BT Group's plan to launch a new phone which works across fixed and mobile networks is on schedule after successful tests on the pioneering technology.
Last May, BT announced plans to offer customers a mobile handset that will hook on to its own fixed- line system when used at home or in the office, but would switch automatically to Vodafone Group's wireless network when on the move.
The service, dubbed "Project Bluephone", is aimed at helping the former monopoly, which demerged its mobile business in 2001, re-enter the high growth area to counter falling revenues at its core fixed-line business.
BT said that tests of the Project Bluephone handset, which will communicate with its fixed-line network using Bluetooth wireless technology, had shown good progress.
"The first seamless handover between the Bluetooth connection to BT's fixed network and the GSM mobile network during a call represents a major step towards launching Project Bluephone in the spring," BT said in a statement.
The firm added that the new converged handsets developed by Motorola were now proven to work across both networks.
BT is targeting annual revenues of £1 billion from what its calls wirelessenabled services, with the Bluephone playing a central part in its projections.
The company hopes the Bluephone will remove the need for customers to own more than one phone, and thereby effectively prevent customer defections to more convenient mobile phone companies from its fixed-line customer base.
In fact, the company plans to offer Bluephone customers the benefit of cheaper fixed-line tariffs when the phone is hooked on to its fixed- line network, while enabling them all the convenience of a mobile phone.
"BT's vision for the future is one where you will be able to access all your applications and information on your choice of device, utilising the best network available with one customer experience," said Steve Andrews, chief of mobility and convergence.