Orange offers Unique phone service for VoIP and mobile calling from one handset

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by ¬Stephen Hammond, Sep 25, 2006.


    25 September 2006 - Orange has launched its first converged service, called
    the Unique phone, which is a single handset that operates both on WLAN in
    the home, and the regular mobile network outside of the home.

    Initially offered in the UK and select European countries, the plan means
    that phone calls made within the home to other Orange mobiles and landlines
    will be free, as they will operate on VoIP. It also means a simplification
    in dealing with phone service, as the plan offers one phone, one number, one
    address book, and one bill from Orange.

    In order to use the service, customers must get an Orange Livebox so that
    the mobile handset can connected using Wi-Fi. Calls started at home using
    VoIP will continue to be free even if you leave the house and the call
    switches to the regular mobile network. A little symbol on the display will
    indicate which system is being used at any time.

    Every home can have six Unique phones, with three people allowed to use the
    Internet or call at the same time. All calls will be found on one bill.

    The Motorola A910, the Nokia 6136 and the Samsung P200 are the only handsets
    that can be used with the service at the moment, but more will launch in
    2007. The two phone plans that are being offered are the Canary 50 and the
    Panther 65, which cost £50 and £65 respectively, and yield 600 and 1200
    minutes a month respectively. Broadband connection is free.

    To preregister go to
    ¬Stephen Hammond, Sep 25, 2006
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  2. ¬Stephen Hammond

    Mark Guest

    But it's UMA based, not SIP. So its really 'mobile over broadband'
    rather than VoIP - whatever the blurb says.

    It's basically the Orange equivalent of BT Fusion, except the home
    access is WiFi and not Bluetooth.

    Will it cope with hotspot registrations? I doubt it.
    Mark, Sep 25, 2006
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  3. ¬Stephen Hammond Guest

    Other mobile phones currently exist to allow mobile VoIP calls. The
    best I have discovered so far is the Nokia E70, I believe that all of
    the other E series mobiles also have VoIP capability too. These E
    series phone use SIP so you can use any VoIP service.

    They connect to the internet via WLAN, but if required you can also
    make VoIP calls using 3G, if you have an unlimited data plan!

    Some cities have free access points covering them too, so its easy to
    make calls away from home or the office 100% free!!

, Sep 25, 2006
  4. ¬Stephen Hammond

    Mark Guest

    True, and a very nice phone - but the OP was posting about a the
    Orange UMA-based FMC service. The E70 doesn't support that, AFAIK.

    Which way the market will go will be interesting, I suspect most
    consumers are happy with big minute buckets and fancier handsets.
    (Fusion isn't selling very well at all.)

    Business _might_ gradually go for the SIP over WiFi route as a means
    to support cordless extensions, assuming network handover can be made
    seamless (I can't see mobile operators making that especially easy,
    Mark, Sep 25, 2006
  5. Can you name three cities in the UK which have free access points
    covering them?
    Colin Forrester, Sep 25, 2006
  6. ¬Stephen Hammond

    Paul Cupis Guest

    Surely "mobile over broadband" is a type of VoIP?
    Paul Cupis, Sep 25, 2006
  7. ¬Stephen Hammond

    Mark Guest

    Well for me it comes down to definitions/semantics.

    As I see it, because a call on a UMA service like this still largely
    goes via the cellular network (although the first leg is tunneled
    through a consumer IP-over- broadband link) it's a bit like a
    hypothetical case of a GSM pico cell in a shopping centre being
    connected over (say) NTL cable broadband instead of a leased-line.

    Callers to these services still have to call a conventional mobile
    number (and hence a premium) - there's no intrinsic 'free' inbound
    on-net calling. Any 'free' aspect about the tariffs is down to
    marketing and not to the connectivity. In other words, Orange will
    take a loss on geographic termination of calls originated on the
    Unique service.
    Mark, Sep 25, 2006
  8. ¬Stephen Hammond

    voip_ross Guest

    Norwich is the first in the UK to offer open access to the internet,
    the service is total free.


    The service is going to be extended to other surrounding areas too.

    I think that there will be more and more in the future. I'm sure that
    other cities will add them too!
    voip_ross, Sep 26, 2006
  9. ¬Stephen Hammond

    Mark Guest

    Ah, but look at the service coverage in the City (pretty patchy, TBH)
    and the T&Cs - slugged to a max of 256k (IIRC) for J Public so as not
    to compete with commercial offerings.

    I wonder what practical indoor signal is like where there is some
    service coverage.
    Mark, Sep 27, 2006
  10. ¬Stephen Hammond

    voip_ross Guest

    To be honest its a good start, hopefully it will expand. It's supposed
    to be extending to other councils in the area. You don't often get
    something for nothing these days, I just hope other cities etc follow
    the plan too! Would be great if there was coverage everywhere, I guess
    we will have to watch this space.

    The speed limit doesn't seam to affect the VoIP quality, that seams to
    be nice and clear!

    voip_ross, Sep 28, 2006
  11. ¬Stephen Hammond

    DMac Guest

    I think that there will be more and more in the future. I'm sure that
    Parts of Bristol have Streetnet - but you have to connect via a browser and
    lots of questions first. Don't think you could just wander in to one of the
    many hotspots and start making calls
    DMac, Sep 28, 2006
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