BT Launches Celebrity Voice of Text

1 min read
Ever wished your texts could talk? Now they can as BT Text allows you to send SMS messages to and from your home phone.

BT says It’s open to everyone – even your gran! My kids are putting it to them now to see how they get on. Even if you don’t have the latest phone, you can still receive texts on your landline. BT’s text-to-speech technology converts texts into spoken messages and delivers them to your landline that way instead.

The clever technology can even understand TXT SPK shortcuts like CUL8R or :-) and translates these into spoken English.

For three months from 31st January 2006, actor Tom Baker will be the voice of BT Text. One of our great British icons, Tom appeals across the generations, as the narrator of Little Britain and for his role as the fourth Doctor in Dr Who.

So how does it work?

You can send a text from a mobile to a landline in the normal way – just enter the landline number as the destination instead.

To send a text from a landline to another landline or to a mobile, you need a text-enabled home phone (see for the latest models), BT Caller Display and a compatible phone line.

If the recipient has got a text-enabled phone and has registered for BT Text, they will ordinarily receive texts in written format.

If you want to surprise them with a Tom Baker text, you can force it to be delivered as speech instead by typing *tts# at the start of your message (tts means ‘text to speech’).

All UK landlines, including cable lines, which start with 01 or 02 are capable of receiving Tom Baker texts. The only exception is for texts sent from mobiles using the T-Mobile network, which has its own different text-to-speech service.

Texts from landlines to mobiles and from mobile to mobile will be delivered in the normal way – i.e. in written format not as spoken messages.