Kineto Wireless Brings UMA To Android, Will T-Mobile Adopt?

The last month or so has seen at least two occasions where I, on behalf of the readers have expressed disappointment that UMA Wi-Fi calling had yet to come to Android. Thankfully, the folks at Kineto Wireless hope to change that with the introduction of their Smart Wi-FI Application for Android 2.2.

Kineto Wireless has announced that they have updated their Smart Wi-Fi application, which is based on the 3GPP UMA/GAN standard capable of turning any Wi-Fi spot into its own little cell tower, giving the exact kind of coverage you would expect with other UMA capable phones. The means seamless handoffs between towers, reliable network coverage and the ability to actually hold a call in your basement!

We should clear up right away that this is not something you can or will expect to find in the Android Market, possibly never finding it there. It’s being designed and built in to Android devices by the handset makers per the carrier’s request. According to Kineto Wireless VP/GM Mark Powell, Kineto is working with a number of companies to preload the app into Android devices, though of course those companies remain nameless.

So how this appeals to T-Mobile users right off the bat should go pretty much without question, but there was a little easter egg that Androidguys managed to discover. You can see they had a little fun with it as seen by the picture gracing the top of this article. It’s quite clear this app is currently being tested on a Samsung Vibrant, as even with the black tape covering the logo, the Avatar, MobiTV and The Sims 3 app icons are clearly Vibrant specialties. So lets just put it right out there, we have absolutely nothing that says this is coming to T-Mobile, in the near future or ever, but the possibility that a T-Mobile phone is being tested is definitely worth noting at Kineto likely could have used a phone from any carrier to showcase.

Now we’ve got a whole video for you to watch and learn all about Kineto Wireless’ UMA feature and begin your rain dance prayers that T-Mobile will adopt this feature.

Image courtesy of Androidguys and thanks to Scott of Androidguys for shooting this over to me late last night!

Full Kineto Press Release follows:

Kineto Smart Wi-Fi Application Available for Android 2.2

Kineto delivers UMA technology for Froyo, the newest version of Android Operating System

Download

Milpitas, Calif., September 20, 2010

Kineto Wireless, Inc., the key innovator and leading supplier of solutions that enable delivery of mobile services over broadband, today announced it has an updated version of its Smart Wi-Fi Application for Google’s Android operating system version 2.2, also called Froyo.

Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application, based on the 3GPP UMA/GAN standard, turns existing Wi-Fi access points into seamless extensions of the mobile network. Using the Smart Wi-Fi application, subscribers can now resolve indoor mobile coverage problems by receiving their voice and data services over existing Wi-Fi access points.

“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,” said Mark Powell, vice president and general manager of Kineto’s Client Business Unit and co-founder of the company. “To capitalize on this growing demand, 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.”

Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application is designed for mobile operators to address the network coverage and capacity issues created by the growing popularity of smartphones and subscriber demand for bandwidth intensive applications and services. The company works with device manufacturers and mobile operators to pre-load the application onto devices.

Wi-Fi continues to be the predominant wireless technology in the home. A study conducted by Arbitron earlier this year found that 62 percent of US broadband-connected households already had Wi-Fi installed. Market research firm In-Stat projects that by 2013, shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi will exceed ¾ of a billion units. Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application enables mobile operators to extract the maximum benefit of Wi-Fi for their networks and their subscribers.

For more information about Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application, please visit our website www.kineto.com. For a short video of Smart Wi-Fi in action, visit Kineto’s YouTube channel atwww.youtube.com/kinetowireless.http://www.youtube.com/kinetowireless

About Kineto Wireless
Kineto Wireless is the key innovator and leading supplier of standards-based solutions that enable mobile operators to embrace the cost and performance advantages of fixed and mobile broadband access networks. The company provides software and services to major wireless infrastructure and handset vendors so they can deliver Smart Offload solutions based on Wi-Fi and femtocell technologies, as well as Voice over LTE. Kineto customers and partners include, AudioCodes, Cisco, GENBAND, HTC, ip.access, Juniper Networks, LG Electronics, Motorola, NEC, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung and Ubiquisys. For more information about Kineto, please visit http://www.kineto.com.

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  • Nads

    YES, this needs to be adopted by T-Mobile for all of its Android devices to set itself apart from the other carriers.

    Still hoping the Desire HD comes to Magenta, and how sweeter would it be if it had UMA enabled as well?

    Hmm… wonder if kineto has UMA working on an iPhone?????

    • K-rock

      I hear ya on the Desire HD. It seems like we’ll be suck with the little plastic My version.

      UMA is the only reason I have T-Mobile. It works great at the basement of my work were no cell singles from any carrier penetrate. @Home is also the best product ever. Unlimited calling for less than 10$ a month.

    • Quervo`

      Ummm, Ive had using the vonage app for over half a year now. Has no one ever tried this?

  • mikeeeee

    we’re in the ‘non denial denial stage’ now.

    when the corporate suits get their collective acts together and one brave soul says it’s a GO, that’s when the fun begins.

    if the app has to be preloaded that means phones that are still being made might get it.

    c’mon G-2!

  • RolloC84

    How is it they are testing it on the Vibrant if the app is made for Froyo? The Vibrant hasn’t been updated yet. Rooted I suppose.

    • Sapphire

      Just because they are showing it off on a device that only runs Éclair, but announcing they have a version for Froyo doesn’t mean anything. They could just be using the vibrant just because they wanted to.

      Now, if you want to delve into speculation about why the Vibrant was used, and I mean pure speculation, you could say T-Mobile is working with them to bring Froyo with UMA abilities to their devices and that is why the Vibrant was used (not true by any means to my knowledge though). But the Vibrant being used doesn’t really mean anything other then someone will get their hands on this app and port it.

    • jstew

      I was just about to make this point as well. That really doesnt make much sense.

    • David, Managing Editor

      That is a very interesting question…I didn’t even consider that either?!

    • Ash

      They have had a version for Android 1.6 or above since March.. so I’m not surprised to see a 2.1 Vibrant running on an older version of the app..

      Anyways, come and support the UMA fb fan page!

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/T-Mobile-USA-UMA-Wifi-Calling/152085804808866?ref=ts

  • La El

    Come on T-mobile! Bring the magic of UMA to Android and seal the deal!!!

  • http://myspace.com/amysloverdavid Chevyrockstar

    call me a newb, but what is UMA i googled it and still dont completely understand :(

    • mikeeeee

      @CHEVY…………..

      UMA is calling over wifi networks.

      really great if you are in a lousy coverage area.

      really great if you are out of the country and you can call home at any wifi hot spot.

      i live in zipcode 38221 all the carriers coverage maps lie, my UMA phones work great in my home.

      • http://myspace.com/amysloverdavid Chevyrockstar

        Thanks you mikeeeee

    • Ted C.

      Just to clarify… it’s different than VOIP because it is running the same cellular protocols as a cellular tower would. That means that a call can automatically transition from a cell tower to a wifi connection. And the same can happen for data and SMS (assuming the implementation includes that portion of UMA/GAN). VOIP can only deal with voice and requires an uninterrupted wifi connection. VOIP is also carried over the public internet while UMA traffic is carried over the public network only to the point that it hits the carrier’s “UMA/GAN gateway” at which point it is carried over the carrier’s regular backhaul network. That generally translates into a a QOS.

  • archie

    This would be awesome. Hopefully it can get loaded onto devices already out.

  • LostInWoods

    Looks like maybe this dovetails nicely with the BoyGenius report back in May that T-Mobile would be testing UMA on Android in Q3.

  • DavidinJax

    OMG This is huge, at least for me! The sole reason I still have a blackberry is UMA. I have no signal in my apt, I love T-Mobile, but I want an ANDROID phone and they do not get a signal in my apt. I’m honestly ready for a new phone and am ready to jump ship to verizon (the only carrier w/a signal).

    If they can make this happen I can stay with T-Mobile and enjoy my UMA functions.

    Come on T-Mobile, I’ve been faithful for 8 years, show me you love me! Allow me to purchase a $400.00 phone from you that’ll work in my home.
    My whole family and most friends have T-mobile, lets keep me in the loop with them and not be a black sheep.

  • ogopogo

    I hope that this clears up the debate about whether it is hardware or software based. Any phone that has WiFi has the capability to use UMA/GAN if it has the proper software/app.

    I really hope that T-mobile adopts this so that I can move from my Blackberry Bold to an Android platform!

    • Ted C.

      @ogopogo

      I wish it were that simple. Just saying that Android will embed this in the stack is a major advance but that doesn’t mean that the hardware issue is moot. At the very least a phone has to be able to operate over BOTH cellular AND wifi at the same time to make the handoff. But it may also require a chipset that exposes the ability to perform the handoff of the protocol instead of handling it entirely internally. I’d have to dig but I imagine that the latter isn’t common on many existing devices.

  • reddragon72

    Why would T-mobile not adopt this? First it’s an extra 10 bucks a month per phone when you attach it to your account. Second it off loads tons of network traffic. And third it stops people from switching/complaining about coverage. It’s a win win win for T-mobile and a win win for customers. There is no reason at all to not adopt this, but even if they don’t do it officially I’m sure the app will find it’s way into users hands shortly and then it is a matter of calling T-mobile and changing to a UMA phone on the account and adding UMA to it :-)

    Come on big T let this cat out of the bag!!

    • reddragon72

      forgot to mention that it says 2.2 only, but he is clearly demoing it on a Vibrant running 2.1 lol

    • Rob

      UMA does not cost $10 per month…

    • remixfa

      the only UMA phones on tmobile right now are blackberrys. you can not have an android phone with “blackberry internet” and have the internet work properly on the phone. they are seperated out in the system so it makes a difference. So, your first theory is no good. Besides, u dont need to pay for it. UMA still uses your minutes unless they offer that unlimted UMA for $10 again. You just simply log into wifi, turn off your cell connection, and make the call. No biggie.

      • reddragon72

        UMA is part of the BB package, and since there is no Android “package” they will charge 10 a month for the extra connection. Trust me on this they will not make this a free “use your minutes” kind of thing. They would have released this by now if it were a use your minutes thing because they wouldn’t care or have to do anything…… iAnd if you think that T-mobile would just release this without thinking of making a buck off of the Android community then your wrong. But I hope I’m wrong.

      • cookitup222

        Reddragon,

        I am a tmo employee and tmo has not charged for uma, as it is taken from your buket of minutes. The 10 per month is for an additional unlimited bucket of wifi minutes. That feature has nothing to do with the tech side of uma, just the billing side. It has always been like this, and in fact even a prepaid customer should be able to use uma. I sure hope this post is true and launches soon. I really hope this comes to the g2!

    • FlyboyFly

      reddragon72 says:
      UMA is part of the BB package, and since there is no Android “package” they will charge 10 a month for the extra connection. Trust me on this they will not make this a free “use your minutes” kind of thing.

      I am making calls over UMA on my Nokia phone on a daily basis. Bought my phone from TMobile a year ago simply because it was a UMA enabled phone that was not a BB. I don’t have the @home plan so every time I make a call over UMA it gets deducted from my minutes. However, it beats the alternative of not being able to make calls at all since I don’t have a signal here at home.

  • NiiDiddy

    Pray guys, pray it comes to T-Mobile! This will be good if it does…but I’m sure someday we’ll know more what this is all about and where they plan on implementing it.

  • JJ

    Not sure why TMobile is dragging their butt on implementing this. It would seem that they would prefer that a customer who has nominal coverage switch to another carrier rather than provide them with a simple solution to maintain good service while being able to use Android. If Android is the OS of the future, Tmobile it’s time to act! And do that now not next year.

  • Leachpunk

    I thought all future android devices starting with the G2 were going to have UMA? I swear I read that on this site a couple months ago.

  • JJ

    Btw TMob (and Motorola) are BOTH investors in the company!!! That CANT hurt!!

  • Cybersedan

    ***Listen to the section of the video from minute 2:00 to around 2:21 and tell me what carrier it sounds like he’s talking about.***

  • JJ

    Complete speculation…could this be WHY the G2 is slightly delayed??? I suppose this announcement could be completely UNRELATED.but fun to speculate as to WHY they just chose to announce this today. With TMob being an INVESTOR in the company it would be silly to think they dont have an interest in it.

  • La El

    T-mobile and Kineto have definitely been working together…
    From January 2010: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/press/t-mobile-and-kineto-to-participate,1139652.html

    WHO: T-Mobile and Kineto Wireless will be participating in a webinar entitled, “Smart Offload for Smart Phones,” on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

    Omar Hassan, senior manager of product development for T-Mobile US, and Steve Shaw, vice president of corporate marketing for Kineto Wireless, will present the webinar. The webinar will be moderated by Lynnette Luna, editor of FierceBroadbandWireless, a publication that brings the latest broadband wireless news on Wi-Fi, WiMAX, muni Wi-Fi and other pertinent broadband wireless topics and technologies to more than 48,000 wireless industry insiders.

    WHAT: With smartphones, subscribers are becoming accustomed to always-on access to web services at the touch of a finger. Subscribers expect the network to provide stellar coverage while delivering high-speed data. To handle this flood of data usage, operators must focus on increasing service performance and improving coverage to maintain customer satisfaction, while keeping costs under control. Wi-Fi has emerged as a critical tool for managing offload for mobile networks.

    The webinar will discuss operator challenges with smartphones, the role of Wi-Fi for mobile operators and how new “smart offload” solutions increase capacity and improve coverage.

  • Barry

    I’m confused as to who is holding this feature back, is it t-mobile or google ?

  • timmyjoe42

    Please, please, please…

  • JJ

    T-VENTURES It is becoming ever more important in this market that wireless carriers and suppliers of services and technology actually cooperate with one another. That is precisely why the T-Mobile Venture Fund is there: to advance T-Mobile’s strategy of business cooperation between the portfolio companies and the operating arms of T-Mobile.

    T-Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, funds investments that are rooted in T-Mobile’s product and marketing strategy. The fund offers T-Mobile a unique innovative stimulus. The T-Mobile Venture Fund is intended for wireless pioneers in the start-up or expansion phase who are seeking a breakthrough association with a global player like T-Mobile. The fund mainly focuses on Europe and the USA. For more information about T-Venture and the T-Mobile Venture Fund, visit http://www.t-ventures.de.

  • Chris

    Can’t wait until this app gets leaked and we can put it on our rooted phones. And when cyanogen starts baking it straight into his roms hahahahahahaha

  • http://soapboxuniverse.blogspot.com/?spref=gb K. Ray

    T-Mobile think not. Do you must. This is the app you want. (using my Jedi mind trick)

    Stay Thirsty my friends…

  • mingkee

    What is the name on the market?
    I will get this app to test on my nexus one.

  • Jeff Waynes

    Yes!!!!!!!!!! Please T-Mobile, bring this to your Android Phones… and also allow your phones running 1.6+ to run it too! (G1, Behold, etc!)

  • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com Dave

    They better!!! or Protest & petition time :D

  • reddragon72

    One thing that get me, as I posted above, is that he states that it is ready, the press release says availible now, and he is running it on a T-mobile Samsung Vibrant. So if it is all good and they say it is released then where is it at? Well T-mobile is more then likely thinking right now how to make a buck off of this, so expect something in a few weeks to a month about T-mobile “add” it to your plan for $$… You bet it’s coming and you bet it’s going to cost something.

    • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com Dave

      I’d pay if it was reasonable

  • stfon5

    Yes do it.. do it T-Mobile! I know a ton of people that would switch or stay on T-Mobile if they could get this on there Android phone. Smart Wifi/UMA calling and HSPA+ on T-Mobile would make them a heavyweight contender in the Network wars : )

  • oxfdblue

    They put this on the G2 and my 9700 goes up for sale…or something like that.

  • iFail…

    Someone give me a link to the apk?

  • Sbarney
    • Ted C.

      My understanding is that the phrase “GAN Lite” amounts to the ability to send a receive voice calls via Wifi. This is a marketing term for some subset of UMA/GAN that basically doesn’t deliver anything more than VOIP outside of potentially having better call quality. I really hope that this isn’t all that TMobile is going to deliver because that really isn’t particularly exciting. And I don’t think that from a standards point of view that that subset would quality as being a UMA/GAN implementation.

  • emet

    t mobile gave me unlimited uma calling for my nexus1 and my touch 3g and bb9700 to try out.

    • Mark2065

      Can you tell me how to get UMA calling for my N1

  • Dex

    Well we can think a little, and say that this will come with the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant. As said above T-Mobile/T-Ventures is an investor in the company. To test the system locally they would need a carrier that has signal here [To test signal handoff, etc].

    I’m thinking, this will come with the 2.2 update of the vibrant. And with the other new phones coming out as well.

    I think i’m on the money.

    • Dex

      And…. Look at the vibrant box behind him; to the left of him in the start of the video. hehehe

  • Mike

    Subject: Tmobile’s Vibrant

    This is an email exchange I had yesterday with a rep from Kineto.

    I am hoping for an Android 2.2 update very soon for my Vibrant. My girlfriend has the Vibrant too and can not get any signal where she works. Is this application available for the Vibrant? If so, when and where can I get this, once I have the 2.2 update for my phone?

    Michael,

    I can’t comment specifically on when it will be available, but it is possible to add the app as part of an ‘over the air’ firmware update on the phone. I expect this will be resolved before Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed.

    steve

    Thanks!!

  • Nath12

    Great news, sounds like we may have UMA on Android soon… and it may be an app… thought that was impossible. Oh well.

  • http://www.inkatonce.com etaxen

    This is the only thing keeping me from switching from a 9700 to an Android device. I have lousy cell coverage where I work, so I rely on the UMA features of the BlackBerry. Plus – when this materializes, I can switch the company’s corporate cell plans from ATT to Tmo since the iPhone doesn’t do WiFi calling (and the boss wants everyone to have cool touchscreen phones)

    Go Magenta! I want this!

  • sulli

    Is this confirmation it is coming to T-Mobile?
    http://www.smart-wi-fi.com/operators.php

    • John

      No this does not confirm anything other than tmobile has uma. It does not say anything about it on an android phone. When it does come out for android, I will be in line to get mine! The bold 9700 will be up for sale. Anyone interested in a 9700? :)

  • big dog

    The reason this is being held back is because the patent for fixed mobile convergence is owned by Calypso Wireless and Tmo and anyone else who offers a cellular to wifi seamless transfer is in violation of Calypso’s 923 patent.
    Calypso and Tmo are in litigation and about to settle. There are many infringers of Calypso’s ASNAP patent. And they are all going to have to pay up!

  • http://koowie.com Koowie

    yes yes yes!