Wherefore Art Thou UMA?


It is not unusual for me to receive emails that ask questions regarding T-Mobile services and often I cannot answer them. As we are an unofficial site, we are not privy to corporate decisions regarding the future of various services, I imagine most of our sources, and ninjas are not either. In this specific instance, I am talking about UMA and its future with T-Mobile. A T-Mobile customer wrote in and explained his desire to purchase an Android device but was unable to give up his UMA service currently found on his Blackberry pearl. I think it is with perfect understanding that this individual wants something sleeker, shinier and with more cowbell touchscreen. Unfortunately, his options are limited and disappointingly so.

After responding to this email, I found myself really wondering what the reason is T-Mobile has yet to produce an Android phone or a Windows Phone with UMA inside? Is it a software issue that has yet to be worked out between carrier and the manufacturer? Is it a cost factor? As in the placement of the UMA hardware inside a phone is cost prohibitive versus the sales volume? Is it simply a hardware factor that I am ignorant of or a software factor I have yet to consider? What is the reason that this service, mildly popular, yet incredibly useful to some. Why are the options so limited and the company so quiet? I do not believe the sudden inclusion of UMA inside an Android device would lead to an explosion of sales, but I do not think it would hurt them either. Admittedly, I don’t enough here to make a reasonable, if only an informed decision but I think the question itself is worth considering.

Perhaps one of you has an answer that I have not considered or knows an actual explanation that has both reason and validity. Something to think about I suppose, UMA is a service that has some measure of benefit to a number of people and I’d hate to see those customers so limited in their upgrade options that they are forced to go to another carrier in order to get both the service they require and a device they want. Time will tell I suppose.

Good luck Luigi and thanks for writing in!

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