Operator confirms that consumer mobile phone strategy to be revealed next month
BT has revealed part of its mobile plans with the launch of BT One Phone, an integrated office and mobile phone system for the enterprise market.
The new cloud-based unified communications service will route all calls to an employee’s mobile phone whether they are made to a landline, extension number or mobile number. It was launched at a press event at the BT Tower in London earlier today (July 17).
It will work with any phone by inserting a BT One Phone SIM. BT claims that the service will allow employees mobile phones to operate exactly like a desk phone meaning customers can work remotely or flexibly with no hassle.
The service will be provided on a hosted basis meaning there is no up-front cost for businesses taking out the service.
Businesses will have complete control of call settings through the BT One Phone portal with administrators able to add and remove employees as they join and leave, as well as setting up and managing call groups themselves.
BT says that in most cases, One Phone installation will involve building a dedicated mobile network inside a customers premises to ensure excellent indoor coverage.
The service will provide inclusive internal calls between users within a business, as well as choice of other service plans.
It will piggy-back on EE’s 4G network,will also have access to BT’s five million WiFi hotspots nationwide and the rest of its national communication infrastructure. BT also has 4G spectrum which it will reveal plans for shortly.
BT executives confirmed that it would reveal plans for its consumer launch next month.
CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said it was a “huge surprise” that there wasn’t more emphasis on 4G in the launch of the service but said that BT was ideally placed to attack this market thanks to its existing communications infrastructure.
“However, this move is hugely significant given that all of BT’s rivals have stepped up their own efforts in the enterprise space and further underlines the importance of mobile as part of a unified communications offering,” he added.
“BT is very well placed to succeed given its existing assets such as fibre and extensive Wi-Fi network, and it must be applauded for bringing together its assets and capabilities to launch an efficient solution that could yield high returns.
“The concern lies in BT’s ability to promote and raise awareness of new services given its previous track record. Many comparisons will be made to the old Fusion product. However, the market is now ready for unified communications and BT’s latest solution is more flexible and scalable.
“It is clear that the company has made some big long term bets and as a result has made itself relevant again. There is undoubtedly a good vibe at BT and lots of excitement. Now it just needs to deliver.”