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BT to distribute WorldGate videophones

Still fiddling with their Ojo

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

BT has signed an agreement to distribute videophones from US outfit WorldGate to other telcos and operators, but the UK incumbent hasn't decided whether it will flog these to its own punters.

According to a statement issued by WorldGate on Wednesday: "BT plc (BT) and WorldGate Communications Inc announced today that they have entered into an agreement providing for BT's purchase of WorldGate's Ojo Shadow personal video phones for resale to customers around the world."

The statement adds that the Ojo videophone will be "an attractive new offering for its [BT's] wholesale customers as well as their [BT's] end user consumers".

However, a spokesman for BT told us that while BT has agreed to resell the Ojo videophone, it is still evaluating the product for use among its own customers. At this stage it's unclear when BT's evaluation might be completed.

Earlier this week BT unveiled details of a new broadband package called "Total Broadband". Tucked away at the bottom of that announcement were details of the launch of "BT Broadband Talk Video, including the BT Videophone".

"Customers equipped with a BT Videophone can see the person they are talking to, and the service is compatible with PC users equipped with Softphone and a webcam."

BT currently offers two videophones - the BT Videophone 1000 which costs £150 and the 2000 model which costs £200. Neither is supplied by WorldGate.

Among the features listed for the BT Videophone 2000 is an "easy-to-use lens cover if you don't want to be seen". ®

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