118 918 wins international directories award

SpiriTel, the business communications service provider, has announced that Virgin Mobile’s 118 918 Directory Enquiry (DQ) service, provided and managed by SpiriTel, has won the award of Best Newcomer at the International Directories Awards.

Using SpiriTel’s UK¬-based managed DQ service, Virgin Mobile launched 118 918 as part of its Social Investment Programme. Users of the service are charged the same amount or less than calls to most other UK 118 numbers, however, Virgin Mobile does not make any profit from calls made to its 118 918 number. Instead, 20 pence from every call is given to charity.

The service is promoted to Virgin Mobile’s four million customers, but can also be called from any mobile or fixed line provider where the network operator allows access.

The service managed by SpiriTel’s Technologies Division was launched by Richard Branson and SpiriTel’s Alastair Mills in November 2007. 118 918 is cheaper than the services from 118 118, BT’s 118 500 and Yell’s 118 247; none of which provide a charitable donation. It is the only not-for-profit DQ service in the UK.

Funds raised go to two charities: The Foyer and The Kids Company.

118 918 was a finalist in three categories at the Las Vegas award ceremony: Best Mobile, Best European Service and Best Newcomer.

Commenting on the award win, Richard Branson said: “I am absolutely delighted that 118 918 has been recognised in this way. I love the service, all my kids love the service, all our friends love the service, and the fact that it helps Foyer and Kids Company continue to do their great work is just brilliant.”

Alastair Mills, chief executive at SpiriTel, commented: “I am thrilled that 118 918 has received this international recognition. When I had the idea for the service, I looked long and hard for a partner which had a substantial international brand capable of generating significant call volumes. Virgin Mobile’s enthusiasm in adopting the service as its own in order to raise funds for two fantastic charities has been highly gratifying.”

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