Yahoo, BT Unveil Instant-Messenger Voice Service

Britain's top fixed-line telecoms operator BT Group introduced on Thursday four new products to its broadband business, one of which lets users make calls over Yahoo Inc's instant messenger product. The new voice offering, called Yahoo Messenger with BT Communicator, uses the technology of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which carries speech over the Internet. Through its year-old alliance with Yahoo, BT has over 46 percent of the UK's retail broadband DSL market.

The telecoms giant also introduced a flexible bandwidth service enabling customers to increase download speeds by up to two megabits a second at the click of a button, a new customer service offering and a "rich media" digital rights scheme allowing broadcasters to stream multi-media programming across the Web. BT is hoping the new products will help it stave off rivals in one of the most fiercely competitive DSL broadband markets in Europe. Yahoo, meanwhile, is continuing with its strategy of adding subscription offerings to boost revenues in the wake of a stagnant European online advertising market.

News source: Reuters

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