Light Reading

T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/11/2006
50%
50%

It's already been a big week for cellular network upgrades in the U.S., and now analysts say that T-Mobile US Inc. could soon be ready to join the fun by rolling out fixed/mobile convergence services in the fall.

Third-ranked operator Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) said on Tuesday it will launch a mobile WiMax network due to cover millions of subscribers by the end of 2008. (See Sprint Goes WiMax.) Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless , the second largest operator, laid out its concept of Advanced-IMS -- an upgrade to the fixed/mobile convergence standard that the carrier reckons will allow it to support IPTV, video, and multimedia services over wireless networks via an IP Multimedia Subsystem core.

It seems, however, that the smallest of the Big 4 U.S. cellular operators might be the first to enable users to jump between cellular and WiFi networks on their mobile phones. T-Mobile could have FMC services that use the unlicensed mobile access (UMA) specification ready as early as the fall, according to Roger Entner, VP of Wireless Telecoms at analyst firm Ovum Ltd.

"They have basically finished the upgrades to their APs, they're waiting for the handsets," Entner tells Unstrung. "They could launch in the Fall."

"It's clear that T-Mobile US is gearing up for a launch soon," agrees Steve Shaw, director of marketing at UMA pioneer Kineto Wireless Inc. , in an email.

The carrier itself isn't giving any specifics yet but confirms its interest in the technology. "T-Mobile is interested in the replacement or displacement of landline minutes," a spokesperson writes in an email reply to questions. "We believe the future will be about leveraging diverse forms of radio access technology for our customers and Unlicensed Mobile Access, we think, is one of the technologies that will help us continue to deliver on that promise."

T-Mobile's network of public access WiFi hotspots may actually give it an advantage over other carriers in this instance. T-Mobile says it now has 7,836 locations in the U.S. Unlike many of its cellular rivals, the operator largely owns its WiFi network, rather than relying on partnership deals. This may make upgrades like FMC easier for the operator to install.

UMA convergence technology is popular with many operators and network vendors because it allows carriers to maintain central control over calls passed between WiFi and cellular networks. Opinions are mixed, however, on how useful the technology will be for enterprise users. (See UMA : Next Year's Model? and DiVitas Grabs VC Cash.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
solve_the_problem
50%
50%
solve_the_problem,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:35 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?


The era of "WiFi where you can, cellular where you must" has begun
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:33 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
Maybe, I'm sure there will be some bumps in the road before it all works 100% though.
solve_the_problem
50%
50%
solve_the_problem,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:32 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
No question it will take some time...but the current mobile approach is not without bumps either...my mobile phone doesn't work at all in my house.
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:31 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
True enough. Another point, I think I want more security on WiFi VOIP -- simply because more people seem to know how to hack into WiFi than they do cellular.
techgnochhi
50%
50%
techgnochhi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:29 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
I dont't agree that this era has begun at all.

What WiFi and WiMesh proponents keep missing is that 3G mobile(what solve_the_problem calls cellular) is in controlled spectrum, whereas WiFi/Mesh is not. Ever been at an airport lounge with 3 carriers' WiFi access points? Try finding a SNR worth a salt.

Furthermore, the differences in infrastructure and ubiquity are staggering. With a major carrier just having commited multibillion dollars to 4G (by design, a "cellular" technology) and others continuing to invest billions in HSDPA and EVDO evolution, i think the fact is the era of ubiquitous 3G/4G cellular coverage is around the corner.

I continue to live according to the antithesis to the comment. I look for WiFi as the last resort, only to plunk down fees for one hour of WiFi that scale to 10-15% of my mobile data access cellular plan. And if I paid TMO their $25 for a monthly access plan, I'd spend more time at Starbucks than I care to ;-)

Problem_solved
solve_the_problem
50%
50%
solve_the_problem,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:22 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
Hey, I admit, you're philosophy is good for the GDP.

But I think there is an economics 101 question here. WiFi for example is cheap, standards-based, pervasive, high bandwidth and secure. Why spend billions of dollars building an overlay to that? It can be fixed for much less.

I take it your not responsible for any operator P&L.

Solve the problem (without spending billions)
solve_the_problem
50%
50%
solve_the_problem,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:22 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
Agree on the security...that's why initial dual-mode services like UMA use IPSec encryption from the device to the network.
IPobserver
50%
50%
IPobserver,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:22 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
Seems we have an abundance of connectivity. Sitting here at my desk I have way more than I can possibly use: Ethernet; WiFi laptop, HSPA Card, 3G Card, WiFi/GSM phone, 3G/GSM phone. Result, huh.

Also just had a call from the PR guy for the new T-Mobile Vario II (Windows Mobile, Qwerty, Slider). It has HSPA, WiFi, and 3G/GSM GÇô should do the trick, no?

I asked for test unit. Will report back.
techgnochhi
50%
50%
techgnochhi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:43:51 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
i am not responsible for an operator's P&L, but I think the P&L of VzW is just fine. I cite them as an example as someone who has high stakes in ubiquitous (3G) technology and virtually NO stake in WiFi. After all, what good is a $30m WiFi network in uncontrolled spectrum (i.e. un-guaranteeable SL), which eventually translates to very little revenue compared to a $2b network with very controllable SL that generates steady income stream?

But then again, i am not total expert in WiFi/Mesh and don't know what physics-defying next trick could make WiFi avoid all that shared spectrum trouble ;-)
IPobserver
50%
50%
IPobserver,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:42:12 AM
re: T-Mobile: UMA 'Round the Corner?
This is a good clip about 3G and mobile broadband from Newsnight on the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolavcon...

It talks a bit about multi-radio terminals, convergence, 3G, WiFi, and WiMax.

Newsnight is a high-brow, late-night, current affairs show from the UK.

From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.