BT releases Smart Talk app to counter Skype and Viber

15 Jan, 2013



BT just released its Smart Talk app that allows BT customers to make calls from their mobile phone at the price of their landline calling plan. For some customers, that means they can now make free calls on their mobile.

How it works: you download the app and tell the app your home phone number. From then on, you can place calls from the mobile app at prices of your home calling plan.

The new app comes as telecoms all over Europe are seeing profitability decline because of increased competition from apps like Viber and Skype, aggressive virtual operators like Free and Mobile Vikings, and as some think, just way too many telecoms in Europe.

The app works anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection (wifi or mobile). So for instance as a business traveller, you can hook up to the hotel wifi and call your family at the rates of a local, landline call. If your home plan includes free evening or weekend calls, calls from within the app are free too in weekends and evenings.

In a reaction, John Petter, managing director at BT said that he understood that his competitors “would not be celebrating”, but that the new app was about “giving customers what they are asking for”.

The app supports up to five mobile users, and is available to download from Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

The app runs on Apple devices from the iPhone 3GS onwards with iOS 4.1 or better, while Android smartphones with version 2.1 or above are supported.

It’s obviously good news for the consumer. It’s also a sign of how badly mobile operators feel the heat from over the top services like Skype and Viber.

Read more: PocketLint

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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