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Communications

Hybrid Fixed and Mobile Telephony 75

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-waiting-for-the-voip-version dept.
Iorek writes "Both Ericsson and BT have launched telephony products that erode the barriers between mobile phones and landlines. Ericsson's One Phone is a PBX system that can treat any mobile phone as an extension of the corporate phone network, while the BT Fusion handset behaves like a conventional fixed line cordless phone when it's near its base station (Bluetooth connection), and connects to the Vodafone network once it's out of range."
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Hybrid Fixed and Mobile Telephony

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  • This is new? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ivan256 (17499) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @04:44PM (#12835670)
    the BT Fusion handset behaves like a conventional fixed line cordless phone when it's near its base station [...], and connects to the [cellular] network once it's out of range

    So? Panasonic made phones like that as early as 1998.
  • interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rwven (663186) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @04:45PM (#12835681)
    I like the idea but it would been better to use 802.11 instead of bluetooth for a little more range around the house....
    • Re:interesting (Score:3, Informative)

      by dj_paulgibbs (619622)
      It does, it comes with a wireless router/modem - http://www.btfusion.bt.com/ [bt.com]
    • I like the idea but it would been better to use 802.11 instead of bluetooth for a little more range around the house....

      Hmmm...you *would* think that, wouldn't you? I'm always surprised that so many things use bluetooth when it offers so little range. Odd.
    • Re:interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ImaLamer (260199)
      Hey, why not WiMax and put "cellular" companies out of business all together?
      • Re:interesting (Score:3, Informative)

        by Richthofen80 (412488)
        Well, I think the reason is because Cellular is a technology, not a brand name, and a lot of people don't understand that. The biggest advantage Cellular technology has is the ability to seamlessly route traffic between towers, so that if someone moves from Cell A to Cell B, that the users never notice.

        WiMax and other technologies don't dynamically route. So if you're downloading or calling someone, and you move out of WiMax area A, to WiMax area B, how do you disclose your new IP address to the caller? Ho
        • What I was basically saying is that once the range gets big enough it's a 'cell' phone.
        • WiMax and other technologies don't dynamically route. So if you're downloading or calling someone, and you move out of WiMax area A, to WiMax area B, how do you disclose your new IP address to the caller? How do you tell someone left the range of WiMax A? IP technology assumes a fixed IP address; VoIP rely on that fixed IP address to route the phonecalls to your Vonage or other phone.

          A project which I was on last year: Tetherless Computing Architecture [watsmore.net]
        • Your partially right however SIP is making large inroads to "cell" coverage capabilities and secondly WiMax is much like WiFi in that it all depends on how it's put together. It is very possible to go from WiMax area A, to WiMax area B and maintain the same IP, as it is also a SIP Proxy's position to assist in those "move's" of IP's.

          Cisco's AVVID "could" do more along those lines and in some ways does with SRST and call preservation features but it's a long ways from the same since it does require some som
      • You mean like Motorola Canopy [canopywireless.com]?
    • Yes, it is better, and I already have one. Check it out at http://www.abptech.com/mainpages/products/HCL-Wire lessIP5000.html [abptech.com]
    • The key differentiator between this concept and some of the early mode-switching cordless/cellular phones is that the same number is used by the phone whichever domain it is in.

      And a number of companies are working on precisely the WiFi approach, for example, BridgePort Networks.

      http://www.bridgeport-networks.com/ [bridgeport-networks.com]

    • Class 1 bluetooth devices have 100m range.

      Bluetooth is more appropriate in many areas because bluetooth profiles are easier to support and implement than IP networking.
  • My phone company has a service that allows you to have three different phone numbers ring when someone calls. Whoever picks up the phone first has the call. I could seriously use this at work, but, of course, they won't offer it to businesses since they think (perhaps rightfully so) that the business could get by with fewer lines. I think that these Ericsson and BT phones would be useful.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:00PM (#12835819)
    What we really need is a mobile phone that acts like a corded phone whenever it is out of range of a cell.
  • Relatively Old News (Score:5, Informative)

    by aardwolf64 (160070) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:02PM (#12835832) Homepage
    When I had my second job at OfficeMax in 1995, we sold a 900Mhz wireless phone that turned into a cell phone once you got a certain distance away. I think it cost around $400. The only thing different between this and the "new" one is the bluetooth...
    • by hattig (47930)
      Were they accessible on the same telephone number and could you hold a conversation with seamless switch from the home connection to the mobile connection?

      Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

      It's been 4 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment
    • Yeah, I could have sworn I already saw something like this a long time ago. Seems like Bluetooth and WiFi is the new hype, throw one of them in and suddenly, your old product is new and innovating.
    • Even the bluetooth part is not really that new. There was a company [blueposition.com] which had similar products back in 2002. They had even set up such a system in the Danish Parilament. More details here [erlang.se]
  • Baah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:07PM (#12835865) Homepage Journal
    You young 'uns and your fancy schmancy "Hybrid Telephony". Back in my day, we didn't need these teensie Mobile Telephones" with their fancy "Bluetooth connections" to talk. All we had was our strong manly voices and a favorable wind ter carry it across.

    I remember the day when my old Missus had 'er first baby. I didn't go around dialling fancy numbers in any fancy telephone. Just walked up the hill, hollered for the midwife and walked back up home. No sirre, no fancy "Hybrid Telephony" for us back then, and we loved it.

    • You had hills? Bah! And legs t'walk with? Bah! We oozed around in the primordial slop, procreating through mitosis and we loved it!
      • Re:Baah! (Score:2, Funny)

        by sconeu (64226)
        You had mitosis? We had to wait for something to fall into the slop and cut us in half!
  • by stevewz (192317)
    Now if only I could use Skype while away from my computer (and away from my WiFi network's range).
    • You can already buy a Skype-in local phone number for E30/year. So all you need to do is make your own PBX/redialer that redirects through Skype if the number you're dialing is in your list and online (can even refine policy to let you skype to voicemaili). The only thing stopping this is the relative closedness of the Skype protocols. With a little effort and SIP knowledge you can already replicate most of this behavior. I'm sure Skype's next move will be a pay-for PBX of this sort. Meanwhile, let's get
  • Already, when I store a phone number for a different area code, I do not store it with the '1' in front so as not to make a long distance call. Conveniently when I select that number from my address book and dial it the phone company inserts a '1' in front of the number and dials it long distance as I'm out of my dialing area. This is exactly the kind of slimeball tactic phone companies are famous for.

    I wonder if the phones will have a preference to revert to (assuredly more expensive) cell network if th
    • Vodaphone is a network that charges you to call freephone numbers, so don't expect this to save you money.

      Got a spare tin-foil hat?

    • by Detritus (11846) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:54PM (#12836346) Homepage
      The digit '1' is not a toll indicator in the North American Numbering Plan. Its misinterpretation as a toll indicator is a historical artifact of the way that many telephone switching systems were setup in the relay era. When you dialed '1', your local step-by-step central office handed off the call to a toll switch, which could route and connect long distance calls. In the modern world, it tells the switch to expect another 10 digits. It does not indicate a toll call. A 11-digit number can be a local call and a 7-digit or 10-digit number can be a toll call. Programming all 11 digits into a dialer ensures that the call will be completed, whether it's local or long distance.
      • Perhaps not in the North America Numbering Plan, but it still is with many providers. With a land line from Bellsouth in my home town if I dial 1 + area code before I dial a local number I will be charged for a long distance call even if I am only calling next door. In fact this was the entire point of the parent post. Dialing a 1 might not mean long distance in the standard, but that isn't stopping providers from handling it in that way.
        • You need to complain to Bellsouth. There were similar problems here with Verizon when 10-digit dialing was introduced. These were quickly fixed. Bellsouth's billing software should be insensitive to whether the subscriber dialed 10 or 11 digits.
      • Here in Colorado, all switches expect ten digits and all calls are 10-digit calls. We have one of those abomniations called an "overlay"... the 303 and 720 area-codes are the same physical area. The whiney cell companies complained that Qwest wouldn't give them 303 numbers and that people wouldn't call new cell carrier's numbers if they had to dial what appeeared to the uneducated to be a long-distance call.

        I am always weirded out when I travel now that people can actually still make seven digit calls in
        • I also live in an overlay area. The first area code expansion was done with a split, subsequent expansions have been overlays. I think the overlay was less disruptive than the split.

          It used to be possible to dial local numbers in three different area codes (DC, MD. VA) with just seven digits. All of the exchanges in the metro DC area were unique. That was before cell phones and pagers exhausted the available phone numbers.

          One of the plans for future expansion of the phone system involves mandatory 10-d

    • Already, when I store a phone number for a different area code, I do not store it with the '1' in front so as not to make a long distance call. Conveniently when I select that number from my address book and dial it the phone company inserts a '1' in front of the number and dials it long distance as I'm out of my dialing area. This is exactly the kind of slimeball tactic phone companies are famous for.

      What the heck?

      A) When you dial within your area code, it's automatically a local call. Unless calls out
  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:52PM (#12836323) Homepage
    BT has sunk millions of pounds into coming up with a solution which might have been really cool two years ago, but now looks dated.

    Quite apart from the Motorola V560 which is beginning to look like a bit of a relic, the system itself has lots of rough edges, is extremely restrictive and looks like a product in search of a market, not the other way around.

    Here's a different take on the BT Fusion / Motorola V560 / Bluephone [mobilegazette.com] thing. Not pretty.

    • "So.. if you like Motorolas, use BT Mobile or Vodafone and want BT Broadband AND you are close enough to an ADSL-capable exchange then you are in luck."

      That's more or less me. The mobile doesn't make me want to scream "Oh God YES I must have one", but also doesn't look too bad. I have a Vodafone phone, and have ADSL through my BT line. I'm not sure if the article actually means I'd need ADSL from BT Openworld, that might be a nuisance, but...

      Then add in the fact that I don't get mobile phone reception in
  • For a long time, I've been saying that this is exactly what is needed for cell phones to really take off. A lot of comments here are criticizing it, but let me explain why I think this is important so much.

    Most cell phone companies have pretty good coverage. But, the #1 place I hear people complain about not having coverage is their home. Coverage is great on highways, in downtown areas, but once you enter a suburban residential area, coverage becomes questionable.

    Now, in most homes there is already

  • Hybrid phones? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by tapin (157076)
    If you hit the "End" button, does it use a regenerative hangup process?

    Can I use the jaws of life to cut through the phone without killing myself in the process, in an emergency?

    How many minutes to the gallon does it get?
  • is that incoming calls are charged at the call-to-a-mobile rate even if the recipient is at home.
  • Ericsson's One Phone is a PBX system that can treat any mobile phone as an extension...

    Anyone with 1/2 a clue has been able to make a PBX do this for as long as there have been PBX's and cell phones. What's the news here?
    It also means that you are sucking up the minutes for every call. How is this any sort of cost saver?
  • GTE Mobilnet sold me a phone that was supposed to do this 9 years ago (transparently switch between wireless if near base station or cell if not). Of course, they never actually implemented the service, so I guess it was all just a ploy to get their subscriber count up.
  • Orange was doing this (mobile & landline hybrids) in Australia years ago, that is until they stopped offering the service (I believe) because it had such little demand.
  • Not world's first (Score:1, Interesting)

    by timecop (16217)
    Not world's first.
    NTT had this out for a while, though it's not really selling very well:
    http://www.docomo.biz/html/product/cordless/n900il .html [docomo.biz]
    The real problem with these is their cost, and the fact that normal people can't purchase them (You have to buy these as a business "solution" wiht prices starting at $2000+).
    When in the office, these use company internal wifi network and a supposedly "standard" SIP implementation for VOIP. When outside, they use DoCoMo's new and crappy "FOMA" 3G technolo
  • is seemless handoff from the home network to the mobile network. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think previous 'hybrid' phones could only connect to one network at a time and you had to make a new call when you switched from ip to cellular networks.

    The third network option I'd like to see is peer to peer calling. If you're within range of the other party the two handsets should be able to connect directly. Again, that's possible now with mobile/walkie-talkie hybrids (think Motorola has these) but again th

  • As far as I have heared, Asterisk can do something like that.
    http://www.crazygreek.co.uk/content/chan_bluetooth [crazygreek.co.uk]
    has more info.
  • That's not exactly new. This kind of feature is offered by some telecoms. For example, Brasil Telecom.

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