Mumbai: BT today announced the launch of the world's first combined fixed and mobile phone service. This step marks a milestone in broadband deployment, says the company.
Called the BT Fusion, it works just like a mobile phone when the user is on the move - at fixed line prices - but switches automatically and seamlessly onto a BT broadband line when one gets indoors.
BT Fusion also offers savings by allowing calls to UK landline numbers to be charged at BT landline rates of 5.5pence for up to an hour for all off-peak calls and 3pence a minute at peak times.
Calls over broadband from indoors enable customers to make a mobile call without loss of transmission and reception due to signal losses. A recent survey of BT broadband customers revealed that as many as 19 per cent had experienced problems with mobile coverage in homes.
This is made possible by a special access point installed in the home called the 'BT hub', which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to switch the BT Fusion handset seamlessly to the broadband line - even in the middle of calls.
The BT hub also works as a wireless (Wi-Fi) router allowing the user to connect PCs, laptops, games consoles and printers wirelessly around the home.
Says Ian Livingston, CEO, BT Retail, "We promised to launch the world's first seamless combined fixed and mobile service and now we're doing it. The service will transform the communications landscape and bring excellent value to customers. For the first time customers will be able to get the best of both worlds in one service - combining the convenience and features of a mobile with fixed line prices and quality."
He explains, "The cornerstone of this strategy is BT broadband which can be wirelessly enabled to link up everything from your laptop, PC, games console to your home security system - and now your mobile. We know that many of our customers enjoy the convenience of their mobile phones when they're out and about - but switch to using a landline phone when they arrive back home to save money or because they have little or no mobile coverage."
"We're now delivering a world-first service that allows our customers to benefit from BT's great value landline rates with guaranteed coverage at home." Livingston adds. "You can even set the handset to work at more than one location. BT is taking a world lead in pushing forward fixed-mobile convergence and BT Fusion will form a significant part of our growth plans."
The launch of BT service is due for launch in September this year.