Kineto Wireless Bringing UMA to Android Phones, Is T-Mobile First?[VIDEO]


You know what helps carriers reduce churn?  A reliable network that works everywhere.  Without hiccups.  Even if you live in the woods.  You know what helps with that?  UMA.  Do you know what else UMA does?  It keeps you from racking up exorbitant roaming fees when traveling abroad.   You know what we’re not likely going to see from a wireless provider in the near future?  UMA on Android phones.  Or will we?

Kineto Wireless, Inc. announced yesterday that they have an updated version of their Smart Wi-Fi app for Android handsets running 2.2 and beyond. Based on the 3GPP UMA/GAN standard, it turns any WiFi spot into an extension of a carrier’s network.  This means seamless phone call handoff between that tower down the street and the wireless router in your computer room.  Forget that crappy coverage just because you live on the wrong side of a hill.

“Smartphones have highlighted the coverage and capacity challenges of mobile networks, especially in indoor locations. Operators have started to look to Wi-Fi, already installed in many homes and offices, to address these issues… we have now enhanced our Smart Wi-Fi Application to support the latest version of Android and validated it with the leading Android smartphone manufacturers.”

Now, to throw cold water on your excitement, this is not an APK or app you can download from the Android Market.  Rather, it’s an application being built into smart phones designed by handset makers and carriers.  According to VP/GM Mark Powell, Kineto is working with a number of OEMs to preload the app into devices.  Perhaps someday soon you will have a phone that  does all these wonderful things for you.

NOTE: The video below shows a quick demo on how it works.  We’re not trying to get T-Mobile users’ hopes up, but the phone used in the clip is a Samsung Vibrant.  Sorry Kineto! Covering the operator’s logo with black doesn’t help this time around.  We already know the Vibrant comes with The Sims 3 and Avatar.  May we suggest hiding icons from the desktop next time around?

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In addition to smartphones and mobile gadgets, Scott has a deep appreciation for film, music, and sunflower seeds. A husband and father, he likes spending down time riding his mountain bike or binge-watching TV. Scott has overseen the day-to-day activities of AndroidGuys since 2007.
  • mikeeeee

    TRUPHONE has a wifi app but, it’s not to great.

    let’s see what kineto/t-mo does for us who need it.

    • reddragon72

      This is nothing like Truphone…. I keep seeing that listed in replies. This allows you to continue to use your current cell phone number and all of it’s services. Basically it allows you to use a WIFI hotspot as a cell tower to make calls with your cell number and txt messages as well just as if you were in service of an actual cell tower.

  • Mike Thaler

    I have been a believer of UMA ever since I beta tested it for TMobile several years ago. Since then, I have only used phones that have UMA – the last 3 years on Blackberrys.
    The best use, that for some reason is not publicized by TM, is using it overseas to avoid high intl. roaming charges. We used it last month in 3 So. American countries. The intl roaming rate via cell tower – $3/min. Connecting via UMA/wifi -$0. The 100 to 150 minutes of calls would have cost $300-$500. (Of course we could have found convoluted methods to cut the cost like getting local prepaids, etc.)
    Note: When used overseas, all incoming is free. Outgoing calls to U.S. numbers are free. Calls to intl. numbers, even to the Queen from your nearby London hotel are billed at the usual high intl. dialing rates from U.S. to UK. This is easily avoided by using a seamless routing for intl calls via Google Voice (2 cents/min.)
    When I say “free”, minutes come out of your bucket of minutes. Since many (most?) of us are on unlimited plans, this doesn’t matter.

  • Hmm

    At the risk of sounding dumb, if this is just implemented in software, couldn’t developers make this an app available on all android phones?

  • reddragon72

    Hmm >>> the issue is this apparently changes the use on network. No cell company will allow apps that circumvent there systemin the way the uma app does to just run wild. They also have to setup their payment system to recognize android phones in this setting. This is the only stopping point that I see for T-Mobile. I am hoping they will not be lazy. I want them to implament this because I have no signal at work so I would benifit from this greatly.

    • Hmm

      Ah thanks for the info =)