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The New York Times weighs in on voice over Wi-Fi in the wild: Matt Richtel files a lighthearted story about using a Wi-Fi phone from Belkin that handles Skype voice calls. He notes that it will be increasingly likely that strangers might use unprotected Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls—which will probably disappoint those piggybackers. While purposely public Wi-Fi networks will be located in places that people will frequent and typically designed to provide strong signal strength throughout an area, a hijacked signal might ebb and flow and not be great for phone calls.
That’s why there’s such interest in UMA (unlicensed mobile access) and similar technologies or approaches that will allow either seamless or manually switched service on both cell and Wi-Fi networks. A weak signal on one leads to usage on the other. T-Mobile, as noted in the article, has an offering available just in my home market of Seattle right now; Richtel says the service is in testing, but it’s actually commercially available for purpose at any T-Mobile corporate-owned store and perhaps their affiliates. I’ve only checked with the corporate stores.
Posted by Glennf at November 26, 2006 1:55 PM