Telecom Italia, which had been one of a handful of carrier supporters of Unlicensed Mobile Access Technology for fixed-mobile convergence services, reportedly has dumped UMA in favor of using an FMC offering based on the session initiation protocol.
Regulatory issues helped drive Telecom Italia to this decision-Regulators wanted the carrier to offer its UMA service wholesale to competitors-but the Italian ILEC also noted that there are more SIP-enabled handsets now than UMA-enabled handsets. Telcos pursuing FMC services have at least multiple technology options, with UMA being the best one for an early market mover, and the Voice Call Continuity specification within the IP Multimedia Subsystem standard being the natural long-term choice (also the one requiring the longest description). Using SIP handsets doesn't give a carrier a network-based Wi-Fi/cellular hand-off, but a SIP client does allow call set-up in either environment.
UMA has fought for and won respectability with numerous carrier launches in recent years, and what Mark Twain would say -- if he had any idea what we're talking about -- is that reports of UMA's death have been prematurely exaggerated before. Could Telecom Italia's actions convince others to do the same?
- read this story in Light Reading's Unstrung
- UMA was a recently in our innovation spotlight