Nokia 6136 heralds cheap home calls

It may look like a nondescript clamshell, but the Nokia before you is primed to usher in an era of cheap mobile phone calls.The 6136, see, is the firs

It may look like a nondescript clamshell, but the Nokia before you is primed to usher in an era of cheap mobile phone calls.

The 6136, see, is the first mobile to use Wi-Fi and a new tech called Unlicensed Mobile Access to jump your phone calls from your operator’s network to your home wireless network the second you walk up your garden path. Once you’re home, the conversation should cost you a fraction of what it would out and about, as – like cheapo Skype – it’ll be using your broadband to carry the call.

Lucky Orange punters will be the first to have a whirl with the mobile-cum-internet phone when it launches later this year. The network’s taking over and rebranding broadband outfit Wanadoo soon, so it’ll have a plentiful supply of Wi-Fi  Liveboxes to do the internet telephony part of the equation. Exactly how much it’ll cost is currently a big secret, but it’s guaranteed to be cheaper than calling via Orange’s normal network.

If it all sounds a bit like BT Fusion, that’s because it is. BT’s service gives you a mobile – for example the tasty Moto V3 – and works by transferring mobile calls to a wireless hub at home using Bluetooth. To offer you a taster of how cheap Orange/Nokia 6136 calls might be, BT Fusion charges 5.5p for an hour-long landline conversation when you’re at home.

The phone itself is a tasty dish but not exactly Michellin star material. There’s a 1.3MP camera, MicroSD slot for all your music and pics plus an FM radio that does Visual Radio (though you’ll need to be on O2, for that). Interestingly, it also uses a new phone radio which promises to improve call quality.

Orange and Nokia’s pioneer is set to go on sale by June. Pricing’s TBA.