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No frills airline Ryanair is lending its name to a new telecoms outfit that claims it will shake up the telephone market with half-price local and national calls.

Ryanair Telecom - an Irish-owned private company operating under licence from Ryanair PLC - unveiled its new service in Dublin yesterday and is promising to slash the cost of making phone calls in Ireland.

Those behind the new telco says that Irish punters can make "substantial savings" on local and national calls while saving as much as 90 per cent on some international calls.

Said Ryanair Telecom chief exec Sean McVeigh: "Irish consumers have been penalised for so long due to lack of real competition. We intend to shake up the market and provide people with savings on their phone costs where it matters - in their pockets.

"We have stripped out all the overheads without compromising on call quality so that we can provide stiff competition in the Irish market."

What's more, Ryanair Telecom is also planning to roll-out discount mobile telephone services throughout Europe. A formal announcement concerning this venture is expected to be made on 10 March.

News of Ryanair Telecom's entry into the market comes as another low-cost airlines prepares to make a splash in the mobile arena.

easyJet founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is setting up easyTelecom - a virtual network operator offering cut-price tariffs for mobile users.

The service is due to launch sometime during the year with negotiations currently underway with operators concerning the acquisition of airtime.

A spokesman for Mr Haji-Ioannou said that the business model behind the venture was simple and straightforward. "We'll provide cheap, efficient mobile telephony," he told The Register.

And there could even be scope for the service being extended into fixed-line services and broadband access.

A statement on easyTelecom's website, which is currently under construction, says: "We are currently investigating business opportunities in the fixed line and mobile broadband telecom markets." ®

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