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BT gets the Bluephone blues
Presses ahead with 'dud' project
The idea of using a single phone to connect to cellular networks and also to connect over the internet at home is an attractive proposition - but the BT project nearing completion at its Adastral park research centre is already known to be a dud.
The first Bluephone has BT in it - BlueTooth, not British Telecom. It works, but not well enough to prevent the telco from announcing its successor before the original is even launched.
The main problem with Bluephone, say sources, is that you can't get enough of them in one building.
Installation costs mean that it's not a hot favourite for home use, despite BT's growing investment in cellular phones. It will appeal to enthusiasts who have broadband and don't mind configuring their internet connection to support the phone, but that's not the market BT is after.
And for business, where the system would be attractive, it turns out that the number of users who can be connected in one office building is far below the typical number who would want to be part of the phone network.
According to a ZDNet report last month, the successor will have Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, and trials are due to start any day, roughly the same time as the same source revealed that the Bluetooth Bluephone is close to launch.
One source, asking to stay anonymous, told NewsWireless that the launch was "baffling".
"It's known to be inadequate for business use, and it will be replaced within months, requiring a complete re-installation - and yet they seem determined to announce Bluephone anyway," said this source.