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BT Bluephone makes mobile and fixed phone convergence a reality

Antony Savvas

BT has launched a broadband phone service that allows users to use the same phone in the office, at home and on a mobile network.

The BT Fusion phone, also known as Bluephone, acts as a normal GSM mobile. But when used inside a home or office it routes calls through a BT hub onto a BT broadband line to enable cheaper calls.

The move was hailed as a breakthrough for business users by Ovum analyst Mike Cansfield. "This is big news," he said. "Many have spoken about fixed mobile convergence, but BT is the first to offer a true FMCservice."

Forrester Research analyst Lars Godell said BT's rivals would have to react to retain customers. "Innovation and service bundling are smarter ways of meeting increased competition than just dropping prices and increasing bandwidth," he said.

The Bluephone connects to the hub via a Bluetooth short-range wireless link and can also connect to other devices.

BT Fusion 100 comes with 100 free minutes for 9.99 a month, and Fusion 200 comes with 200 free minutes for 14.99 a month. Motorola handsets and hub come free with the package. BT will take on 400 early adopters before making it widely available in September.

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