Teletext launches interactive service

Teletext will launch an interactive service, Teletext Live, within the next six weeks and has signed up P&O as its first interactive service provider.

Teletext Live marks an expansion of Teletext’s recently launched interactive small ads and quiz services, Live Ads and Live Quiz. Each allows the viewer to select and input information via their touchtone phone.

“Live Ads and Live Quiz were the first phase in our aim to create an interactive platform enabling Teletext users to communicate with external databases,” says Teletext business development manager Paul Kilding.

“We intend to set up as wide a portfolio of information and entertainment services as possible.”

The P&O deal offers Teletext users access to its timetables and other information, as well as the chance to book through Teletext with customers keying in their credit card numbers on their touchtone phones – a system as secure as giving credit card details verbally by phone, Teletext claims.

Teletext is now signing further partners to add airline ticket, share dealing, insurance quotes and cinema and theatre booking services. At least six services will be running by the end of the year, Kilding adds.

Teletext is seeking “urgent talks” with the Department of National Heritage after being left out of the Government’s recent document detailing plans for digital television.

Unlike BBC text service Ceefax, Teletext has no guaranteed digital capacity under the Government’s plans.

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