T-Mobile USA and WLAN vendor Meru Networks agreed to a partnership to bring fixed mobile convergence (FMC) technology to enterprise customers by using unlicensed mobile access (UMA) technology, which the carrier said will allow T-Mobile customers to seamelessly transition between outdoor wireless infrastructure and indoor WiFi networks.
The companies have conducted tests with UMA-equipped T-Mobile devices to ensure what they described as a seamless handoff between Meru's WLAN networks and T-Mobile's cellular network for GSM/GPRS devices. The two also said that they will conduct joint marketing and sales for the program. T-Mobile also said that it had joined Meru's Interoperability and Network Solutions partner program.
T-Mobile said in a statement that it was the first carrier to use FMC to target the enterprise segment and that it was also the first to use UMA technology. The carrier said it had dual-mode devices that leverage the technology from vendors such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, Nokia and Samsung.
It is unclear what the future of FMC will be, especially with the rising popularity of femtocells, which act as indoor base stations, extending an operator's cellular network. Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility appear to be jumping on the femtocell bandwagon, with new product offerings having launched or being close to launch.
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