BT launches Fusion: cellular / VoIP service
British Telecom has launched a new hybrid telephony service dubbed Fusion that combines cellular service with Voice over IP technology. While the system doesn't use WiFi (which many believe
will revolutionize telecom in the near future), it does allow for the same mobile phone to be used for cellular and VoIP calls. Bluetooth Class 1 is used for homebound VoIP which means users must be within range of the Fusion base station--about 20-25 yards. Once a user is in range of the base station, calls automatically change over from the cellular network to VoIP. This includes calls that are already in progress.
VoIP calls, which are routed through the internet instead of the typical phone network, are cheaper and typically have better sound quality.
Interestingly, the Fusion base station will be able to connect to WiFi phones once they are widely available.
The Motorola V560
, which is shown at right, is currently the only phone to support Fusion. Its features include: 5MB of memory, VGA camera, MP3 ringtones and Java MIDP 2.0.