Telecoms heavyweight slates Orange’s converged service

A leading telecoms analyst has slammed Orange’s new “converged” fixed and mobile phone service Unique for failing to live up to its name.

A leading telecoms analyst has slammed Orange’s new “converged” fixed and mobile phone service Unique for failing to live up to its name.

Principal analyst at Ovum, John Delaney, says that, like rival products, Unique has a poor handset range and technological constraints. The service, which will be launched in Britain later this year, enables customers to use a mobile handset to make unlimited calls through their broadband internet connection.

But Delaney says: “In my view, it has the same weaknesses as the other FMC [fixed-mobile convergence] offerings on the market or in development, including a very limited handset choice and a lack of true seamlessness in network handover.

“So long as the inherent drawbacks of current FMC implementations remain, I believe that Orange is unlikely to be any more unique in terms of customer uptake than in any other characteristic of its FMC service.”

Unique is the latest “converged” service to be offered by a telecoms company looking to attract new customers and retain existing ones by persuading them to take a “bundle” of products.

In Britain, BT was first to market with the launch of BT Fusion. Like Unique, Fusion connects customers to their broadband service while at home and to a mobile network when they are out. But while the Orange handset can make calls on either the mobile network or wi-fi, there is no “handover” between the two, meaning that anyone starting a call at home and then leaving the house will be cut off.

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