Belgian directory enquiries go 1-2-3-4
17 December 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium will officially ring in a new automated directory assistance service on 1 January following a successful test phase.
From the new year, Belgian residents will be able to dial 1-2-3-4 for the new service, which will be billed at 90 cents per call (including value-added tax).
The service has been running in a test mode since 1 October. On average, it receives about 4,000 calls per day (60% in French and 40% in Dutch), peaking at 10,000 calls a day.
Residents can sample the service for free through the end of this year for calls from the Belgacom, Telenet, Proximus and Versatel. Other operators will be added to the list in 2005.
The service, based on voice recognition technology, makes it possible to request the number of a private individual, company or service from any fixed-line or mobile phone in Belgium.
It also makes it possible to find the name or address of a party by providing only a telephone number.
Any costs for connecting the call to the number requested and the price for the call following the connection will be charged at the customer’s usual rate.
“Lisa,” as the android-like mascot of the new service is called, should take some pressure off Belgacom’s 500 operators who already answer some 40 million directory assistance calls annually.
Operators currently provide service in Dutch (1207), French (1307), German (1407) and English (1405).
For more information, see www.1234.be.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news