NO-HEADLINE

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The Independent Online
Oftel, the telephones watchdog, yesterday said it hoped that 300,000 low-spending households would join the phone network when BT launched a new "no frills" service next year.

After two years of discussions, BT had agreed with Oftel to launch the service, which would offer incoming calls only for a quarterly rental fee of less than pounds 10. But BT said Oftel's estimates were far too low. Oftel forecast it would cost BT pounds 40m to pounds 80m, with benefits such as greater brand promotion worth a similar sum, while BT said the true cost was up to pounds 200m, with smaller benefits.

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