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BT's all-in-one phone to debut next year

BT's Bluephone, a device that should be able to act as a landline, mobile and VoIP phone device looks set to make its market debut next year

After spinning off mobile unit mmO2 back in 2001, BT is once again planning to turn its hand to wireless communications with a mobile-landline combination device.

The telco will offer mobile handsets that can make mobile, internet and landline calls. The handsets will include Wi-Fi and traditional mobile technology, enabling users to make cheap calls by connecting to wireless hotspots when out and about or through their landlines with Bluetooth when at home.

The "Bluephone" will be available from late 2005 or early 2006, a BT spokesman said. He added that the BT is "in talks" with handset manufacturers regarding production of the phone. Details of the "Bluephone" were first revealed in May this year.

No tariff details are available for the plan yet.

Project Bluephone marks BT's fight-back against the threat posed to its revenues by the growth of the mobile industry, as voice minutes -- BT's traditional business -- are increasingly being lost from landlines to mobiles. Telecoms consultancy Analysys predicts that by 2009, 50 per cent of all voice minutes in Western Europe will be made via mobile phones.