Motorola Charm To Include UMA?

Could the prayers of thousands of Android and T-Mobile fans everywhere be answered if this slide is indeed what I think it is? Truthfully, I’m not really sure what to make of it, as I can’t say what exactly “UMALite” is. A T-Mobile Co-Development project would certainly make sense if both Motorola and T-Mobile partnered up to bring UMA to the Motorola Charm. I hope we aren’t making something out of nothing here but if I am reading this right, it certainly sounds as though T-Mobile has finally brought UMA to the Android platform and it’s one hell of a welcome addition to the platform.

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  • J-Hop2o6

    whats UMA(lite)?

    • andrew

      making calls over wifi

      • J-Hop2o6

        i know what UMA is.. i was talkin about the “LITE” part.. hows it differ from plain ‘ol UMA?

      • john

        I’m speculating it has to do with the handoff to towers

      • briaann

        it is like a beta , maybe ?

      • Vinchenzo

        Only calls can be made via UMA. Text/VM notification/MMS will not go work. So like on a TMO Blackberry, UMA gives you full functionality via UMA. UMALite does not.

      • Vinchenzo

        Oh and one more thing,if you originate a call via UMALite, it will not hand it over to gsm or vice versa.

  • sorandkairi


    • sorandkairi

      magenta’s data services are down in the southern USA (well at least in central alabama)

  • the G2 will have umalite also

    • Michael

      I heard otherwise in regards to the G2 having UMA. This Motorola Chamr might be that rummored Android device that was going to have UMA. Unless the G2 in fact will have UMA as well. Waiting for the specs on that phone before I make a move.

  • Mohammad

    I would buy one if it had uma.

  • Chatter

    I asked about this to T-Mo on Twitter and they responded that the Charm (and Android) did NOT support UMA. I want UMA so I am a little disappointed. Maybe they were not fully in the loop?

  • currator

    now i can stop friggin hear people cry about uma. no one cares if you dont got the green for unlim mins or were you live you have no service easy fix get another carrier if you go out the country buy a world phone no one cares. i dont and i am sure alot of other people dont

    • kai

      ur comment leaves me puzzled as the things u mentioned are exactly what UMA helps people with…thats why they care, thats why its important.

    • mikeeeee

      @currator, if it has UMA i’m going to buy it. if it doesn’t i’m not. nothing to do with money as i don’t use more than 300 minutes monthly anyway,


      i got a nokia 6301 UMA phone and a motorola cliqXT ANDROID that i carry now.

      i want to only have to carry one phone.

      2 years ago i was carrying a g-1 and a samsung katalyst.

      i want to carry one phone and i want it to be ANDROID.

    • Sapphire

      Someone’s panties are in a knot. Anywho, as kai stated, this helps many people stay with T-Mobile. People like T-Mobile because of the customer service and the pricing. Why the hell wouldn’t they want a UMA phone if they live in an area with poor coverage?

    • davidohio

      I don’t think anyone cares about you or your stupid comment. Some people want uma and some don’t want it. It’s no big deal…except to you, clearly. Go find a hobby.

  • kai

    its probably not gonna be what u expect, hence the ‘lite’…

  • currator

    its not important. maybe a few years ago it mattered. its about as important as well its useless period. either change carriers or something

  • currator

    yet again no one cares. if uma was that big a deal then all phones would have them like they have a color screen. my first phone was some brick nokia that had some screen with no color all it did was make calls and i could play snake that old school game on nokias hell i remember my dads star tac ohh yeah that was high tech back in like the mid late 90s so again if you dont have good signal have friends come by and see who has good signal and go with them whats so hard. if it does not have uma its a dealbreaker. hey upgrade you 5 or 6 yr old phone you may get better signal. its all good i was in orlando today ill be moving there in a few months and i did a speed test on a 5mb test and was clocking about 6000 kbps ohh yeah on my phone cant wait to get one that uses all that hspa+ goodness. like i said be happy or go somewhere no one is holding a gun to your head.

    • Bobert

      LOL FL! That explains alot

  • tecjunkie

    I kind of like this phone.

    I think that the UMA would be a added plus for the type of crowd in the picture.

  • Mitch

    Yep, no way TMO would have included this. I’m gonna call B.S. I’ll say it equals Google Voice! lol

  • steve

    UMA is not because your carrier doesn’t provide service where you’re trying to make a call. You obviously have never heard of FCC Part 15. It’s on pretty much every electronic device ever made. Very basically, it says whatever your device is, you have to deal with whatever interference may occur and you can’t do crap about it.

    There are certain areas you’re just not going to get service. Sub-level basements, mountain areas, huge steel buildings(boston children’s hospital). But here’s the thing, if there’s a wifi network available, you can make and receive calls in these areas like you were standing right under a cell tower, and that’s the advantage. I have used this feature numerous times on my wife’s blackberry 9700. Just recently, I hopped on the free wifi at childrens hospital in boston so we could call my in-laws. My nexus on had no service, and her blackberry had no service. We were in the center of a huge steel building surrounded by radiology equipment. Even the hospital uses wifi for their internal phone systems because of it. It’s just a better system.

  • Lookin for UMA

    I have been reading that the new UMA will not hand off to the cell network. Maybe that is why it is considered lite. As for who would use UMA, I would. I could care less about free calling. I just want to have access at work where no cell company works, in the basement of all of our buildings. Our server room is a cell dead zone however I can talk wit our tech support using wifi with my blackberry. I am just ready to throw my blackberry. I will be happy with a very powerful android with uma lite or even the iPhone with umalite. Once again I really do not care if It will hand off or the free part. I just like having service where big red and the death star don’t!

    David thanks for

  • Lookin for UMA

    Dang. I will try to finish. David thanks for keeping this site up. I appreciate what you do.

  • Chad D

    There are pictures of the Cliq running on UMA from the original release press conf. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Moto had the technology for UMA on the shelf.

  • watbetch

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the lite part meant the inability to handoff to&from the mobile network.

    • watbetch

      However I’m weary since it hasn’t even been mumbled by T-Mobile.

    • Michael

      That is exactly what it means. It is for making calls over WiFi, but it does not transfer directly to the mobile network when you are out of range if the WiFi signal…instead you will have to restart your call.

  • W.O.P.R

    Anyone check the FCC pages? If it has UMA or some variation it would have to be listed in the approved specs.

    Not sure what Moto would be trying to pull here if they have a non handoff thing going on. UMA is the standard for the “handoff” so calling something UMALite doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, either it hands it off or it doesn’t.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • bigc17

    Intresting……very intresting. Hope this umalite feature is actual uma and is going to be on tue charm and the G2 phones and every other phone to come out on t-mobile from now on.

  • TMOprophet

    The “lite” part means exactly that it cant switch from cell to wifi.

    Full or real uma allows you to switch easily and seamlessly.

  • vloddy

    oh my. so i went to a t-mobile store today in Dallas andddd i saw the motorola charm. It was alright a bit better then the other line of motoblur phones at t-mobile but if you are not new to android there is no point in getting it. I have the mytouch slide and i always wanted to get the G1 because my friends had it but i never got enough money to get it but as soon as the G2 comes out i am gonna give it a week of judging and if its great i will be getting it.

  • mtnman

    UMA is ment so that when you start a call on wi-fi even if you leave the area where your making the call, it will switch to the cell tower and you can continue making the call free, (just using your minuets). But lite seems to me that it will just drop you as soon as you leave the area. And if that’s the case, then there’s gonna be a lot of ticked off people. You go to a McDonald’s or Starbucks, Barnes & Nobble what ever and you’re making a call over wi-fi, you leave (still on the call) and it just drops. Imagin that?

    • TMOprophet

      That’s precisely what it means. And yes I agree many will be ticked off.

      And of course there will be those that couldn’t care less, like myself, however it does seem like an interesting feature, I wouldn’t mind having the ability to do this, even if I didn’t use it that often.

    • vloddy

      t-mobile does not charge for roaming so it’s sort of pointless

    • watbetch

      UMA so rarely handles the handoff perfectly. I drop over half of my UMA handoffs.

      • j

        my UMA is flawless with handovers. try editing wifi profile abd selecting allow inter-access ponit handovers and save changes

  • mikeeeee

    UMA is not a hardware issue.


    has a funky UMA app for ANDROID.

    it works but, not so great.

    i used it for a while but, i’m back to carrying 2 phones now.

    • W.O.P.R

      @mikeeeee, truphone is not UMA, not even in a “funky” way. UMA allows the phone to make calls via wifi and then handoff the call seamlessly to the mobile network and vice a versa. Truphone is just an app\service that allows you to make voip calls over wifi, it does not handoff the call to the mobile network. Truphone is more like Vonage for your mobile phone than UMA.

      “The most common application of GAN(more commonly known as UMA or Unlicensed Mobile Access) is in a dual-mode handset service where subscribers can seamlessly handover connections between wireless LANs and wide area networks using a GSM/Wi-Fi dual-mode mobile phone.”

      • mikeeeee


        over the past 2 years i’ve had a half a dozen t-mo UMA devices from a BB9700 to a samsung sg335.

        currently using a nokia 6301 and my wife is usning a BB flip.

        we also have a tmoble@home number ergo, i’m well aware what UMA is.

        i also mentioned that truphone was a weak workaround.

        i could give a rat’s ass what it’s called as long as i can call on it.

        i also know that att, verizon, and sprint have their own versions of home calling.

        magic jack is also developing a gsm femtocell as well.

        i would just like to have an ANDROID that works in my home.

    • w.o.p.r

      Sorry, just seemed like a lot of people are not aware of what UMA “is”. I too would really like to have UMA on an Android device. While I do have the @Home service still, I only ever use it with my analog phone plugged in. I would love to use it in other ways, but I fell out of love with Nokia a long time ago and BB’s just are not my thing.

      Didn’t mean to offend, just wanted to get the facts out there.

  • srio

    i think uma lite is software based unlike uma which requires additional hardware in the device

    • Oce

      The only hardware requirement for uma is a wifi radio. The rest is software.

      • Danny

        That is correct.

        This OTA update will likely be pushed to “other,” qualifying Android phones as well later this year.

        Calls can’t handoff to the PCS/AWS network on software alone.

        I agree with the other posters too. I’ve been using UMA for quite a while and many times my calls wouldn’t hand off to the outside network anyways. I even used a T-Mobile branded router with their config settings.

      • Bruce

        Yeah but… My wife has the Nokia UMA phone and it connects to a regular hotspot using regular wifi. Of course, the battery drains quickly in this scenario. However, at home we have the Linksys WRT54-GT router modified for UMA and sold through T-Mobile. When my wife’s Nokia connects to this special wifi hotspot, it uses a modified wifi protocol that allows for very low battery consumption. Her phone will last two days connected to this router. T-Mobile told me that this was a mixture of hardware and software that allowed this low battery consumption. I think it’s really just firmware (which is software) but it’s still more than a simple application install. A big advantage is that a call to 911 would show up as a physical address at the call center.

        UMA is definitely a plus!

      • W.O.P.R

        This is not entirely true. This was proven when the Shadow 2009 came out. The ROM was pulled off and torn apart and it was determined that yes, there was a certain amount of unique software\drivers for it to run UMA, but there was also a chip that allowed the wifi and gsm to talk. This would be why the software that manages the UMA on the 2009 would not work on the original Shadow.

  • I would be a little leery of this phone…

  • Hughck

    UMA does not give you free minutes unless you are paying for hotspot coverage. If you do not have hotspot, the minutes you use on UMA still are charged to your account. If anyone knows of a way to have free minutes when using UMA without hotspot, please inform me.


    • Bruce

      T-Mobile used to sell a $10 per month add-on called Hotspot@Home. I bought it and it is grandfathered into our plan. With this option, Wifi calls are always free and never count against your minutes. My wife only uses about 90 anytime minutes per month because she’s at home most of the time.

      T-Mobile no longer offers this option and will drop my eligibility if I make any change to my plan. I guess it was not profitable for them.

    • Mohammad

      I have free unlimited uma calling. Got this from retention a month ago. Normally price is $10. Call retention and ask for it.

    • j

      unlimited hotspot monthly is data only not unlimited minutes, the feature you need is no longer available it is unlimited wifi calling feature

  • b-will

    what does this mean for the upcoming G2 hopefully something good ? i can really use some UMA in my house

  • k-mack

    @Hughck – UMA calling is free and does NOT burn up your minutes. That’s a perk of the feature, if you weren’t aware. It works where ever you get a wifi signal, it doesn’t have to be a hotspot site! To me, the main feature is being able to make a call. It is secondary to do the handoff. If I know it won’t handoff, I can easily end my phone call and be on my way!

  • vision77

    Honestly, I hope this gets included in the charm rom so it can be ported/modded to work on all android phones. I think all carriers should consider UMA as a solution to offset network strain of data hungry handsets….of course the handoff process needs to be improved, but it just makes so much sense to use this technology.

  • L

    UMA (wi-fi calling) DOES use your plan minutes.

    The only time it does not use your plan minutes if you are on a grandfathered plan with t-mobile@home or tmobile hotspot for which you pay an additional $9.99 a month for unlimited calls over wi-fi so still NOT free.

    That said, I will take any form of UMA I can get on an android device. Having the ability to make a call from an area that has no cell coverage is invaluable. Who wouldn’t want that? As far as the hand-off. I don’t care if it’s weak. I have no coverage for 2 blocks around my house. If I walk outside I’m not getting coverage no matter what. I’d prefer to at least get coverage from within.
    As for those who would go between Starbucks and your car…ummmmm.. shut off the feature. It doesn’t make it not valuable to have when you don’t have cell coverage..think your basement or traveling… would be nice to be able to make a call from a cruise ship using their wi-fi wouldn’t it?

    Don’t turn down a feature ~ You never know when you’ll be happy to have it. Shut if off if you don’t want it.

    • mikeeeee


      what you said.

  • ViperMatrixXM

    First, It used to be required that you had a Smart Wi-Fi chip in the hardware in order to use UMA. However, the GAN spec has updated & now all you need is the software & a capable Wi-Fi phone. So previous models can now receive this. This is why unlocked blackberries are able to do so now.

    • painter bg

      i’m interested in adding UMA to a WiFi LG with Symbian OS. Is there a link to download and install UMA software to Nokia or any WiFi capable phone.
      or if possible to point me to a site where I coald read up more about UMA protocol and software

      • j

        NO LG phone can support wifi calling, at least not currently

  • davidohio

    Uma would be great but what if we are all wrong and it stands for some motorola app kind of like motoblur and uma stands for user management application or something lmao!

  • Hughck

    k-mack – as you can see from other posting here, UMA is not free! Minutes do count against you unless you have a hot spot plan or some other grandfather plan.

    Mohammad – thank you for the info! I’m not out of contract or even near the end so it would cost me money to leave t-mobile. So for me calling retention for this service does not make sense. I very seldom go over my minutes, and when I have, I called t-mobile and they gave me free minutes. Overall I’m very happy with the customer service of t-mobile.

    • Mohammad

      Yes, I’m happy with t mobile also and don’t even use all the free features I have stacked up over the years. But hey since it’s free and if you have the time to give them a call, why not… I believe getting transferred to retention is half the battle. From there on they can give you most reasonable things you ask for. I still had more than a year left on my contract when they gave me the free Pref Family Allowances, and free HS @Home UL FTS Promo.

  • Tigers01

    UMALite is an app that is supposedly going to be coming preinstalled on all Android phones from here on out. Essentially UMALite is UMA calling but in the form of a software application instead of a hardware installment on the phone.

  • k-mack

    @L and Hughck – UMA (hotspot) calling does NOT use your minutes. Please check your sources and you will see. Of course, this is different from wifi calling, which it sounds like that is what you are talking about. I’ve been a customer a long time and have this service so maybe that is why you are thinking it uses your minutes. I didn’t say it was free, I said it doesn’t burn your minutes if you have it.

  • Midnight Raver

    I just pulled the manual online @ (I dunno if the link will work if you’re not logged in to manage your account online)

    UMALite is definitely not a major feature, I couldn’t find it in the manual, but feel free to check for yourself…

  • shackk

    L stated it correctly, I have the original @Home service and will never get rid of it. 1) great unlimited back up to a cell phone 2) cordless phones all over the house, forward my cell and use my 500 conditional fowarding minutes and never have to actually have my cell on me 3) hoping UMA is released on android and on many other devices.

    I can also state the “handoff” on my BB 9700 was terrible from UMA to GSM so I personally don’t need this feature. Using in areas where cell reception is weak to non existent and traveling especially internationally would be a huge plus.

    My plan, and my reasons why I wish UMA and even WiFi calling was promoted more. Would benefit us all.

  • MH

    picked up a Moto Charm today (yes, they are selling them if you ask). def does NOT have UMA(lite) for now. maybe in a future version? sorry guys… still a v nice phone.

  • pirateman

    I also got my hands on a Motorola Charm today. No UMA or UMAlite. Not gonna keep the phone. I already have a Blackberry and a Moto Cliq. I will have to just keep waiting on UMA on a Android.