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BT Fusion rises again

This time it's about data

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Son of Fusion is here - BT has launched what it's calling "Total Broadband Anywhere", with Windows Mobile handsets from HTC and membership of BT's FON network.

Last time we discussed Fusion with BT they told us it was far from dead, and while this new offering might lack the Fusion branding, it's clearly offering much the same functionality. The development of Fusion into a data-centric service was an obvious evolution, though voice is still supported though the BT Broadband Talk service.

What's missing is a seamless handoff between Wi-Fi and cellular networks - so when you walk out of the house you'll get cut off and have to dial again. But the technology needed to solve that problem has already proved more expensive, and restrictive, than the problem itself.

The handsets are branded BT ToGo, but are actually an HTC S620 or S710, running Windows Mobile 6. They come free with the subscription which starts at 24 quid a month with 50 minutes, 50 texts and 10MB of GPRS data (though GPRS is unlimited until the end of July). Additional data is £1.50 a MB, though an unlimited option will be available for an additional fiver a month.

Other options are available, more minutes for more money, and BT is keen to point out that the service is only a fiver more than BT Option 3. The company is also hoping that access to the FON network and BT Openzone hotspots (with 82,000 and 2,500 sites respectively) will distract users from the paltry data allowance the service offers. ®

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