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Orange Announces the Future and it is Unique?

Orange, one of the worlds largest mobile communications providers has announced that starting next month the company will be offering Unique a converged VoIP/Mobile telephony offering in the UK and other select European markets. In another step towards making Fixed/Mobile Convergence (FMC) a reality, Unique will allow a user to make VoIP calls over a WiFi network and GSM calls when a WiFi network is not available. At home, the mobile handset connects in WiFi mode to the Orange Livebox and calls are routed via the Internet, offering enhanced coverage inside the house. Outside, Unique phone works just like a standard mobile, with calls routed via the mobile network. Unique offers one phone, one number, and one bill. Unique will be available with three different phones, one from Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola.

Unique phone allows customers to move freely between the mobile and home networks without interrupting their conversation. A call made at home automatically switches over to the Orange mobile network when you leave the house. Furthermore, a call initiated at home remains covered by the unlimited offer even when you leave your home. A symbol on the phone’s screen constantly informs customers of the network they are connected to.

Each home can have up to six Unique phones, with three people able to make calls or surf the net at the same time. Because it uses the Orange Livebox to route calls at home, Unique phone also offers customers enhanced coverage and faster access to Orange mobile data services including Orange World, picture and video messaging, mobile email and the mobile internet.

Let’s hope that the rash of European providers who are getting into the FMC game work out all of the bugs for all of us in North America, so that when one of our carrier finally deploys FMC over a wide area, we do not have to suffer like we did when cellular phones first launched.

Garrett Smith

Garrett Smith is a Technology Marketing and Sales Professional

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. mgeddes

    …and the end-user value of the service would be?

    (“Calling over WiFi!” is a value-subtract, all other things being equal, as users have to now worry about whether they need concern themselves with the bearer, a matter they took for granted with plain GSM.)

    Plus a choice of three phones — no doubt the public will be impressed.

  2. Garrett Smith

    True but do all end-users think like this? I think end-users primarily see the things that Orange is marketing to: one number, one bill, one phone.

    I doubt the average consumer “knows” what they are getting into when it comes to dual-mode phones and FMC. I am sure there is going to me a lot of pain, as I why I pointed out that I hope the Europeans can get it “right” before US providers roll it out in the US.

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