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First UK Broadband Telco Launches

Posted: 25th May, 2004 By: MarkJ
Gossiptel has today launched what is claimed to be the "UK's first consumer broadband telephony service to offer free global calls to every broadband household". The service can be run independently of any home computer, with global calls costing 2.5pence per minute or less:

GOSSIPTEL LAUNCHES FREE GLOBAL CALLS FOR UK BROADBAND CONSUMERS

* If it's good to talk, it's better to gossip
* Free calls to more than a million global broadband telephony users
* Calls 2.5p a minute or less to 22 countries on ordinary phone network

Today sees the launch of Gossiptel, the UK's first consumer broadband telephony service to offer free global calls to every broadband household.

Owners can make and receive telephone calls via a broadband Internet connection rather than over the ordinary telephone network and they will receive a free second line and 0870 telephone number to do so. The service runs independently of any home computer.

This offers a great boost for families who find that their primary line is always busy and parents can provide their children with a pre-fixed allowance for calls made on that second line.

Outgoing calls to consumers of any other broadband telephony services which use the industry standard "SIP" technology are completely free. SIP has been adopted by all the major software and hardware manufacturers including Microsoft, Cisco, Siemens and Mitel.

It is estimated there are already more than a million people worldwide using SIP enabled technology to make and receive free calls and Gossiptel members can call the vast majority of them for free, with no time limit. The service does not lock customers into only calling other Gossiptel customers as many other Internet telephony services, such as Skype, do.

CHEAP CALLS TO NON - SIP PHONES

Calls to normal (PSTN) telephone numbers are at some of the lowest national and international rates available, since Gossiptel does not have to use BT's phone network at all. This includes calls to some 22 countries, including the whole of Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand for just 2.5p per minute or less at any time of the day or night. That's less than the price of a daytime call to a local number on BT.

SET UP

There is no charge to register with Gossiptel and no monthly rental or set up charge. Anyone who has a broadband connection via an ADSL line or a cable modem can sign up for the service and make and receive calls by registering at http://www.gossiptel.com or by calling 0870 930 0700.

Customers can choose to purchase an Internet telephony adapter which allows them to use any existing phone handset including cordless phones, available in a package including free calling credit from Gossiptel for £93.99. If they prefer, they can purchase a package of the adapter and a phone handset which supports all of the advanced caller display and messaging features that are available to Gossiptel users for £117.49.

Both can be bought online at http://www.gossiptel.com. Alternatively, customers can install Gossiptel's free software onto their home computer and use a headset and microphone to make and receive calls instead. See http://www.gossiptel.com/plans/?plans=yes for full details.

CALL FEATURES

All members will get a host of additional call management features for free, equivalent to BT's "Calling Features" service. BT charges £1.75 per month for any one of these features or £4.25 per month for all of them. Gossiptel offers all of them free of charge.

* Free Caller Display with Name
* Free Call Waiting
* Free 3-way calling
* Voicemail
* Free Message Waiting Indication
* Free Call Forward on busy or no reply
* Free Call
* TransferGossiptel's free Voicemail is more powerful than BT's enhanced service, 'Call Minder', which costs £2.50 per month. With Gossiptel every member automatically receives;
* Fully Customisable Personal Greeting
* Delivery of new voice messages to your email inbox
* Message Waiting Indication on phones with compatible caller display
* Audible Message Waiting 'stutter' tone on all phones
* Ability to change number of seconds before Voicemail answers
* No limits on storage space or storage time

Kim Thesiger, Co-founder of Gossiptel said: "It really wasn't that long ago that a minority of us had email, but now almost everyone has an email address. Given that BT have stated that they will make broadband available to exchanges serving 99.6% of UK homes and businesses by the Summer of 2005, I believe the uptake of broadband telephony will rocket in the next 18 months with people signing up purely to take advantage of free and cheap telephone calls."

He added, "One of the key audiences to snap up a service like ours will be families with teenagers, who can effectively gain access to a free second line for their talkative teens."
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