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Mobile operator pays people to accept calls

U.K. company 3 says it will start paying its pay-as-you-go customers to accept phone calls and text ads.

Third-generation mobile operator 3 has announced it will start paying its pay-as-you-go customers to accept phone calls and text ads. Under the WePay offer, 3 users will get credit to use toward their phone bill whenever someone tries to contact them--0.05 pounds (9 cents) per minute for calls and 0.02 pounds per text read--in a bid to lure heavy pay-as-you-go users to the 3 network.

A 3 spokeswoman said the move is also designed to get data-shy users to experiment with new content using their credit. She said: "Traditionally prepaid customers are lower spending, and this is about encouraging them to use 3G content." The offer will be available starting in February.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.