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AOL to challenge BT on UK home phone services

AOL brings unlimited philosophy to UK phone services

AOL Talk to include ‘any time’ calls to landlines for just £7.99 a month

AOL today announced the launch of AOL Talk, the first home telephone service from the leading online services provider to the UK, which offers potential savings to millions of phone users.

AOL Talk will be available from Tuesday 17th May for current and new AOL Internet subscribers, and will be available as a standalone product later this year. It will include unlimited UK local and national calls at any time of the day or night for the introductory offer price of £7.99 per month, without the usage limits common to many phone providers. AOL Talk also includes competitive mobile and international rates.

Karen Thomson, Chief Executive of AOL UK, said: “AOL Talk’s unlimited price plan gives people complete flexibility, as savings are not just limited to evenings and weekends, together with the reassurance that there are no hidden charges or limits on the time they can spend calling friends and family on UK landlines.”

AOL Talk provides a high quality home phone service based on Carrier Pre-Select. This enables anyone with a BT landline to switch their home phone provider without changing their phone number or line, and whilst continuing to use their home phone in the usual way. The AOL Talk service is available on all BT landlines and BT line rental fees continue to apply.

In the UK AOL has more than 2.3 million subscribers, including more than one million on AOL Broadband. The company pioneered flat-rate dial-up Internet services in the UK and has led the market on unlimited broadband services without usage caps or surcharges. The launch of AOL Talk sees AOL extend this philosophy to the telephony market.

Thomson added: “We have delivered unlimited Internet services to millions of customers, who want to understand clearly how much they are paying and receive excellent value in return. We want to extend this commitment to the home phone market, offering competitive, easy-to-use services, with costs that are genuinely transparent and highly competitive.”

AOL Talk phone service summary:
· Unlimited local and national UK landline calls as part of monthly subscription
· Unlimited UK landline calls applies every day, any time
· Calls billed per second, not per minute like many phone services
· No minimum call charges for standard calls
· Competitive rates to international numbers: from 2p/min to USA and Australia
· Competitive rates to UK mobiles: 5p/min weekend calls to Vodafone for example

AOL launched its Internet service in the UK in 1996 and is now the UK’s leading online services provider, which recently received the Reader’s Digest award for ‘Most Trusted Internet Brand’ in the UK for the fifth year in succession.

Notes to editors about AOL Talk:

· £7.99 per month offer available to AOL Internet subscribers until 30 June 2005 and applies for the first 12 months of their AOL Talk subscription, after which they will pay the standard subscription fee of £9.99 per month. Any AOL subscribers who order AOL Talk after 30 June 2005 will pay the standard monthly subscription fee

· Unlimited anytime calls applies to UK local and national calls to landline numbers with 01 and 02 number prefix - does not include local and national rate numbers 0845 and 0870

· No minimum call charge with exception of calls to certain Premium Rate numbers and 118 Directory Enquiry numbers, where a cost per call applies in some cases

· AOL Talk only available to AOL Internet subscribers with a BT landline - standard BT line rental fees continue to apply

· Full list of call charges, including rates to mobile and international numbers will be detailed online at AOL Keyword: AOL Talk or from Tuesday 17th May at www.aol.co.uk/talk

About AOL

AOL is the leading online interactive services provider to the UK, with more than 2.3 million members, including more than one million on AOL Broadband. AOL offers a range of services in the UK, including dial-up, broadband and voice, as well as unrivalled content and community for all the family.

Members spend more than one hour a day online on average, enjoying access to more than 20 channels of online content, from Entertainment and News to Parenting, Shopping and Money, as well as email and the Internet.

The AOL Internet service and AOL Talk are provided to UK subscribers by AOL Europe Services SARL, a company in the AOL group based in Luxembourg. AOL (UK) Limited is part of AOL Europe, a business unit of America Online Inc., which is the world’s leading interactive services company with more than 28 million members worldwide. America Online Inc. is a division of Time Warner Inc., a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.


For further information please contact:

Jonathan Lambeth
Director of Communications - AOL UK
0207 348 8272 / jonathanlambeth@aol.com