dixons parent, DSG International last July.