Carphone Warehouse has celebrated the return of Vodafone three years after the operator withdrew its mobile phone contract offer in favour of an exclusive deal with rival Phones 4U.

Analysts estimated that Vodafone’s decision to defect cost Carphone Warehouse in the region of £20m a year in lost profits. During the intervening period Carphone Warehouse only stocked Vodafone’s pay as you go phones and upgrades.

Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone said the deal “will bring exciting new products and services to our stores and gives our customers the best possible choice in the marketplace for their communication needs”.

Numis analyst Andy Wade said the move would broaden Carphone Warehouse’s reach in the saturated mobile phone market. However, he questioned how much of an impact it would have on connections.

He said: “The Vodafone agreement is undoubtedly a positive step, although the direct incremental benefit will only really be those customers looking exclusively for a Vodafone deal. From that perspective, although good news, it’s not a game-changer.”