British Telecom launches fixed and mobile phone service
Posted on 15-Jun-2005 21:17
Filed under: News
It looks like the Project Bluephone, in the pipeline for the last two years is at last being launched. British Telecom (BT) has launched the world's first combined fixed and mobile phone service.
BT Fusion works just like a mobile phone when customers are out, but switches automatically and seamlessly onto a BT Broadband line when back home.
That means that customers can get all the convenience and all the features of a mobile phone but with fixed lines prices and quality when back home.
BT Fusion can offer customers huge savings by allowing calls to UK landline numbers to be charged at BT landline rates of 5.5p for up to an hour for all off-peak calls and 3p a minute at peak times.
BT says that a BT Fusion 10-minute off-peak rate mobile call from home will cost up to 95 per cent less than the same call using a typical mobile competitor package.
Calls over broadband in the home means customers can make a mobile call but with the quality of a fixed-line and worry less about the signal being lost or dropping out. A recent survey of BT Broadband customer revealed that as many as 19 per cent had experienced problems with mobile coverage in the home.
The system is made possible by a special access point installed in the home (the BT Hub) which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to switch the BT Fusion handset seamlessly to the broadband line – even in mid-call.
The BT hub also works as a wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) router, allowing the user to connect up PCs, laptops, games consoles and printers wirelessly around the home. Customers also receive one free handset when signing up for the service. The initial offering is the Motorola v560.
Ian Livingston, CEO for BT Retail, said: "We promised to launch the world's first seamless combined fixed and mobile service and now we're doing it. The service will transform the communications landscape and bring excellent value to customers.
"For the first time customers will be able to get the best of both worlds in one service – combining the convenience and features of a mobile with fixed line prices and quality."
"The cornerstone of this strategy is BT Broadband which can be wirelessly enabled – to link up everything from your laptop, PC, games console to your home security system – and now your mobile."
The launch of BT Fusion will start with approximately 400 early adopter customers, with the service being widely available for delivery in September.