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London, UK: The 2004 Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation is presented to leading European telecommunications services provider BT. The award recognises BT’s proven excellence in product and technology innovation within the fixed-mobile service providers market.

BT has been at the forefront of efforts by fixed-line operators to arrest the sharp decline in fixed network usage. Strategies based on innovative technology and product applications have leveraged BT back into the mobile space while expanding the company’s share of both fixed line and mobile revenues.

“Individual initiatives, such as the Project Bluephone and Mobile Home Plan, also form part of a more cohesive strategy to drive fixed-mobile convergence, with the underlying principle of providing simple and complete communications,” notes Frost & Sullivan analyst Jan ten Sythoff. “In other words, enabling the user to access the information or services they want wherever they are, with the access method being irrelevant.”

In partnership with T-Mobile, BT has designed 'Mobility at Home’ for the consumer market. The plan capitalises on the convergence of fixed-line and wireless systems to enable more economical calls. Targeted at families, the programme combines T-Mobile’s network with a BT fixed line. Competitive service contracts offer families the benefit of multiple handsets, with free short calls to the home BT line.

This fixed-mobile package has generated a new revenue source for BT, while helping it maintain its fixed line service revenues. Spurred by its success, BT is expected to design a similar solution package for small businesses. Advanced integrated services such as address book, messaging, customer care and billing are likely to be delivered over time.

Project Bluephone, dubbed the ‘Everywhere Phone,’ is another of BT’s exciting new initiatives being currently trialed. This twin-mode fixed/wireless handset project represents a unique application of Wi-Fi technology and wireless base stations. It will allow subscribers to use mobile phones over the fixed network and in enabled sites.

Trials in conjunction with Sony Ericsson and Motorola are set to result in service launch this year. End-users in business and consumer environments are poised to benefit from the flexibility and simplicity of these low cost, high quality, 'on-the-move' calls. BT also plans to offer integrated address book and messaging and single customer contact and billing capabilities.

“These innovative and forward looking strategies are unique in the industry. BT is adding a new area of development in the market, while also taking some risk in investing into an unproven technology,” says Mr. ten Sythoff. “Frost & Sullivan believes that this will prove to be a defining point in the development of the voice market.”

In choosing BT as the recipient of this award, Frost & Sullivan analysts considered criteria such as R&D spending, new product launches, products-in-development as well as new product features and modifications. A combination of primary, secondary and technology research was used to evaluate market participants on additional criteria such as significance/competitive advantage of new product(s) in the industry, product innovation in terms of unique or revolutionary technology, marketplace acceptance, new product value-added services provided to customers and number of competitors with similar product(s).

About Frost & Sullivan
Founded in 1961, Frost & Sullivan is recognised as a global leader in growth consulting. Frost & Sullivan Awards are presented to companies that demonstrate excellence in their industry, commending the diligence, commitment and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace. Frost & Sullivan rigorously analyses specific criteria to determine award recipients in a vast variety of market industries and landscapes. For further information, visit www.frost.com.

For further information, visit www.frost.com.

Contact:

Kristina Menzefricke
Tel. +44 (0)20 7343 8376
kristina.menzefricke@frost.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 12th February 2004