Cable & Wireless has picked Orange as its fixed-mobile convergence bedfellow.
The telco has announced a five-year partnership with the mobile operator to provide national roaming in the UK for its fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) service, which will launch later this year.
Fixed-mobile convergence enables a single device to be used to make calls over an IP network when the user is indoors, seamlessly switching to a mobile network when the device moves out of range of the VoIP network.
The benefits of FMC to enterprise are that it has the potential to cut mobile costs — by utilising VoIP in the office — while also reducing the number of telephony devices a company needs. Staff only need one phone number to be contactable, whether they are in the office or working remotely.
Cable & Wireless's FMC system will use low-power GSM spectrum for in-building coverage, powered by picocells (the big brother cellular tech of femtocells), rather than Wi-Fi, which is used by BT's rival Fusion service.
A Cable & Wireless spokesman said the advantages of using GSM, rather than Wi-Fi, for FMC are that the spectrum is licensed (Cable & Wireless acquired spectrum for this purpose back in 2006) and, therefore, offers more reliable performance and security than Wi-Fi.
Enterprises also don't have to replace mobile handsets, as standard GSM devices can be used. By contrast, BT's Fusion service requires users to buy a dual-mode handset.