Centrica announces telecommunication agreements

Centrica plc has today announced a strategic alliance with Vodafone UK Limited, a subsidiary of Vodafone AirTouch plc, to provide mobile telephone services across Great Britain. The company said it had also reached agreement with Torch Telecom and Cable & Wireless Communications for the provision of residential telecommunications services.

The announcement marks a major step towards launching a comprehensive telecommunications service. The integrated fixed line and mobile service will also include competitive internet access.

Vodafone, the UK's leading mobile communications company, has been chosen to partner Centrica for the provision of the wireless services to consumers. In addition, it will provide its expertise and technical assistance for billing systems, facilities management and marketing to enable Centrica to offer the fully integrated telephone service.

Torch and Cable & Wireless, leaders in telecommunications, will provide fixed network capacity for Centrica's residential telephone service.

Roy Gardner, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: "We are very pleased to be partnering Vodafone and joining forces with Torch and Cable & Wireless. The tremendous experience and expertise they offer will help Centrica achieve its goal of bringing greater choice to consumers in the telecommunications market.

"With three million electricity contracts signed and more than a million Goldfish card holders, we have an impressive track record in marketing new products and services to consumers."

Peter Bamford, Chief Executive of Vodafone UK said: "We are delighted to be working with Centrica. This is a powerful partnership, combining our expertise with Centrica's marketing skills and extensive customer base to deliver new consumer telecommunications services."