Good story in The Business at the weekend (yes I know it’s Thursday, but I’m a slow reader). Tony Glover, the paper’s technology editor, reports that Carphone Warehouse is to offer a single-number service that provides fixed and mobile calls on one handset with a single bill.
The idea is that the user has a wi-fi enabled handset that can connect to the fixed line in the home and make cellular calls while out and about. According to Carphone Warehouse Chairman Hans Snook, former chief executive of Orange, it will take about a year to dovetail fixed and mobile networks. And even then the solution will not suit every household, admits Carphone’s founder and chief executive Charles Dunstone.
“Unlike the US, where many homes are made of wood, UK homes are not always ideal for wi-fi,” he told The Business. “For this reason I believe that traditional fixed (telephone) lines will not be entirely replaced by wi-fi.”
Although the idea is not a new one, rival proposed services from BT and O2 are apparently experiencing delays with introducing a single-number service via Bluetooth.
Earlier this week The Carphone Warehouse announced free national and international calls between customers using its residential fixed-line network TalkTalk. BT instantly responded with price cuts for those connected to its fixed-line network.