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Thursday, April 21, 2005
BT promises Wi-Fi/GSM phone for Christmas

BT has confirmed that it will have a combined Wi-Fi/GSM phone on the market by Christmas.

Speaking to at the Wireless LAN Event in London, BT's chief executive for wireless broadband, Chris Clark, confirmed the telco's plans to ship a hybrid handset this year."We'll have a seamless roaming GSM/Wi-Fi phone by the end of the year," he said.

"In five years' time they'll be very common, though not ubiquitous. Clutter from other Wi-Fi devices may slow growth, although I believe there's a technical fix for that."Clark also committed BT to launching its Bluephone Project by the end of this spring, although he pointed out that, under the British calendar, spring does not officially end until June.

Bluephone is a handset that can connect to a traditional fixed line via Bluetooth, but switch to the GSM network when out of range of the house."Switching networks for mobile devices is key," said Andrew Allison, head of Intel's mobility group in the UK.

"But there are a lot of steps on the way to getting software-controlled radio like this. It's not just a question of sticking everything onto the chip and sticking it in a phone."

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