BT joins mobile firms to develop Bluephone

BT is working with Ericsson, Alcatel and Motorola to accelerate the development of a new type of mobile handset which will offer...

BT is working with Ericsson, Alcatel and Motorola to accelerate the development of a new type of mobile handset which will offer fixed and mobile telephony.

Dubbed project Bluephone, BT said its goal is "dismantling the barriers between fixed and mobile services". According to BT, fixed-mobile convergence means users can 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," a spokesman for BT said.

Products developed by the partnership are expected to go on sale by the end of 2004. BT said it would also be working with Vodafone UK to provide fully converged fixed/mobile services.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst with market analyst Ovum, said the Bluephone collaboration looked promising for business users. "Business customers desperately want their myriad different devices to talk to each other ina more seamless way," he said.

"These announcements offer hope that this vision is within touching distance rather than a distant hope," Zoller added.

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