Orange plans to offer mobile phones that can also make VoIP (voice over IP) calls over a home Wi-Fi router from Monday, joining a growing number of European network operators offering similar services.
The new service will be available to Orange customers in France who subscribe to both its GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phone network and its DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband internet access service. Using a special mobile phone costing from €99 (about £66), subscribers will be able to make unlimited calls from home. They'll connect via Wi-Fi to their Livebox DSL home router, which can carry up to three simultaneous Wi-Fi calls, Orange said. When they are outdoors, calls will be carried over Orange's GSM network at the usual rates.
Although Orange also offers GSM and DSL services in the UK, it said Unik would only be available in France. Similar services combining GSM and Wi-Fi are available in the UK, including BT's Fusion.