UK - Small Stores To Enter Telephone Kiosk Business

READING, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND, 1997 AUG 8 (NB) -- By Sylvia Dennis. Oystel, a least cost routing (LCR) telecom reseller, has started up a scheme whereby small shopkeepers can start generating revenue by installing an international telephone kiosk on their premises.

As reported previously by Newsbytes, Oystel has carved out a successful niche for itself in the pre-paid international calls market, allowing businesses and individuals access to its service through a toll-free number. The company offers some of the lowest international calling rates in the UK, Newsbytes notes.

According to Oystel, customers going to shop in their local amenities are an ideal audience for low-cost international phone calls. This means that shopkeepers installing the Allied 2000 phone system can generate maximum revenue from just one square yard of their shop floor, the company claims.

The Allied 2000 is claimed to be the first private telephone booth of its type in the UK. Oystel claims that it has been designed for the public, in line with new business opportunities available from deregulation of the UK telecommunications market.

Small retailers in the UK will now have the possibility of purchasing a booth and installing it on their premises for UKP300 (US$500).

The retailers will then receive between 10 and 15 percent of the cost of each call made from their booth as commission. Since all Oystel calls are made across toll-free lines, the only regular outgoing cost is the monthly rental of the British Telecom phone line.

Oystel claims that the unit can be easily installed, and plugs into a standard BT socket, providing instant access to Oystel's international phone network.

The company claims, that a small shop can benefit to the tune of between UKP500 and UKP1,000 ($800 to $1,600) each month in an average populated area of Great Britain. Locations with a much higher density of ethnic populations, the company claims, can easily double these figures.

Stephen Appiah, Oystel's managing director, said that this type of facility will appeal to those who don't have a phone at home, can't afford a pre-paid account or are only in Britain for a short while.

"While our pre-paid residential service is suited to some market segments, we have recognized the potential for a service that does not require up-front payment, is available locally and still offers significant discounts over the costs charge by British Telecom for international calls," he explained.

Appiah noted that a one minute call through Oystel to India from the UK costs 44 pence, compared to 99 pence when routed across BT, and much higher using a payphone.

(19970808/Press Contact: Suzanne Flynn, Nelson Communications +44- 171- 229-4400; Reader Contact: Oystel +44-118-956-9123/Reported By Newsbytes News Network: