This may bring a cheer to Finnish hearts as they get set for another long arctic winter: Nokia has launched what must be the first public trial of UMA over WLAN in the Finnish city of Oulu. Fifty or so families in the city will be testing the new system, using the Nokia 6136 mobile device. The 6136 allows for seamless handover from GSM to WLAN networks.
UMA allows the device to make calls through WiFi networks rather than having to communicate with a base station. This is not only an advantage for the consumer: Operators, too, benefit because expanding the coverage area by rolling out more WLANs is much cheaper than doing so by building more base stations.
The city of Oulu is a pioneer of all kinds of communication services. Last year it built hot spot around the downtown area where citizens are offered free access. Nokia will be using these hot spots to test its UMA system.
For more on the state of UMA:
- read Dan Jones's Unstrung discussion