Following the launch of BT Fusion, the intelligent fixed – mobile phone for consumers and small businesses, BT has announced its plans for a new Fixed-Mobile Converged service for large businesses and multi-national corporates both in and outside the UK.
This new solution will utilise Wi-Fi as the interface to the fixed network in key locations such as the office, home, and BT Openzone hotspots.
The new enterprise solution, will be part of a suite of services that will offer large businesses the chance to bring their fixed and mobile services together and to run a common set of applications and calling features across an integrated IP broadband network. This will drive enhanced productivity and a reduction in the cost of communications for customers.
Steven Evans, BT’s Chief of Wireless Broadband and Future Products, said: “Large customers told us what they wanted and we have listened. This new service will harness the power of Wireless Broadband on customer’s existing fixed infrastructure, BTs 21st Century network and a new generation of dual mode Wi-Fi / GSM mobile phones. “We have chosen Alcatel as our development partner as they bring considerable experience of fixed mobile convergence from our work together on BT Fusion and also from working with our 21CN network development, an essential component of the solution.”
Monika Maurer, president of Alcatel’s fixed solutions activities, said: “Once again, BT will provide their enterprise customers with exactly what they need – a converged, cost-effective service that allows employees to be connected wherever they may be. Following on from our role as prime integrator with Fusion, as well as our close work with BT around 21CN we are delighted to work with BT to make fixed-mobile convergence a reality for BT’s enterprise customers.”
Tim Smart, President, BT Global Services UK, said: “BT has emerged as a clear leader in the new market created by the convergence of communications and IT. 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.”
BT will be building the solution over the coming months and will be undertaking live pilot implementations with corporate customers in early 2007. The new service, given the project name “Enterprise FMC”, is yet another demonstration of BT’s strategy to deliver to customers the benefits of convenience, cost reductions and the best available connectivity to their corporate information and applications wherever they are at any time. No longer will employees be required to have a mobile, a data device, and a fixed phone as everything will be possible from a single handset with PBX type functionality at home, in the office and at BT’s Openzone hotspots plus all the benefits of normal mobile.
The link to BT’s 21st Century network will – enable intelligent routing of calls. By linking information from a user’s calendar, the network will ensure that, for example, if the user is in a meeting, an incoming call will be automatically diverted to voicemail, reverting to normal service when the meeting ends. Alternatively, certain pre-selected callers can be either routed directly to the user or to a pre-specified alternative colleague in the company.
BT’s contract with Alcatel encompasses the development, testing and launch of the new service. BT is in parallel testing a number of different dual mode mobile handsets and discussions are well advanced with these manufacturers on supplies for launch.