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7th January 2000

BT, Cable & Wireless and UUNET add the Vocalis SpeechMail system to their email services

SpeechMail, the e-mail by phone service developed by international speech technologies group Vocalis, is proving a major success, attracting a rapidly growing number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Vocalis announces the signing of new SpeechMail contracts with three of the leading ISPs operating in the UK marketplace: BT, Cable & Wireless and UUNET.

"The fact that such large, established and successful ISPs as these see SpeechMail as a valuable addition to their service offering confirms the benefits of the SpeechMail service, and how useful it is proving to be for the thousands of customers already using it," said Mike Williams, Business Development Director for Vocalis.

Launched by Vocalis earlier this year, SpeechMail allows email subscribers to access their messages using the telephone and spoken commands, with no need for a PC. By dialling a specified number and entering their account number and PIN, users can find out what their mailbox contains and have the contents read out to them using text-to-speech (TTS) technology. Then, Vocalis' Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR) allows them to perform various actions through spoken commands, such as replaying messages, replying, deleting them or skipping on to the next message.

SpeechMail is already being widely used, both by people subscribing directly with Vocalis and by customers of many ISPs. The first ISP to offer it was Freeserve, the free Internet service pioneered by Dixons. Since then, more than 30 ISPs have added SpeechMail to their service offering, and results show that a large number of subscribers use it regularly.

"We see SpeechMail as a very useful extension to the services we offer our customers," said Andy Collins, head of ISP BT Internet. "Because of the explosive growth in the use of email this means people want to have access to it not just when they are at their desk, but all the time, even on the move, and the telephone access that SpeechMail provides makes that possible."

Guy Hancox, Marketing Manager at Cable and Wireless, explains "Cable & Wireless Communications believes that the addition of the Vocalis SpeechMail service will prove a valuable tool for our more mobile customers, enabling them to listen to their emails while away from their home or office."

"Combining the telephone with voice command driven systems is the ideal way of handling data in a mobile environment and this applies not only to email but also to the information held on Websites," added Mike Williams. "The Vocalis SpeecHTML service, provides this second option, and in less than a year the two facilities have become widely accepted as exceptionally useful new ways of accessing the Internet."

About Vocalis

Vocalis Group plc, as a leading speech technology group, builds a range of voice activated telephony products for customers around the world. Vocalis was formed in 1993 and has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since July 1996.

The Vocalis technology areas include:-

Vocalis SpeechWare, our proprietary third generation advanced speech recognition technology, which is available to purchase under license. This is fully supported with toolkits and is available in most of the languages across the globe.
The Website is
Vocalis’ Internet Product range allows access to information on the internet by simply picking up the telephone and hearing the information. SpeecHTML allows companies to offer a telephone number which people can call to access the information on the Website, which they can then interact with using spoken commands. SpeechMail enables people to call and access their e-mail messages. They can hear them, reply and delete them using simple spoken commands.
The Websites are and
SPEECHtel is a platform with voice activated service applications for fixed and mobile telephone operators around the world. These include both operator services and value added services, such as directory assistance, unified messaging and voice dialling.
The Website is

For further information contact:

Peter Hayward/Susan Aldrich
Vector Business Communications
Tel: 01442-877167
Fax: 01442-877769
Email: [email protected]


Philippa Buttle/Sarah Neale
Vocalis Group plc
Tel: 01223-846177
Fax: 01223-846178
Email: [email protected]

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless Communications is the largest provider of integrated telecommunications and television entertainment services in the United Kingdom. The company serves customers nationally with a broad range of facilities-based network services including local, national and international voice, data and Internet services, and in certain regions, multichannel television and, through resale, mobile telecommunications services. Cable & Wireless Communications is one of the largest carriers of wholesale telecommunications traffic in the United Kingdom and was in 1997 the ninth largest carrier of international traffic in the world. The CWC Board believes that CWC is now the seventh largest such carrier in the world. With customers in 70 countries, Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of around £8 billion in the year ended March 1999 and over 50,000 employees. Its business around the world offer a range of services spanning broadband data and Internet access, fixed and mobile voice, as well as interactive entertainment and information. Cable & Wireless' priority for expansion is the fast growing market of data and IP (Internet Protocol) services for business customers. Since November 1998, it has announced major investments in advanced networks in the US and Europe, the restructuring of Cable & Wireless Communications in the UK and has acquired full control of Cable & Wireless IDC in Japan to support this strategy. Cable & Wireless now holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers.

For further information contact:

Guy Hancox
Marketing Manager
Tel: 01923-435417
Email: [email protected]

About BT Internet and Multimedia

BT Internet & Multimedia Services is one of the UK's largest provider of on-line services for consumer and business use. Its product portfolio includes:

  • BT Internet - providing a range of Internet services
  • - free internet access service with no registration, fixed term contracts or monthly subscriptions
  • Talk21 - free email address service
  • a wide ranging portfolio of e-business solutions and Intranet services.

Joint venture initiatives include:

  • LineOne, a web-based service offering internet connection and online UK focused content. A joint venture between BT and United News & Media.
  • BiB, a joint venture between BT, BSkyB, HSBC and Matsushita - providing digital interactive television services.
  • Excite UK, a joint venture with US Internet portal, Excite Inc

For further information contact:

David Pincott
BT Internet & Multimedia Services Press and PR Manager
Tel: 0171-492 8470
Email: [email protected]

For further Information on UUNET, please contact:

Richard Woods
UK PR Manager
Tel: 01223-250882

About Vocalis

Vocalis works with organisations to create contact centre solutions that build the organisations business and brands. These solutions can turn your contact centre from a cost to a profit centre by ensuring it builds your brand, helps your business be more competitive, and increases customer loyalty through more effective and efficient service. Vocalis was formed in 1993, is publicly traded on FTSE Stock Market and has been listed since July 1996. Vocalis brings back the reassurance of the most personal human touch in business - putting voice to work.

The Vocalis Website is at

Email: [email protected]

For further Vocalis Group information, contact:

Philippa Buttle
Vocalis Group plc
Chaston House
Mill Court
Gt Shelford
Tel: 01223-846177
Fax: 01223-846178
Email:[email protected]

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