BT to add 180 internet kiosks to BAA's London airports

LONDON - British Telecom has won an £18m contract to fit up to 180 of its new internet kiosks at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, which it claims is the largest contract won by its payphones division to date.

As part of a five-year deal with airport operator BAA, BT will replace around one-third of existing payphones at the airports with web-enabled phones. It will also continue to manage the airports' remaining 350 basic payphones.

The new kiosks allow people to surf the net and send emails and text messages as well as make calls. The group has recently been replacing standard payphones with the new internet versions around the UK.

BT aims to cut the number of standard payphones in the UK by about 30,000 to about 100,000 in the next two years. It currently has 1,500 of the new kiosks and expects to have 20,000 in the next two years.

Paul Hendron, director of BT payphones, said: "These airports are prime sites with a total of more than 112m passengers passing through them each year. It is a pivotal win."

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