If we look way back in time to the beginning of dirt itself…ok so 2008 isn’t that far back. But remember, two years in the tech world is like a decade — really. Anyway, back in that day, UMA was starting to get some respect with T-Mo users for it’s ability to extend network coverage to areas that had little of it or none at all. WIth all the hubub around Android, it only seemed like two next-gen pieces of technology would bask together in the limelight. Except, they didn’t.
I’m not a software developer or cellular engineer so I haven’t the slightest as to why the duo still aren’t dancing together two years later. What I do know is that it sucks big time. But all that is set to change very, very soon.
According to a BGR tip, sometime in Q3 of this year we can expect to see a UMA-enabled Android device(s) — the first of it’s kind. It’s not clear at this point whether it will be backwards compatible with currently available hardware, compliments of a software update or require a brand hew handset altogether. Obviously, we’re hoping for the former.
With more and more people moving on to services such as Skype, Google Voice, Fring, and so on, the novelty UMA once held is somewhat lost. Even then, you can’t argue with the fact that UMA still is useful.
Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology provides access to GSM and GPRS mobile services over unlicensed spectrum technologies, including Bluetooth and 802.11. By deploying UMA technology, service providers can enable subscribers to roam and handover between cellular networks and public and private unlicensed wireless networks using dual-mode mobile handsets. With UMA, subscribers receive a consistent user experience for their mobile voice and data services as they transition between networks.