BT Set to Roll Out Fixed-Mobile Convergence Services for Enterprise Customers
TMCnet Contributing Editor
BT has announced it will begin offering converged fixed-mobile (FMC) services to large enterprise customers both in and outside the U.K. to enable business users to utilize one phone for mobile and office calls. The service is an application of the operator’s 21st Century Network (21CN), a next-generation network being rolled out in the U.K. which is set to expand to global markets as well.
The new service, dubbed Enterprise FMC, will begin customer trials later this year. The operator already offers a consumer and small-business FMC service known as Fusion, which enables users to have one handset for fixed and mobile calls as well as one bill.
Two Motorola (News - Alert) handsets are available for the Fusion service, enabling GSM voice calls to be routed through the BT Broadband connection in the home environment via UMA technology. Wireless connectivity between the broadband and GSM networks is provided by Bluetooth, and new GSM/WiFi (News - Alert) handsets will be introduced later this year to enable BT to offer WiFi connectivity as well.
The new enterprise service is expected to become commercially available in the U.K. in early 2007, said Steven Evans, BT's chief of wireless broadband and future products. "It will be the first big new service on the back of 21CN," said Evans. "The elements we want for the service are going to be ready by then."
"We will have dual-mode handsets linking with Vodafone's GSM network," added Evans. He commented that BT expects the service to be attractive to customers who are concerned about rising mobile costs but who want to provide their employees with more flexibility. "There will be people leaving their mobile operators," he said.
Laura Stotler writes about IP Communications and related topics for TMCnet. She has covered VoIP and related technologies for seven years, contributing to Internet Telephony magazine and TMCnet, and as a freelance writer. To see more articles, please visit: Laura Stotler’s columnist page.