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BT extends Fusion to corporate customers

Companies can keep in touch through Wi-Fi hotspots

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Continuing their march towards a grand vision of an IMS future where everything is routed over IP connections, BT have announced that their Fusion product will now be available to corporate customers. Fusion combines GSM and Wireless LAN connectivity for voice calls, with calls using Voice over IP when on a data network, such as Wi-Fi, then switching to GSM when out of range.

Leeds City Council has been trying the technology, which uses handsets that can roam seamlessly from Wi-Fi to GSM and back again without even dropping a call, and seem very happy with it.

For the moment those corporate customers will only be able to use Wi-Fi in their own offices, but BT plans to rapidly combine the service with their hotspot-sharing agreements and thus allow corporate customers to roam around the world connecting to Wi-Fi hot spots when they are available: reducing the cost of calls without changing the user experience of picking up the phone and dialling.

The problems of routing voice calls over wireless networks remain: call quality can suffer depending on the capacity of the hot spot, and handset battery life is much reduced. BT aren’t saying who will be providing the handsets for the service, only that they are in talks with leading suppliers and will let us know soon.®

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