Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dual Mode WiFi Cellular Standards

Tom Keating - VoIP Blog



Just a few days ago I wrote about dual-mode WiFi cellphone technology enablers in a blog titled SyChip Dual-Mode VoIP Module.A co-worker, Robert Liu wrote an excellent article titled, "Is Dual-Mode WiFi/Cellular Just a Dream?" that also ponders the state of dual-mode WiFi cellular. As a teaser to Robert's article, Robert addresses the 802.21 Working Group, the Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) standard submitted to 3GPP, and more. Robert even stopped by my desk and we debated how "tricky" it will be to get all the cellular players to "play along" considering that.the cellular companies want "closed walls" and are already frightened by the phenomenal growth and success Skype has had. Do they really want to enable the ability for users to seemlessly handover a call from cellular to WiFi? Go check out Robert's article for his perspective including some quotes from some industry luminaries, including Vivek Gupta of Intel.

An interesting excerpt of Robert's article reads: “The only thing that UMA does that doesn’t follow what the rest of the industry does is it doesn’t fully [support] SIP for voice signaling. It still uses the 802.11 spec. The voice piece of this is the only thing that doesn’t follow. It
doesn’t use SIP for its control protocol. It uses UMA protocols,” Quarry Tech’s Cullen explained.

According to Robert's inside scoop, "Next week, the IEEE (the trade group responsible for shepherding in the WiFi era) will meet in Cairns, Australia, to outline a draft proposal to roam seamlessly between wireless local area networks (WLAN) and other heterogeneous
networks."

Ok, enough of a teaser. I don't want to steal Robert's thunder. It's an excellent article. Go check it out.

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