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The BBC's Ian Rose
"Just the latest move by a very young company"
 real 56k

Sunday, 3 September, 2000, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
It's good to gas
Centrica: created from the split of British Gas in 1997
British gas supplier Centrica has announced details of the savings it will be offering when it launches in the telephone market.

The service is due to start in October under the British Gas name and claims savings of 50% on national calls compared with BT's standard residential rates.


At least one-third off your BT standard calls no matter what time of day or night you call

British Gas marketing director, Ian El-Mokadem
On local calls, Centrica says there will be a saving of 33%, and up to 75% on international calls.

However, consumers should remember that these are against BT's standard rates and in the increasingly competitive telecoms market there is no reason why anyone should be paying those.

Registration

Centrica's media relations manager James Donnan told BBC News Online British Gas was inviting registrations for the new service now.

As well as home telephone services, there will be mobile and internet packages.

Centrica is not the only firm to offer gas, electricity and home telecoms all under one umbrella.

Servista.com, founded in London last August, offers all these online, and claims to be the first to put all services on one bill.

It also claims to save customers money - up to 152 a year.

Diversified

Centrica, which is the UK's largest supplier of gas and electricity to homes, owns the AA roadside services and insurance group and offers financial services under its Goldfish brand.

It has set up deals with Vodafone, Torch Telecom (a subsidiary of Kingston Communications) and Cable & Wireless Communications to offer the phone service.

Vodafone will partner it in providing mobile telephone services across the UK, while Torch and CWC will provide residential telecom services.

Centrica aims to attract one-million subscribers by the end of 2001. It says it will be investing 150m in the new business and recruiting 800 staff.

Earlier this year, it announced it had hired Saul Lanyado, formerly a director at GEC Marconi, to be managing director of its telecoms division.

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See also:

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Save money, switch your gas supplier
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