BT Retail plans mobile and gaming products

BT’s fixed-line residential business is planning to launch a range of products aimed at the gaming and mobile phone markets, in addition to its Internet and digital TV packages.

Angus Porter, managing director of BT Consumer, BT Retail’s consumer division, is seeking partners to develop products for the company’s 20 million-plus residential fixed-line customers.

Because of Oftel restrictions, BT would not be able to limit itself to an exclusive deal with BT Cellnet.

But Porter refuses to comment on whether he is in talks with BT Cellnet rivals, One 2 One, Vodafone or Orange.

He says: “There are potential [gaming] deals with hardware manufacturers and in the growing online market.”

Last week, BT Consumer launched discounted digital TV packages with BSkyB and ITV Digital – formerly ONdigital – for its customers, as part of a bid to become “a retailer of communication services”.

The offer is backed by a &£10m marketing drive, which will include a TV advertising campaign created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO.

The move is part of a long-term strategy by BT Retail to hold on to its share of residential fixed-line customers. After coming under fire from cable operators and other telecom rivals, BT’s share of customers fell from 79 per cent in mid-1999 to 73 per cent earlier this year.

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