BT has made plans expand its directories activities following the decision by Oftel to deregulate the 192 directory enquiries service.
By the end of this fiscal year, the company expects to see its basic directory enquiries service, expand to an ‘integrated multi-media information service’. Access to both directory enquiries and classified listings will be granted to customers, as well as information on weather forecasts, sports results, and cinema listings, through, the 188 500 telephone number. BT also plans to have 118 xxx numbers running parallel to that of the 192 number, until its is phased out in August 2003.
In addition to its new directory numbers, the company plans to introduce, a new classified pages through its access to search engines and databases covering numerous businesses in the UK, which it gained after completing its £8 million acquisition of Scoot. The new classified pages would directly compete with Yell’s Yellow Pages.
BT is focusing on generating extra revenues of £100 million by fiscal 2004/5, through the expansion of its directory activities alone. Despite future revenue boosts, the company expects its results to be slightly offset by deregulation and intense competition in the directory enquiries market.