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BT's batphone swoops closer

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BT is hoping for a spring launch for its combined phone which will allow people to make VoIP, mobile or landline calls from the same handset.

When you use the phone near your home or office the call is routed using your landline connection. If you are out and about it will use the mobile network to connect calls. But if you are within a Wi-Fi hotspot the phone automatically uses VoIP to route the call. The "Bluephone" will be launched in spring 2005, according to the Financial Times.

The combined phone is seen as a way to reverse the flow of call revenues away from fixed-line operators and to mobile companies. Ovum estimates that about 30 per cent of mobile calls are made at home where there is a fixed-line alternative.

What is not clear is how much BT will charge for the service. The telco is "exploring" the option of offering "BT Together" tariffs to punters using their shiny handsets in Wi-Fi hotspots or at home. ®

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