BT readies Corporate iPhone wannabee

Ex-Telecom Monopoly BT is busy preparing the launch of its own range of mobile devices that will allow businessmen to access emails and surf the net while away from their desks.

The phones are rumoured to be manufactured by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC who has just launched the iPhone-esque Diamond; it is not known whether the phone will be designed specifically for BT or not.

Observers expect it to be compatible with BT's own Home Hub devices in residential settings and to run on Vodafone's mobile network when beyond the range of a BT-supported network.

The mobile phone will be sold with BT's Broadband packages, although one can foresee that BT will target Business with such an offer rather than home users.

The move heralds the return of the telecoms giant as a mobile phone provider - albeit a Mobile Virtual Network Operator - a few years after it had spun off BT Cellnet which later turned into O2.

In recent years, mobile phone manufacturers have gradually invaded BT's own traditional landline telephony and fixed broadband access by offering their own competing offers.