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BT payphones to become phone aerials

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BT is to turn its public phone boxes into mobile phone transmitters to help raise cash to fund its service.

Space will be made available in up to 5,000 locations around the country for mobile network operators to fit the boxes with low-powered mobile phone micro cells.

The monster telco says trials have proved successful and that this could improve mobile phone reliability by cutting black-spots while reducing the need for unsightly masts and towers.

In a statement BT concluded: "The income earned from mobile companies will help safeguard BT's comprehensive UK-wide network of public payphones."

Which suggests that without this initiative, Britain's network of payphones could be under threat.

But that's unlikely...since operating and maintaining the public payphone network is one of the conditions of BT's licence and an "universal service obligation".

Still, along with BT's plans to flog its fleet of vehicles and sell its other family silver, no one can accuse BT of failing to come up with imaginative ways to pay off its £30 billion debt.

Indeed, an idea of this calibre must have come from the very top of the troubled organisation - further proof that El Reg's decision to back Sir Ian Vallance and Sir Peter Bonfield when everyone else is calling for their heads is the right one.

The two sirs are pros - we can't wait to see what other money-saving/generating projects these guys are going to come up with. ®

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