Sunday, September 24, 2006

Orange Launches its "Unique" Fixed Mobile Convergence

Orange announced its "Unique" or "Unik" fixed mobile convergence service featuring a single handset and offering unlimited calls to landlines and Orange mobiles from the home. Benefits include one phone number, one address book, one answer phone and one bill from Orange. At home, the mobile handset connects in WiFi mode to the Orange Livebox and calls are routed via the Internet. Outside the home, the phone works over the Orange GSM network.

The "Unique" service will be available to Orange customers in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Each market will tailor the service for local conditions.

Other key features of the Orange service include:

  • Call initiated at home remain covered by the unlimited offer rather than count as part of the mobile service minutes.

  • Each home can have up to six Unique phones, with three people able to make calls or surf the net at the same time.

  • For UK customers, initially, there are three handsets to choose from - the Motorola A910, Nokia 6136 and the Samsung P200 - with more due to launch in 2007.

  • Pricing will start from £50 a month including broadband package and free phone

  • In France, "unik" requires an Orange broadband subscription and will initially be a limited edition, reserved for the first 100,000 customers and will be available with a mobile plan in 2 options:

    Unlimited calls 24/7 from the mobile connected to the Livebox to fixed lines in France: EUR10/month

    Unlimited calls 24/7 from the mobile connected to the Livebox to Orange mobiles and fixed lines in France: EUR 22/month

Didier Lombard, President and Director General of the France Télécom group, said: "The commercial launch of Unique phone announces the advent of a new generation of telephones. Today, people use the phone in a different way. With broadband, the use of Internet, mobiles, Voice over IP, and high definition technologies for sound and vision, our communication habits are changing very rapidly. Unique phone re-invents the telephone, by unifying fixed and mobile worlds."

  • In July 2006, Samsung launched its Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) phone (model: SGH-P200) for the Italian market. The handset allows free switching between cellular networks such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE and wireless LAN networks (WiFi).

See also