Wednesday, June 15, 2005

BT Launches Hybrid Phone

Mark Evans



BT, which made a splash last month with a US$19-billion next-generation network contract, hopes to gain even more attention with a new phone called BT Fusion that acts as a regular mobile phone when the user is out of the house, then "seamlessly" switches over to the carrier's IP network when the user returns home. The switch is done through an access hub, which also acts as a Wi-Fi router to connect PCs, game consoles and printers. For carriers with wireless and wireline networks, the idea of a converged phone service is compelling because it will make their wireless networks more efficient and, hopefully, reduce the need to make investments to expand the system even as more consumers come on board. In Canada, Rogers has been talking about this kind of network for months but with the integration of Microcell Telecommunications Inc. and the launch of cable telephony next month, it has not been a high strategic priority.

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