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BT reveals multimedia strategy

BT has announced its intention to become a major information service provider with a new multimedia strategy for its directories...

BT has announced its intention to become a major information service provider with a new multimedia strategy for its directories business.

The announcement follows BT's recent acquisition of classified listings firm Scoot and Oftel's decision to deregulate the lucrative 192 directory enquiries service.

The new strategy is based on an enhanced directory enquiries service; a classified listings service; and providing access to information such as weather forecasts and sports results via the Net or a new phone number - 118 500.

BT also plans to offer "fulfilment services" such as phone and Web ticket bookings and share dealing, and it is considering offering the facility to store personal address books and banking details.

Paul Elliott, general manager of BT Directories, said the market for information services in the UK is worth £1bn a year. He expects the move to help BT Directories generate £100m of new top-line revenue by 2004/2005.

Despite the scale of the project, Elliott claimed it was "not a huge IT challenge" and integrating the Scoot technology would "not be a very significant problem".

The new information service should be ready by the end of the year, although customers will be able to continue using the 192 service in tandem with the new number until August 2003.

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