Blackberry Bold 9900 Won’t Use UMA For Wi-Fi Calling, Software Update Release Date Still Unknown

With reports arriving this weekend of a leaked software update for the Blackberry Bold 9900 enabling Wi-Fi calling we’re now asking how long will it be before the carriers officially release this update? Well, thanks to Al Sacco from we know it won’t be before the end of November as originally intended. Having pinged T-Mobile for an update as to when we can expect the software, the company wouldn’t provide a specific date but he did receive a few new details:

“T-Mobile implements Wi-Fi on its devices in different ways, giving us the ability to offer Wi-Fi on a wider range of devices. As technology progresses, we may change the way we deliver Wi-Fi calling, but we are fully committed to this capability for our business and government customers. Regardless of the technology behind the Wi-Fi connection, Wi-Fi calling helps our business and government customers save money, enhance coverage, and increase productivity”

  • “The first is embedded in the device, via a chip. (UMA)”
  • “The second is a software application integrated into the operating system. (This is the way we’ll enable Wi-Fi Calling on the BlackBerry Bold 9900.) “

“Both implementations work with our Wi-Fi Calling for Business and Wi-Fi Calling for Government solutions. For the customer, the implementations are virtually the same with many of the features and functionality identical. The primary differences are the following:”

  • “For the OEM, the software implementation provides more flexibility, easier in-the-field upgrades and cost effectiveness.”
  • “For the customer, the software implementation saves battery life as it turns off the cellular radio when on a Wi-Fi connection. When it does this, however, the device does not “seamlessly” hand off between cellular and Wi-Fi.”

Simply put, the Bold 9900 won’t use UMA for Wi-Fi calling and instead will use a Wi-Fi application ala the Android Wi-Fi calling app. The end result of this change is that calls initiated on a Wi-Fi network won’t seamlessly hand over to the wireless network or vice-versa. To be honest, I don’t see this as a huge problem as most calls likely begin and end on Wi-Fi. Still, this could frustrate some users when the situation calls for beginning a phone call on Wi-Fi and heading out the door only to end up having to call the person back.

Thanks Al!

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  • ogopogo

    UMA is one of the best features of the 9700. The call quality is also better than the WiFi via software that I have used on the MT4G.

    I have used the UMA handoff, and yes, it works seamlessly. And, although I understand that the SW WiFi feature is cheaper to implement across the board, the BB lineup should have maintained the UMA feature moving forward.

  • Jaygqitalia

    There are many times where im in the middle of a convo on UMA and it goes to the edge/3G connection for a few mins and then goes back to UMA. This sucks.

  • Brianb

    UMA is much better.  The app’s sound quality is much lower than UMA.  Look up phone dog comparisons

  • Anonymous

    I guess tmo has fragmented themselves with all the uma variants.

  • my curve 9300 replacement has begun to do that. If I leave my wifi, it simply drops the call if I am no longer within range.

  • Guest

    :( I really liked uma

  • The Big Cheese

    This was a terrible decision not sure who to blame Blackberry or T-Mobile maybe the should share 50/50

  • HaTaX

    I think they went with the software solution on the 9900 because of the 4G radio in it, as some of the other OS7 devices that don’t have the 14.4 HSPA+ do support UMA as the old handsets did.

    Also, having used it with OS 7.1 on my 9900 I have to say it’s much better then nothing!  It warns you when your wifi signal gets low but otherwise looks and feels like the UMA calling on my 9700.  Links up in the background whenever it can without user input and saves my battery big time where I had weak signal.  Had a conference call yesterday with 3 people I called over “UMA” and it worked perfectly.

    FWIW, all the of the escreen menus still call the connection UMA…

    It’s not as bad as it sounds and the implementation has worked well for me in the current beta… (

  • Mimi

    Hatax, I am getting the feel here that wifi calling is working on 9900?  it is just not “UMA”, could you confirm this please?  thank you :).

  • Gra

    I found it really useful when being in the rural areas without reception, but with wi-fi….