Orange branches into landline territory

Orange has become the first UK mobile company to venture into the foreign waters of the fixed-line market with its new landline service.Under the show

Orange has become the first UK mobile company to venture into the foreign waters of the fixed-line market with its new landline service.

Under the showbiz moniker Orange Landline for Business, it’ll offer small and medium-sized businesses the convenience of a single, cheaper consolidated bill for mobile and fixed-line calls from this April.

If we were city analysts, we’d call the move ‘hugely significant’. Jason Ellis, Head of Convergence for Orange Business UK, told us that the company will be repositioning itself throughout 2006 as a broader communications company, which will be helped by the recent merge with broadband outfit Wanadoo.

Although Orange claims that businesses will be able to save up to 20% on their bills thanks to discounted rates, there are no plans yet to offer a similar deal to us domestic consumers.

Such a service will, though, only be a matter of time considering the hot competition from fearless VOIP new boys like Skype, who have just moved into the mobile world with Three.

In fact, Orange has already announced it will offer Nokia’s mobile-cum-internet 6136 phone, above, later this year which, like BT’s Fusion, will let you hop between your operator and home wireless network for super-cheap calls.

For more information on the new Landline for Businesses service, head over to Orange’s site – if you sign up before June there’s an additional carrot of free calls from landlines to mobiles for the first three months.