BT is stepping up its play for the business telecoms market by reducing its Business Plan call rates to the US to under to 10p per hour and capping calls to another 22 destinations at 20p an hour.
"We have said we won't sit back and have the business market taken away from us," said Mark Hollister, head of BT Indirect Channels (BTIC).
"With Business Plan, the customer knows what to expect. The brand is increasingly important, as in other commodity markets."
However, Justin Orde, joint managing director of reseller Spitfire and its sister company, Spitfire Network Services, said that BT Retail, BTIC's parent organisation, had become more involved in the market of late.
"BT Retail is becoming more aggressive in fighting indirect operators. But the proposition we are offering is still cheaper," he said.
"BT's brand is very strong. It is our perception in the SME market that the war is being fought between BT and service providers rather than BT and the big operators. Energis, Worldcom and the like are using service providers to attack the SME market."
Hollister said that Business Plan, which is also sold direct by BT, was backed by "the best part of £20m in marketing spend".
The offering is intended to give an alternative to least-cost routing products sold by competitors, he added.
However, competitors say the headline rates of 10p and 20p mask less generous savings on calls to other locations.
BT has backed its revamp of Business Plan with research purchased from Deloitte & Touche, which compared 1.7 million bills to establish relative costs for a variety of plans.
The firm found that Energis was 35 per cent more expensive than BT, NTL 14 per cent more and Telewest and Cable & Wireless Communications three and six per cent more expensive respectively.
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