|Innovative Integrated Call Management Product to Include Voice over IP Functionality, Based on Yahoo! Messenger Platform|
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) and British Telecommunications plc today announced that the companies are creating a next-generation call management offering based on the Yahoo! Messenger platform. This agreement represents the first time that a major Internet company and an established telecommunications company have come together to build an integrated call management offering, including voice over IP, for the mainstream consumer. The announcement builds upon the proven success of the existing alliance between Yahoo! and BT to offer co-branded Internet services.
Yahoo! Messenger with BT Communicator is an integrated call management offering that takes the features and functionality of Yahoo! Messenger and integrates telephony capabilities, such as PC to phone calling, Internet call waiting, directory lookup and more. All calls made using Yahoo! Messenger with BT Communicator will be billed directly to the customer's home phone bill. The service will be distributed both on the Yahoo! network and through a wide variety of BT channels, thus expanding the already robust community of Yahoo! Messenger users in the U.K. The service is expected to launch later this year and Yahoo! and BT plan to embark on a significant, coordinated joint marketing effort to support the new offering. The companies will make BT Communicator a part of all Yahoo! Messenger clients distributed in the U.K. In future, the companies also plan to include expanded functionality.
"Yahoo! and BT are both focused on innovation and delivering exciting products that bring the power of the Internet directly to consumers. It is fitting that our two companies are the first to take Internet telephony mainstream in the U.K.," said Jim Brock, senior vice president of Communications and Consumer Services, Yahoo! Inc. "We believe that the secret to success in Internet call management, and a key differentiator for Yahoo!, is our ability to integrate with leading web-based communications tools. Yahoo!'s proven ability to partner successfully and integrate quickly ensures that we are well positioned to be a key partner for this kind of application on a global basis."
"Yahoo!'s technological expertise and strong brand appeal, partnered with BT's reach into the homes of UK Internet users creates a powerful combination," said Andrew Burke, Director of Online Services, BT Retail. "By leveraging the existing Yahoo! Messenger base in the U.K., we will be able to make BT Communicator available to millions of users very quickly."
Yahoo! Messenger currently provides access to messaging, information, communications, and notification services, and is one of the leading instant messaging services in the world Yahoo! is focused on ensuring that Yahoo! Messenger continues to build upon its position as an essential communications hub on the Internet. Yahoo! plans the introduction of compelling new telephony functionality for Yahoo! Messenger on a global basis in conjunction with leading telecommunications companies like BT.
Today's announcement builds on the success of the BT Yahoo! alliance, which was announced in June of last year. Together the companies have brought to market BT Yahoo! Broadband and narrowband service, which package Internet access with an exclusive co-branded Internet experience and Yahoo!'s leading tools and services.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading provider of comprehensive online products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide. Yahoo! is the No. 1 Internet brand globally and the most trafficked Internet destination worldwide. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Yahoo!'s global network includes 25 World properties and is available in 13 languages.
BT is the UK's leading communications service provider and the prime channel to market for the other businesses in the Group. It has 21 million residential and business customers, a turnover of GBP 12.1bn (in the last full financial year) and around 50,000 employees.
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