Nokia launches Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) Solution
By Mike Hanlon
February 13, 2006
February 14, 2006 Nokia launched its Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) network solution at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, along with a variety of other solutions for operators and service providers to enhance network operation and enhance customer satisfaction. UMA technology enables the use of broadband and unlicensed access technologies, such as WLAN (WiFi) to offer and expand mobility to users of voice and data services. UMA can also be a useful approach to extending GSM indoor coverage. The Nokia offering combines network equipment and an UMA capable handset to create a complete end-to-end solution. Nokia also launched its newest UMA capable phone, the Nokia 6136, and gave a live demonstration of UMA calls. The Nokia UMA solution will be available in the second quarter of 2006.
"Our approach to UMA clearly demonstrates Nokia's solid advantage in providing complete solutions that encompass networks, terminals and system integration," says Roberto Loiola, Vice President, Networks, Nokia. "This move is in step with our Fixed-Mobile Convergence strategy, which is all about bringing mobility, simplicity, and personalization to new customers, regardless of the kind of network they are accessing."
Nokia is also launching a new release of the Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), building on successful deployments of Nokia IMS applications such as Push to talk over Cellular and Video Sharing. Nokia IMS Release 2.0 now brings VoIP and real-time multimedia also for fixed networks. Nokia IMS 2.0 release is compliant with 3GPP IMS specifications, as well as with the Next Generation Network architecture defined by ETSI TISPAN. It will be available in the second half 2006.
"Nokia is the undisputed leader in mobile softswitching and IMS for fixed and mobile networks, which are cornerstones of the Nokia Unified Core Network solution for converging communications," adds Loiola. "The products we are showing in Barcelona all benefit from the synergies that come from uniting the best of both the packet and circuit switching worlds."
In addition to UMA and IMS, Nokia is introducing other products to benefit network operators and subscribers. These will all begin shipping in the second half 2006.
The Nokia Subscriber Data Repository (NSR), a new database product, is a key component of the Nokia Dynamic HSS, a completely new register architecture solution for consolidating all existing database registers into a single database for real-time provisioning and management. The Nokia Combi SGSN, likewise streamlines operators' packet-core networks by handling both 2G and 3G mobile packet data in a single network element, providing operators with a smooth evolution from the field proven Nokia 2G SGSN in order to secure overall investment. The Nokia LBS Push service adds push functionality to Nokia's mPosition location based service solution. It allows users to be alerted by messages when they are near people or places of interest to them.
Nokia is also launching new versions of its Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) and Browsing Gateway solutions. Release 3 of the Nokia Flexi ISN adds support for operators who want to offer 3G as an alternative for residential broadband access and multi-access based on Native IP (an alternative to UMA access). Nokia Browsing Gateway 2.0 improves the speed, convenience and security of operators' browsing service.
With MSC Server Systems representing over 75% of Nokia's switch deliveries and with over 80 customers, Nokia has delivered the majority of the world's commercial 3GPP compliant mobile softswitches. Nokia is also the front runner in IMS for fixed and mobile networks, with over 70 references for IMS solutions, such as Push to talk over Cellular and video sharing. Nokia has taken the lead in fixed mobile convergence, with 11 network customers. Nokia has also delivered packet core networks to over 110 operators worldwide, including over 50 deals for carrier-grade, service aware packet data, of which 18 are based on the Nokia Flexi ISN introduced in 2005.
UMA is 3GPP Release 6 technology that allows mobile users to access GSM voice and data services over their broadband connections in homes or hotspots. UMA capable handsets use unlicensed access technologies, such as WLAN (WiFi) and Bluetooth, to connect to wireless access points. The Nokia solution provides network operators with the UMA Network Controller (UNC) that links their broadband and GSM networks. It allows operators to provide an alternative access method to fixed telephony, dramatically increasing mobile service usage.