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« Nokia Tests Converged Roaming Way Up North in Finland | Main | AirMagnet Offers VoWLAN Test Suite »

July 28, 2006

T-Mobile Talks up UMA (or the Equivalent)

By Glenn Fleishman

New York Times writes about voice over Wi-Fi without mentioning UMA: Matt Richtel writes about the complexities and side effects of pushing voice minutes from cell networks to Wi-Fi networks. While he fails to use the magic words Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), the standard for seamless handoff that now has an incomprehensible name within the 3GPP standards group, he walks through the complicated details of how using Wi-Fi hotspots or home networks will shift minutes around.

It’s complicated because part of the charm of VoWLAN is moving minutes from cell phones, where you pay in advance for minutes you may or may not use, to either a cheaper metered service or an unlimited service. This has odd implications. Cellular operators can benefit from offloading minutes but keeping customers loyal. T-Mobile is well positioned for this with 7,000 hotspots. Except that their concern, in this article, is poaching landline minutes, as they don’t offer landline service or DSL in this country.

EarthLink makes a brief appearance, talking about Wi-Fi only phones that will cost relatively little, come with unlimited usage plans, and work across all their networks.

Posted by Glennf at July 28, 2006 8:07 PM

Categories: UMA


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