Next generation text service (NGTS)
There has been a national text relay service in UK since 1991 enabling textphone users to contact hearing people over the telephone. BT has now launched an improved service known as Next Generation Text Service (NGTS).
You will be able to make calls in exactly the same way with NGTS using your textphone but the new service will give you more ways to make a call so you don’t need to rely on a textphone. If you would like to be able to make calls via your computer or on the move, using a PC, laptop, various tablets and other mobile devices you will be able to do so with a specially designed app.
NGT Lite is an application available for use on Android, iOS and Windows PC’s that connects you to the UK’s Next Generation Text (NGT) Service. With the NGT Lite app running on your computer, tablet, or smartphone you can communicate with another person, either directly (if they also have the NGT Lite app) by typing what you want to say for them to read, or via a Relay Assistant who will speak or type your words through to the other person.
How it works
How to get NGTS
The app is free to download from the Google play store, the Apple app store and the NGT Website. The latest version includes important security and stability updates and fixes compatibility issues with Android 6.0 (also known under the code name of “Marshmallow”). The user interface will not be changing significantly with this release.
From the 27th April 2016 earlier versions of NGT Lite will no longer work on older Android, iOS and Windows operating systems.
If you’re using NGT Lite on Android version 4.0 (also known as “Ice Cream Sandwich”), you will need to update your version of Android before you can use this latest release of the app. In certain cases you may find that your Android device can’t be updated and you’ll therefore need to change to another device to be able to continue using the NGT service.
If you’re having difficulty installing the latest version of the NGT Lite app, there’s lots of useful information on the NGT Website. Otherwise you can get in touch with the NGT Helpdesk on 0800 7311 888 from a mobile or landline telephone, or call 0800 500 888 from a textphone or if using your NGT Lite app.
How it works
When you make a call, if you currently use your voice to speak but read the reply in text, NGTS allows you to do so without having to change between voice and text as you do now with the old TextDirect service. All you need to do is use an internet connected device, such as a tablet, smartphone or laptop, with the app installed and you will be able to speak and read at the same time, which will help the flow of the conversation.
If you are fed up with having to give out the 18002 prefix to any hearing person who wishes to call you, NGTS will give you the ability to link your standard telephone number to a specific NGTS TextNumber. A TextNumber is just like an alternative phone number and can be given to friends and family and companies, so they can call you using this number without the need to use the 18002 prefix.
Image courtesy of British Telecommunications plc.
More information about the service and how to register for a TextNumber is available on the NGTS website www.ngts.org.uk.
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