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BT mobile to allow cheap online calls
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 11/02/2004 08:22:00 PM.

BT Group is planning to launch a mobile phone next year that will allow users to make cheap calls over the internet from airports, stations, hotels and cafes.

The UK's dominant telecoms operator is hoping to sell mobile handsets incorporating Wi-Fi, the wireless internet technology, that will enable its customers to access the internet when they enter one of 17,000 "hotspots" around the globe.

The move represents the first concrete signs of the threat posed by the new technology to mobile operators. If Wi-Fi-enabled phones take off, they could reverse recent trends that have led to huge volumes of voice call traffic migrating from traditional fixed-line networks to mobile operators.

Under BT's plans, when mobile phone users are at work or at home, their calls will be migrated over BT's fixed-line network using Wi-Fi connections. But when users enter one of BT's hotspots their voice call will be carried over the internet, allowing BT to undercut the international roaming rates charged by mobile operators.

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