Tesco launches internet phoneTesco launch internet phone service

19 January 2006

Supermarket giant Tesco has launched an internet phone service for broadband users which it claims with slash the cost of the average phone bill.

Its new internet phones plug into computers with a broadband connection and work like standard handsets. The service will be rolling out across 350 stores in the next few months, and customers can buy a handset in Tesco stores or from its website for GBP 19.97, which includes GBP 5 of airtime.

Calls from Tesco's new internet phone to UK landlines and to countries such as the US, Canada and Australia cost 2p a minute, while calls to UK mobiles cost 10p a minute. A BT call, for example, from a fixed line to the US costs 5p a minute, and that's with BT's special International Option package. However, it also offers a cheaper Broadband Voice deal.

Tesco says its internet phones are as easy to use as traditional fixed-line phones and feature the same call quality, as well as offering the option of a second phone line.

Users install the software, register their details and select their phone number. Then they plug the handset into the USB socket on their PC and can begin making calls. Credit is topped up online with a debit or credit card.