Vodafone and BT together to implement fixed to mobile convergence
Posted on 19-May-2004 19:21.
Filed under: News
Vodafone UK and BT (British Telecom) entered a partnership arrangement. Vodafone has been chosen by BT to supply basic mobile network services such as voice and data services in order to become BT's mobile partner in its fixed mobile convergence (FMC) activities, the first product being BT's Bluephone. This project was announced in 2003 (and more information here). It removes the need to own more than one phone, as customers will be able to use a single device that can switch seamlessly between networks, giving more convenience, a better service with more guaranteed coverage and lower overall costs.
Whenever customers are within reach of a BT wireless access point in their home or office, they will be able to connect at the best available speed and quality, through the BT network. If they move out of coverage range, they will seamlessly link to our partner's cellular GSM or 3G network for voice and data, giving them the best available connection wherever they are.
Project Bluephone has undergone successful trials with 50 users over the past two months and the technology is proven. Now it is to be brought to market by BT in close collaboration with Alcatel, Ericsson and Motorola. A 'soft launch' involving more than 1,000 users is planned for this summer, with a full launch later this year.
Vodafone will also provide mobile services for all BT's internal and external requirements through a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) arrangement.
This deal is for a five year period. It will enable both companies to develop advanced products and services in the future while maximising the network assets of both.
Bill Morrow, Vodafone UK's Chief Executive Officer comments: "This deal has huge attractions for both organisations. As the mobile partner in BT's convergence strategy, this enables Vodafone to maximise its network and service assets while generating additional revenue from a new source. This deal also reflects the unique dynamics of the UK mobile market in which there are five network operators and several MVNOs, all aiming to increase their customer base. Vodafone remains fully committed to a mobile strategy and is happy to share the success of mobile communications."
BT says its customers will benefit from true fixed-mobile convergence by being able to communicate and access the same information and services however and wherever they want. No longer will they have to carry multiple devices, look up mobile address lists on different phones, or use more than one voicebank or phone number. The same personalised services will be available to them, whether they are connected to a fixed network or on the move.
BT's goal is to generate around £1 billion of annual mobility and convergence revenues in five years.