BT Fusion for business: new capped call rates

Businesses that sign up to BT Fusion can now benefit from capped calling rates when they use their mobile phones in the office. This means customers can talk for an hour and only pay 10p for UK fixed line calls, 15p for calls to other BT Mobiles and 25p for calls to UK mobiles.
BT Fusion is targeted at businesses with ten employees or less. Away from the office, the handset (Motorola V560 or RAZR V3B) works like a normal mobile phone with a contract tariff; calls made in the office are routed over a business BT Broadband connection via a BT Hub. The Hub can also be used as a conventional wireless LAN modem/router to connect PCs and printers to a BT broadband connection and each other.
BT Fusion costs £12.50 a month per handset on a 24-month contract.
Meanwhile BT says it will launch a beefed up version of BT Fusion for larger businesses early next year.
The service will be dubbed ‘Enterprise FMC’ (for Fixed-Mobile Convergence); again BT has partnered with Vodafone for mobile phone calls.
Calls between users on the same IP network are free. Calls can also be routed via BT’s Openzone WiFi hotspots at landline rates.
“We will use our knowledge and experience to ensure that this new innovative service will reduce the complexity of communications whilst also improving employee effectiveness and business productivity,” said BT Global Services UK president Tim Smart.
BT is installing a network, which it refers to as its ‘21st century network’ (21CN), that supports the SIP and IMS standards and will enable intelligent routing of calls. The theory is that users will no longer require a mobile, a data device, and a fixed phone because everything will be possible from a single handset with PBX type functionality at home, in the office and at BT’s Openzone hotspots.
BT has partnered with Alcatel for development, testing and launch of the new service.
In a potentially related move, BT has joined the Symbian Platinum Program to support the growing market for phones based on Symbian OS. Said Matt Walker of BT Group Chief Technology Office: “We want to enable third-parties to rapidly develop services that can run over 21CN, and open operating systems for mobile devices can play a key role in this. As Symbian is the market leader in the mobile open OS market, becoming a Platinum Partner offers many opportunities for BT in this area. We will also benefit from Symbian’s technical support for our prototyping activities.”
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