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Calling a BT Bluephone could cost you dear

Telco undecided on tariff charges

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People phoning BT's yet-to-be-launched "Bluephone" service could be stung for the cost of a mobile phone call - even if the Bluephone they're calling is connected to BT's fixed-line network.

So far BT is keeping mum on pricing for the new service and will not say whether it plans to differentiate the cost of calling a Bluephone. Critics claim this is yet another BT ruse to increase tariffs and revenue.

Although Bluephone users making calls will see their phone charges vary depending on whether they are connected to a mobile or fixed-line network, people phoning a Bluephone are facing inflated costs.

A senior BT spokesman told The Register: "Calls will be charged at mobile rates unless BT decides to offer a discount." Whether BT will offer a "discount" is unlikely to be known until later in the year when the telco gears up for the commercial launch of the service.

BT confirmed last month that it was going ahead with its converged handset project. According to the monster telco: "It [the Bluephone] removes the need to own more than one phone, as customers will be able to use a single device that can switch seamlessly between networks, giving more convenience, a better service with more guaranteed coverage and lower overall costs." ®

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