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Fourteen companies have agreed on set of open specifications allowing for seamless voice and data handoffs between GSM/GPRS cellular networks and wireless-LANs.
The participating companies are Alcatel, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Ericsson, Kineto Wireless of Milpitas, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel Networks, O2, Rogers Wireless, Siemens, Sony Ericsson and T-Mobile USA.
The specs, called Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), will enable service providers to deploy interoperable solutions that enable dual-mode handsets equipped with cellular and wireless-LAN technology to roam and handover seamlessly between cellular networks and public and private wireless LANs, including 802.11-based LANs and Bluetooth personal area networks (PANs). UMA promises to give subscribers a consistent set of mobile voice and data services as they transition between access networks, the companies said. Solutions based on the UMA specifications support the handover of active mobile voice calls and data sessions between networks, ensuring no interruption of service and delivering a consistent user experience as they jump from one network to another.
Besides developing and maintaining the initial specifications, the participating companies are working with the 3GPP standards organization to use the specifications for a 3GPP standard.
Specifics of the UMA specifications are available at www.umatechnology.org. Development of the specs began in late 2003.
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