BT changes OneNumber to fight rivals

BT is to revamp its OneNumber personal numbering service, scrapping the 20 connection fee and 12-month contract and halving the rental charge in the face of tough competition.

BT launched the OneNumber service in January 1997 and has picked up only 4,000 customers since. The changes are intended to increase sales of OneNumber by 400 per cent to a 24,000 total over six months.

The service gives customers a single phone number on which they can be contacted, regardless of location. Calls to fixed or mobile phones are diverted via a management centre.

But competition is hotting up as telecoms companies seek to make services less complicated to use. Martin Dawes has launched a personal number service called “breathe assistant” with a one-off connection fee of 15 and no contract or monthly access charges.

In addition to the OneNumber cuts, BT has also cut call charges.

BT Mobility Solutions product manager Steve Brehm says: “The market was different in January 1997. There have been competitive market changes and a connection fee is now a thing of the past.”

A 500,000 press and radio campaign through Miller Bainbridge and Zenith supports the changes.

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