BT readies wireless home networking products

British Telecom, Clear Communications' parent company, will by early next year launch a line of wireless network products aimed at allowing UK homes and small offices easier connections to the Internet and other online services.

British Telecom, Clear Communications' parent company, will by early next year launch a line of wireless network products aimed at allowing UK homes and small offices easier connections to the Internet and other online services, the company announced yesterday.

The products are being designed to support both wireless LAN (local area networking) and phone systems. BT expects as many as 5 million U.K. homes to feature networks within the next five years, and forecasts sales of the wireless home networking products in the U.K. to reach over 35 million pounds (US$50 million) in the first year, the company said in a statement.

Developed in cooperation with UUS company Home Wireless Networks Inc. (HWN), the wireless network home products were designed to integrate both voice and data in the same wireless network. The line's core products of data and phone sockets, controllers and handsets will allow for wireless connections between peripherals and handsets, and will be available with 2-line and 4-line options, BT said.

In the face of increased competition from local telecommunication companies and smaller, startup ISPs such as Localtel, BT has recently launched a flurry of new Internet related products and services, including a voice-over-Internet service in April.

BT, in London, can be contacted at +44-171-356-5000, or at http://www.bt.com/. Home Wireless Networks, is at +770-613-0087, or at http://www.homewireless.com/.

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