BT to trial dual standard phone

BT to trial dual standard phone
Steve Bush BT is to trial the UK’s first DECT-GSM dual standard mobile phone and service for consumers. Called OnePhone, customers will have one phone number that covers both DECT and GSM services, even when the handset is used abroad. “The handset will use DECT when it is operated within 300m of the home basestation and GSM elsewhere,” said a BT spokesman. The handset will have a single number for both services. DECT will have priority and switch-over will be automatic. “The only snag at the moment is that the phone will drop a call if the user moves out of DECT range,” said the spokesman, “but we are working on it.” According to BT, the trial will be in the Cambridge area and expand from there. First release of the service will be in August with a nationwide launch at the end of the year. OnePhone follows the introduction of a business version last year and eventually it will be developed to offer new services such as access to E-mail, fax and the Internet says BT. The handset in the trial is likely to be Ericsson’s TH 688 which was introduced at CeBIT 98. The company claims that using DECT where possible increases battery life as well as reducing costs. The TH 688 user interface and design is based on Ericsson GH 688 GSM phone. DECT function comes from adding a second board, based on its DT 360, to modified to GH 688 mechanics. Weight is claimed to be 219g and dimensions 130 x 49 x 23 mm.


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