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Controversial mobile directory fails on launch

'Hello, can I have the number for Mr Cockup?'

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A new directory of mobile phone numbers - already hit by privacy controversy - was further troubled by a system failure yesterday that meant it was unable to connect callers.

The 118800 service was scheduled to go live yesterday with a press event in London backing its multimillion-pound launch. Today, however, a message on its website discourages callers.

A spokesman blamed a "technical glitch", PA reports.

The service is run by start up Connectivity, with a call centre outsourced to Hull telecoms monopoly KCom (118800 is the former number for KCom's own directory enquiries service).

Connectivity purchased lists of 15 million people's mobile numbers from personal data brokers after its attempts to extract data from mobile operators failed.

Callers to the service will not be given mobile numbers. Connectivity will instead act as a middleman, and the target will have to agree to receive the call. ®

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