France Télécom (FT) plans to launch a dual-mode phone before the end of the year which will allow users to move seamlessly between a mobile network and their home wireless network. The incumbent’s announcement comes hot on the heels of similar launches from rivals Iliad and neuf Cegetel last month, and indicates the gathering momentum for fixed-mobile convergence in France. FT hopes to introduce the service in Q4: its dual-mode phones will give users access to unlimited call packages when at home. A spokesman for FT said the company would reveal more details about the launch in mid-June when the telco launches its proposed re-branding exercise to move the company’s operations under the Orange banner.
In a separate story, Alcatel has announced that Orange France has launched the initial phase of their live HSDPA service in the Paris area using the vendor’ radio access solution. Orange users in Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris will test the service.