Monday, July 31, 2006

Nokia Tests New Cell Phone Network

NewsFactor Network reports that "Nokia (NOK) is experimenting with a nascent wireless technology that lets mobile phone users switch between local area and standard cellular networks, providing better indoor reception and reducing calling charges when using an available Wi-Fi hotspot. The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer has set up an Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) pilot system in 50 homes in the city of Oulu, Finland, and has introduced a new dual-mode handset for seamless handover of voice and data connections between GSM networks and wireless LANs."
According to the article, "among the other companies rolling out UMA systems is global wireless operator BT, which is offering the Fusion device, manufactured by Motorola (MOT), It lets users seamlessly switch between wireless and broadband networks."

Yankee Group analyst John Jackson said, "I think we will start to see more products like this in the near future, because telecom operators are keen to not let their future opportunities be subsumed by the mobile players. The advantage is offering a single point of contact in the home, and while users are out and about."

IDC analyst Abner Germanow suggested that "Nokia's carrier customers view UMA as a fixed-line replacement that can improve reception in homes where it may be spotty." he said, "This is a pretty small experiment, but they have to start somewhere. They have a few dual-mode handsets available are putting the pieces together for larger UMA deployments."