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Swedes Are Home Free With FMC

Telia Company will launch its Home Free unlicensed mobile access (UMA)-based service in Sweden at the end of this month, marking the second European market for this fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) service. (See Telia Launches Home Free.)

The Swedish operator already launched Home Free in Denmark in August last year. While TeliaSonera isn't revealing Danish subscriber numbers, the launch of the service in Sweden is a sign of some success.

What sets the Swedish Home Free service apart from other FMC services in Europe is that it's not tied to TeliaSonera's own broadband offering. Like T-Mobile US Inc. 's Hotspot @Home service in the U.S., TeliaSonera will offer Home Free to anyone with a broadband connection, regardless of who provides it. (See T-Mobile Launches UMA in USA.)

That's in contrast with the way things are run with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Fusion, Orange France 's Unik, Telecom Italia (TIM) 's Unico, and even the Danish Home Free. (See BT's Flat Fusion , Orange Doubles FMC Customers, and FMC Fusilli.)

The open approach is important because it "frees up the service modeling," says Current Analysis principal analyst Emma Mohr-McClune.

"One of the weaknesses of these services is that they present to the user a whole laundry list of charges: the router, the handset, the broadband charges, the PSTN charges, the VOIP charges, the whole works," Mohr-McClune says. "But if [an operator] is willing to supply a UMA service over any broadband, they don't have to mention the broadband tariff. So, the service looks cheaper and more attractive."

In Sweden and Denmark, TeliaSonera uses UMA equipment from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), some of which is based on Kineto Wireless Inc. technology. (See TeliaSonera Picks Moto and Moto Boosts Kineto.)

In Sweden, TeliaSonera will launch the service with just one handset, Nokia's 6086. Later this year, the operator will add the Nokia 6301, the Motorola A910, and the P200 from Samsung Corp.

There are two packages for Home Free. The first has a monthly fee of SEK 199 ($29) and provides unlimited calls to landline numbers and Telia mobiles when made from home. The fee for the router and handset is SEK 295 ($43), plus a one-time charge of SEK 250 ($36).

The second package also costs SEK 199 ($29) per month. But subscribers get a router and two Nokia 6086 handsets for SEK 490 ($71). Again, there is a one-time charge of SEK 250 ($36).

Subscribers can also sign up for a Mobile to Friends package, which costs SEK 69 ($10) per month, and provides unlimited incoming calls.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 3:03:11 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC It's interesting that the two most recent launches of UMA arenGÇÖt tied to a broadband subscription. This makes much more sense for the customer and operator.

It's even better if users can access services over any WiFi network +á la T-Mobile.

Shameless plug -- I'm hosting a Webinar on mobile network security for fixed/mobile convergence services at Noon EST today.

We have a big audience already registered, but all are welcome. Sign up here:
http://www.lightreading.com/we...
zwixard 12/5/2012 | 3:03:09 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC The biggest reason for T-Mobile USA to launch UMA is to expand its coverage without adding new base stations. The customer already pays for the broadband and indoor Wi-Fi. Now, T-Mobile want the customer to pay another monthly UMA fee to use his own air wave. To solve coverage problem, T-Mobile should pay their customers to use UMA.
Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 3:03:08 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC But that's kind of the pointGǪ it's parasitic.

Broadband is there. Wireless carriers should use it to their advantage.
zwixard 12/5/2012 | 3:03:05 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC From QoS aspect, UMA and FemtoCell both operate at the mercy of the broadband bandwidth availability. If you make a UMA call while your kids are downloading a 4G movie using a P2P file sharing application such as BitTorrent, your voice quality will be poor because BitTorrent is very good at eating up all the bandwidth and your UMA RTP packets are easy candidates to be dropped by your Wi-Fi router. What is the point to use UMA that is suppose to improve "quality" at home but not guaranteed to get the quality.

If I have coverage problem at home with carrier A, I would see if carrier B can do better. If none is available, I forward my cell phone to my land phone when I go home. Why should I pay to solve carriers' coverage problem?

I have no better word than suckers to describe UMA users.
[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 3:03:03 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC While T-Mobile doesn't advertise the option, you can use a UMA-enabled phone over your own Wi-Fi simply to improve your coverage. No extra fee required, it works with your existing plan.

I have a 600 min plan with T-Mo, I don't pay an additional $10/month. I just use a UMA phone and they bill me at my normal rate.

The $10/month is to get people to drop their land lines. Ie Vonage is $25/month for unlimited call over IP vs $10 from T-Mobile.
[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 3:03:03 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC "I have no better word than suckers to describe UMA users"

Interesting perspective. UMA is at the mercy of IP just like any/all VoIP services. So are all VoIP subscribers 'suckers'? Skype? Vonage?
zwixard 12/5/2012 | 3:03:02 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC "
Interesting perspective. UMA is at the mercy of IP just like any/all VoIP services. So are all VoIP subscribers 'suckers'? Skype? Vonage?
"
Skype is free to consumers.
Vonage, like SunRocket, is a failed biz model.
zwixard 12/5/2012 | 3:03:02 PM
re: Swedes Are Home Free With FMC "
While T-Mobile doesn't advertise the option, you can use a UMA-enabled phone over your own Wi-Fi simply to improve your coverage. No extra fee required, it works with your existing plan.
"
Kineto folks know best that a UMA user must be authorized to use T-Mobile's UNC which is worth years' development. Some might be able to call their customer service and get authorized for now. But, T-Mobile cannot afford free use of that box forever.
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