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Interesting piece about how T-Mobile, without cable and landlines, uses UMA for challenge: The converged unlicensed mobile access (UMA) roll-out in Seattle by T-Mobile is a foray in their attempt to build their market in the U.S. The company recently acquired billions of dollars worth of 3G spectrum, which they’ll spend billions to install. They have no wired landlines in the U.S.—as opposed to Cingular’s parent firms, Verizon, and until recently Sprint—and they aren’t associated with cable operators, which is Sprint’s major alignment at this point.
The UMA service offers ostensibly seamless roaming between cell and Wi-Fi networks, but even more importantly, reduces the cost to both the operator and the customer in delivering voice on the Wi-Fi side. T-Mobile’s HotSpot@Home plan requires at least a $40/month voice subscription, but costs just $20 per month for unlimited U.S. calls over the Wi-Fi side of the network. That’s comparable to most VoIP packages—although most VoIP lines include unlimited landline calls to Canada, Europe, and Australia, too. Each additional line in a family plan costs just $5 more per month for unlimited calling, make the overall package even cheaper for a larger family.
The article notes that the Wi-Fi calling won’t conform to federal E911 regulations, and when testing the service, I had to sign and agree to disclaimers regarding E911 service.
Posted by Glennf at December 1, 2006 3:46 PM
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