POTENTIALLY one of the largest customer databases in the world was launched last month on behalf of BT by US computer giant IBM. The $8m "proof of concept" project is capable of storing 35 terabytes (35,000 billion bytes) of data - a world record, claims IBM.

The database, which will contain customer information specifically for sales and marketing purposes, will be a mere 13 terabytes in its initial stage and runs on Oracle software. BT believes the new system will boost sales and reduce marketing costs.