The latest generation of mobile handsets can do VoIP calls over a Wi-Fi connection which generally works well in the owners home, but the problems of finding Wi-Fi access when out and about remains a challenge. A solution to this may be on the cards as BT and Fon are in talks which may mean BT Fusion Wi-Fi/GSM mobile handset customers will have access to the 10,000 Fon members wireless networks in the UK, and 250,000 global members. More detail can be found at PC Pro.
Foneros (what Fon calls its members) generally share their own Wi-Fi connection in return for free access to other members networks. This of course can fall foul of some broadband providers service conditions, and if a deal goes ahead it is likely BT Retail will relax this clause for its BT Total Broadband customers.
One interesting aspect raised by an anonymous source is that the remotely upgradeable software inside the BT Home Hub means BT could add the FON software very easily and then just ask users whether they want to use the service.
If a deal can be struck, then the possibility of having near universal Wi-Fi access in residential areas becomes a lot closer. With 3.2 million BT Retail customers, the chances are that there will be one or two in your street.