BT and BlackBerry cut costs with unified communications

Mobile in the office

BlackBerry users will be able to use Wi-Fi for voice calls thanks to plans announced yesterday by BT.

Using the BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) from Research in Motion (RIM) and BT's new Communications Complete technology, based on Cisco's Unified Communications 500 Series platform, users can switch from their mobile operator network to Wi-Fi networks to reduce call costs.

It can also switch to the Wi-Fi network in the middle of the call, allowing more flexibility when on the phone.

"The solution will enable the delivery of unified communications tools for small to medium-sized businesses, which previously only benefited larger firms," Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business, said in a statement.

"Technologies that better integrate key business processes, reduce costs and keep workers in touch with customers regardless of location, help firms to operate more effectively and to be in better shape for the upturn when it comes."

In addition to being able to access all of the functions a user would do out of the office minus the cost - emails, calls, contacts and so on - contacting a user is simplified with just one number and one voicemail box.

Alison Ricketts, head of Cisco Propositions, told IT PRO that the option of integration with BT One for making inter-company calls was a "killer benefit."

Ricketts also suggested it was like the company had created its own cloud as everything goes through BT's Wi-Fi network.

The system is currently in the planning process but a spokesperson from BT confirmed that it would be available from autumn this year.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.