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It’s finally coming—VoIP over Wi-Fi paired with cell using single phone plans: Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung should ship dual-mode Wi-Fi/cell phones supporting seamless UMA (unlicensed mobile access) handoff. Nokia’s announcement last week that it would embed iPass hotspot connection software in some phone models is part of that plan; the iPass software would allow an operator who resold Nokia handsets to choose to offer and enable service at the 50,000 iPass-aggregated hotspots worldwide.
While no U.S. carrier has announced UMA plans, there’s apparently a consensus among analysts that operators will jump on board. AT&T (formerly SBC) seems very likely to me given their soon-to-be 100-percent ownership of Cingular, their network of managed and roaming hotspots, and their push for Wi-Fi in the home to their DSL customers.
One analyst predicts T-Mobile will be first by early 2007. T-Mobile has several thousand hotspots in the U.S. that could leverage their out-of-home UMA plans.
Posted by Glennf at April 30, 2006 5:57 PM