Telewest to extend use of iTV

Telewest is planning to extend its use of mobile and interactive TV (iTV) to communicate with its customers, after completing a...

Telewest is planning to extend its use of mobile and interactive TV (iTV) to communicate with its customers, after completing a wide-ranging integration programme which will enable it to get a single view of each customer, regardless of the communication channel they use.

The telecoms operator will roll out a "self care" portal in November, which will allow customers to manage their accounts via the Internet, interactive TV and, eventually, mobile devices, said Lawrence Lewis, head of the customer channel at Telewest.

"Although we have had channels such as the Internet and iTV in place, most of our customers went through the call centre, which is not very efficient," he said.

"With the back end now in place we will be able to offer more services to the customer," Lewis added.

The integration project, carried out in conjunction with systems integrator European Technology Consultants, involved getting all of Telewest's customer information on to three databases.

"We had a lot of legacy systems and getting them linked was quite a challenge," explained Lewis. "Luckily, we have been consolidating all our customer databases over the past two years anyway so we managed to overcome all the issues."

Telewest is confident that iTV and mobile will prove to be profitable channels. "Our market research has shown that customers are happy to view their bills on iTV but prefer to pay via the Net," Lewis said. "And the emergence of 3G [third generation mobile technology] next year will mean mobile is a real alternative."

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