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Atlantic taps into UK phones

Competition for telephone customers promised to intensify yesterday with the announcement that a second company to use wireless technology to connect homes to the fixed-phone network planned to launch a service at the end of the month, writes Chris Godsmark.

Atlantic Telecom will offer phone services initially to about 20 per cent of addresses in Glasgow, including around 100,000 homes in competition with BT and cable operator International CableTel. The company also revealed it had raised pounds 23.2m in a rights issue to fund the further roll-out of the system to the rest of the city by 1998.

Graham Duncan, Atlantic's chairman, said prices for the services would not be unveiled until the official launch on 30 October, but innovations would include a variety of billing options, with bundles of calls included in the price. Bundled tariffs were pioneered by Orange, the mobile phone group.

The first fixed-link radio telephone firm, Ionica, began services in East Anglia earlier this year.