BT is to offer a fixed mobile convergence (FMC) solution to large enterprises, allowing the deployment of telephony networks with support for both Wi-Fi and GSM mobile phones.
The Enterprise FMC platform will be available to companies by early 2007, and builds on the BT Fusion system launched last year for consumers and SMEs.
BT Fusion allows users to make cheaper voice over IP (VoIP) calls over a broadband line when in range of a Bluetooth short-range wireless hub. When not in range, usually when out of the office, the user can connect over a GSM mobile network instead with the same phone.
Enterprise FMC will also allow users to make cheaper VoIP calls, but over Wi-Fi networks instead of Bluetooth. Again, when out of the office users will be able to use the same phone to make calls over GSM mobile networks.
As with BT Fusion, BT plans to offer competitive calling plans to businesses, which will also be able to reduce the number of handsets they need to deploy in their organisations. The IP-compatible phones will also offer users a range of extra productivity features.
The new service will be launched in the UK, and later extended to France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and other countries.
Handset suppliers, including Nokia in partnership with Avaya, are currently in the process of bringing Wi-Fi/GSM handsets to market.