BT and Global to upgrade legacy payphones through 10-year digital partnership

BT and Global to upgrade legacy payphones through 10-year digital partnership Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

BT and Global, the Media & Entertainment Group, have formed a 10-year partnership to upgrade the nation’s legacy payphones and roll out more digital hubs for local communities.

The partnership is expected to provide better connectivity and hyper-local advertising in more than 200 towns and cities across the UK. Global will also continue to represent BT’s street furniture advertising sales for the next decade.

BT Group’s street furniture estate covers traditional payphones, ATMs and Street Hubs: digital units that provide public Wi-Fi, and live communication at a local level – with some also extending EE’s mobile network capability to provide 4G and 5G connectivity.

The new agreement will see Global convert up to 2,000 conventional BT payphones and kiosks into brand new Street Hubs over a 10-year period from 2025, as well as marketing and selling advertising on BT’s 959 existing Street Hubs. BT will continue to provide mobile and WiFi connectivity to the units.

As well as offering secure connectivity at speeds of up to 1Gbps within a 150-metre radius, modern Street Hub 2 units have a dedicated 999 calling button, USBs for free device charging and touch-screen tablets displaying real-time public information from local councils. They also feature screens to open up digital, street-level advertising for businesses.

BT Street Hubs nationwide are already a significant part of Global’s high-quality, digital roadside advertising estate, providing huge reach and scale for outdoor ad campaigns. The BT portfolio is also available for advertisers to purchase programmatically via DAX, Global’s market leading digital advertising exchange with pioneering targeting and measurement tools. Global will continue to share content from LBC on the BT screens, providing news to local communities served by the units.

Stephen Miron, Global’s Group CEO, said: “We are absolutely delighted to continue our partnership with BT for at least another 10 years. Street Hubs have become increasingly attractive to advertisers, given their striking presence and prominent positioning on the major streets across the UK. Together with BT, we have very exciting and ambitious plans to significantly expand the Street Hub network, alongside some highly innovative solutions for advertisers. BT have been a great partner, and we look forward to continuing this relationship over the next decade.”

Bas Burger, CEO – Business at BT, said: “BT’s payphones have long been an iconic feature on the UK’s streets – and with the way we all communicate changing, today’s announcement marks a further step into the future. There are already almost 1,000 modern digital Street Hubs bringing communication benefits to local communities across the UK. By bringing together BT’s rock-solid connectivity with Global’s unrivalled expertise in out-of-home advertising, we can almost triple this number over the next decade.”

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