The Inquirer-Home

BT offers Wi-Fi phones to consumers

May disappoint Skype fans, though
Sun Jan 07 2007, 13:15
A CONSUMER version of Fusion - BT's wireless VoIP offering - will be launched tomorrow which uses Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth as per the service it replaces.

The move follows a soft launch of the same service to business back in December [2006]. The big difference - from a consumer's standpoint - is that a digital cordless phone bought for the home will also work with public hotspots.

Fusion handsets are designed to work with BT's OpenZone national network of Wi-Fi hotspots.

It's thought that the service will be initially offered via three handsets : the Nokia 6136; Motorola A910; and Samsung P200. BT hopes to have around 20 compatible handsets available by Q3 2007.

Fusion will be sold like a cellular service with a contract and initially only to customers of BT's own broadband service. Later in the year the company hopes to sell to customers of rival broadband suppliers and to offer a prepaid version too.

Talking to the Sunday Telegraph, BT's head of mobility and convergence, Steve Andrews, Claimed, "I think we'll see mass market adoption for BT Fusion over the next 12 months.

Over 60 per cent of mobile calls are made indoors - at home, in the office, at railways stations and airports. We believe this is an underserved market in terms of good low-cost access to the internet."

It's not clear, of course, whether it will be possible to access Skype via a Fusion phone - something which will probably disappoint many consumers. µ

See Also
Wi-Fi Version of BT Fusion sneaks out



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