Post Office Plans HomePhone Service

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Post Office Ltd. announced this month that it partnered with international telecommunications company Cable & Wireless to provide a fixed-line phone service for millions of customers in the United Kingdom.

Called Post Office HomePhone, the new service will be available to 21 million customers who use British Telecommunications as a fixed-line telephone provider. It launches early next year.

Post Office Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Mail Group plc and operates under the Post Office brand. Managing a nationwide network of about 16,000 Post Office branches, it is the largest Post Office network in Europe and the largest retail branch network in the UK, handling more cash than any other business.

Post Office was spun off from BT in 1984.

While Post Office said the service was launched in response to consumer demand, insiders said Royal Mail -- whose Post Office division is a money loser -- is trying to entice more people into its branches.

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