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New BBC World Service app to offer call-in option

BBC World Service listeners will be able to call-in to listen to the station in countries where mobile data is expensive or unavailable.

Through the new BBC World Service app, the BBC's English language radio station aims to help people access news and radio programmes in areas where mobile data is expensive or internet coverage is limited.

Developed by BBC World Service and Zeno Media, the free app gives users in selected territories a choice in how they access content - either by using the ‘call-to-listen’ function, or by Wi-Fi and mobile data. The call-to-listen function is charged at the rate of a standard local call (which is clearly signposted before the call starts), offering a cost-effective way to access the BBC World Service where internet access is poor or expensive.

However if users are able to take advantage of Wi-Fi or mobile data the app will also function and offer a more extended feature set.

The app can be accessed on mobile phones and is available globally (excluding the UK) through the Google Play and Apple iOS App stores. 

However, the call-to-listen function will be only be available in 35 countries initially, including Nigeria and Pakistan.

Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English commented: 
BBC World Service English already has a weekly global reach of 79 million people, but we are keen to bring our impartial news and rich mix of programmes to new audiences who might live in areas where accessing the internet or mobile data is difficult or expensive. Young people around the world are increasingly using their mobile phones to access news and this simple app offers a cost effective and convenient way for people to listen to our programmes.