Oulu, Finland, is the place were Nokia started its very first public Unlicensed Mobile Access pilot over Wireless LAN.
The pilot project, it’s actually a live trial which will last for at least to months and which is being conducted under real life surroundings and conditions. Fifty families from the city of Oulu will be trying and testing the functionalities of this new technology with the help of a brand new Nokia 6136 mobile device.
UMA technology makes it possible for users to seamlessly roam and handover between local area networks and wide area networks using the same dual-mode device. Instead of constantly communicating with a base station, UMA allows the phone to also make calls through WLAN internet networks. The UMA technology proves to be cheaper and easier to implement for operators thus reducing the cost of service for the customers.
“UMA technology truly brings simplicity in the usage of voice over IP,” says Peter Ropke, Senior Vice President, Mobile Phones R&D, Nokia. “This pilot project is an important step forward in bringing functional UMA technology to the mass market. Both operators and consumers will be able to garner the benefits of this new technology.”
In order to use the UMA service, clients need a UMA capable phone that can provide seamless roaming between GSM cellular and WLAN networks. The Nokia 6136 was among the first Nokia mobile phones to offer UMA capabilities effectively it combining the benefits of mobile and fixed landline through voice over WLAN.
Nokia’s pilot project is actually a joint operation between Nokia, the DNA/Finnet group and the City of Oulu. The City of Oulu announced the Pan Oulu project last year which enables its citizens to receive free WLAN internet via hotspots around the city. These hotspot areas around the downtown area of Oulu will be a great way to assess the way UMA works in a constantly changing environment like WLAN.