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?