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December 8, 2005
LONDON -- BT today announces its plans to introduce a range of next generation services for customers which will help transform how they communicate, are entertained and manage their lives.
Already this morning BT has announced it is to offer content from BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Group with its unique next generation TV services. And, at the company’s Consumer Strategy Day this morning, BT will also promise to deliver other exciting new broadband and voice services for consumers.
International calls made with the PC to regular landlines are already cheaper with BT Communicator than with rivals such as Skype. However, as a Christmas present to its customers, BT will be offering free calls throughout the festive holiday to any landline in 30 different countries.
Meanwhile, the price of Broadband Talk, which allows customers to use a normal phone, rather than the PC, has been slashed by up to 50 per cent to just £2 per month for evening and weekend calls or £7 a month for anytime calls and with BTs top two Broadband packages, evening and weekend calls are completely free.
BT will also introduce an enhanced voice over internet offering in Spring which will be available globally and feature BT’s new high definition sound quality. This sound quality will also be available on BT’s new video phones – also available in Spring - which will allow anyone with a BT broadband line to see their loved ones while they talk.
The broadband heart of the home will be the BT hub. It will enable wireless networking for all the family’s PCs and laptops, next generation TV, voice calls over the internet, five different voice channels that can be used simultaneously so all member of the family can be on the phone to their friends at the same time. It will also enable monitoring services, such as security for the home as well as greater protection for your valuable data such as your photos and MP3s, which can be backed up with BT’s new online storage and back-up service, Digital Vault. Additionally, BT will be able to identify problems with your hub remotely, meaning fewer inconvenient home visits for customers.
Outside the home, BT will be using its leading network of 8,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK to offer innovative opportunities to work and play, such as the recent deal with Nintendo allowing gamers to challenge one another via a Wi-Fi link at BT Openzone hotspots. And BT Fusion, the world’s first mobile which uses broadband to seamlessly change from mobile rates to landline rates at home, will offer customers a wide range of handsets alongside the Motorola v560 and forthcoming Razr. In the second half of next year the next generation of Fusion phones will be Wi-Fi powered which will ensure that customers always stay better connected at great value rates in even more places.
BT is also reporting financial information this morning. BT Retail expects to build on last quarter’s return to profit growth and deliver increased full year profits. BT Retail is also aiming to deliver cost savings of £400-500m over three years by focusing on more cost effective use of online sales, service and billing as well as improved processes that will benefit BT customers whilst reducing costs.
Livingston said: “We will make life simpler and better for our customers. Not only will we be offering them great value communications which enhance their life, but we will be able to offer individual customers the kinds of services which are tailored to their needs”.
“This is an exciting time for our consumer business but an even more exciting time to be a BT customer”
LONDON -- BT today announces landmark deals with three of the world's biggest entertainment companies, BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group.
The agreements bring the launch of BT's TV over broadband service an important step closer. Starting next Autumn, BT customers will be able to enjoy a vast range of on-demand film, music and television programming as well as a compelling interactive and communications service through their TV sets.
BT’s service will be a world first combining access to digital terrestrial channels, an extensive video on demand library and a range of interactive services. The unique combination of these unrivalled services will provide BT customers nationwide with choice, convenience and control over their home entertainment without the need to commit to expensive monthly subscriptions.
Ian Livingston, BT Retail CEO, said: “A partnership between the country's leading communications company and three of the world’s leading entertainment groups is great news for consumers in the UK. I’m delighted the BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Group share our vision. Our customers will be able to enjoy enhanced TV services and easy access to a wealth of interactive content and new services straight to their TV. Whether you are a music fan, love films or hooked on drama you will get the best in entertainment when you want it. BT is defining next generation TV ”.
John Smith, CEO BBC Worldwide, said, “With video on demand rapidly shaping the future of television, we are very pleased to be part of BT’s TV service from the outset, providing subscribers with blue chip programmes and high quality viewing.”
Nick Philips, Chairman of Warner Music UK, said, "We are pleased to partner with BT as the first music provider to this innovative distribution service. Industry leading agreements and unique partnerships like the one we announce today are an important component of Warner Music's global strategy to become a multifaceted, music content company.”
The agreement with Paramount provides BT with Paramount's blockbuster films in the pay-per-view window as well as an extensive range or older and classic films from the famous Paramount movie archive, all on demand.
The announcement today follows BT recent agreements with Europe’s largest electronics company Philips to supply the set top box which will deliver the high definition services and an alliance with Microsoft, which will provide Microsoft TV IPTV Edition as the software platform.
BT Group plc
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