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Carphone Warehouse in free call offer

Fixed-line punters to benefit

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The Carphone Warehouse - the UK's biggest mobile phone retailer - is expected to offer free local calls to its fixed-line customers in a move that could lead to a major shake up in the UK's telephony market.

Details of the new US-style tariff are expected to be announced on Thursday but it's understood that the cost of offering free local calls is to be offset by revenues generated by national, international and mobile calls.

At this stage it's not known if there will be any strings attached to the free local calls offer.

According to the Sunday Times, The Carphone Warehouse is also expected to announce that its TalkTalk fixed line service now has 400,000 punters and that the company is now aiming at bagging a million customers.

No one at The Carphone Warehouse was available for comment at the time of writing.

A spokesman for BT, which has around 20m fixed line punters and around 70 per cent market share, didn't seem too concerned about the threat.

"The UK has a very competitive telecoms market - and lots of them choose BT. 65,000 people came back to BT last month," he said.

Earlier this month The Carphone Warehouse announced that it is to bring its own brand of discount telephony services to consumers in Spain following the €11.5m (£7.68m) acquisition of alternative fixed-line telco Xtra Telecom.

The residential service is to be modelled on The Carphone Warehouse's TalkTalk service in the UK and should be up and running in Spain within the next six months. ®

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