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New purpose-built call centre in Birmingham to increase call handling capacity by 25%


Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group, has today (18 April 2002) launched a new call centre in the UK to offer branded operator and directory enquiry services in readiness for full market deregulation, scheduled for summer 2002.

The Birmingham call centre will deliver directory, operator and emergency services to a number of major UK fixed line and mobile telephony providers, as well as Cable & Wireless' own business customers. Cable & Wireless' traffic volumes from these services have grown by an average of 20 per cent a year over the last five years*.

The new call centre will offer improved efficiency and enable Cable & Wireless to handle successfully the increased number of directory enquiry calls expected when OFTEL liberalises the market, replacing the traditional '192' UK directory services number with a range of '118' prefixed numbers. A qualified carrier such as Cable & Wireless can obtain '118' prefixed numbers on behalf of its customers. To date, 29 companies have asked Cable & Wireless to apply to OFTEL for '118' numbers on their behalf, with a view to contracting to its Directory Enquiry service.

The purpose built call centre will provide 100 additional seats, increasing the call handling capacity in Birmingham by 25% and has state of the art facilities, which will result in an improved the quality of service to customers. The Birmingham call centre is linked to two call centres in Glasgow offering similar directory services which enables Cable & Wireless to distribute calls during peak periods and so ensure the highest service levels.

"Cable & Wireless is enthusiastic about competing for reseller and carrier business in a liberalised market," said Andrew Sangster, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland, Service Providers, Cable & Wireless. "Removing '192' and giving all providers '118' prefixed numbers will further extend customer choice and enable non-telcos to enter the market to offer branded operator services, which we can help them provide."

"Cable & Wireless has extensive experience in operator services. It is already the sole supplier to a number of major fixed line and mobile carriers and resellers, as well as its own business customers. Cable & Wireless is well positioned to gain substantial market share."

* Based on internal company records


About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over £8 billion (US$11 billion) in the year to 31 March 2001 and customers in 70 countries and consists of two core and complementary divisions: Cable & Wireless Regional and Cable & Wireless Global. Cable & Wireless Regional offers a full range of telecommunications services in 35 countries around the world. Cable & Wireless Global's focus for future growth is on IP (internet protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It has developed advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With its financial strength and the capability of its global IP infrastructure, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers.

For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to http://www.cw.com .


For editorial information, please contact:


Lisa Atherfold/Henny Valder
Brodeur Worldwide
01753 790700
latherfold@uk.brodeur.com
hvalder@uk.brodeur.com


Katherine Smailes
Cable & Wireless
020 7315 3564
katherine.smailes@cw.com


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