Tag Archives: UMA

Why no DECT?

People often complain about lack of cellular reception in their home. And to solve this problem, companies either rented, sold, or allow a customer to use a special device that provides a micro-cellular system in the home which then uses the customer’s Internet connection. Another option is Wifi Calling. However, these both have problems, and I think there is a better solution.

Micro-Cell

Micro-cell plugs into the home’s Internet connection, and allows a limited number of devices that works on the same network to connect to the micro-cell, and then use the customer’s Internet connection. There are a few problems. First, one either has to pay for it, or threaten to fight the carrier because they can’t receive reception in their home. So, if you get a micro-cell, there are typically restrictions on what phones can use it. Therefore, the micro-cell might help your account, but even if someone else with the same carrier was to need a cellular connection, they are likely not able to access your micro-cell.

Wifi Calling

Republic Wireless does this in the most seamless method. All of their devices support Wifi Calling, and this is typically by modifying the OS. However, there are only a few devices to support this. Then there is T-Mobile which offers Wifi Calling on their modified Android Devices. Not all of them supports it, and while the iPhone 6+ supports Wifi Calling without any special modifications, it is up to the carrier to support it. There was UMA, but with only T-Mobile supporting UMA (and not on current devices), it never gained wide acceptance. UMA will use wifi to make the call, and there was nothing special that had to be done.

My Solution

So, what would I suggest? How about Eco-DECT. Eco DECT is a means in using the DECT system with a electrically sustainable approach. DECT is Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology. It uses the 1.9Ghz bands which are not crowded with things such as microwaves, or wifi signals. A DECT Access Point can plug into a phone jack or a Network connection. And with support from a carrier and obviously with new phones to provide support – this could allow the problem to be solved. And with DECT, many new cordless phone access points will simply interconnect with the phone. It is just simply treated as a cordless phone. This could also mean that the phone could have a “home” phone number, and a “cellular” phone number. This could also allow people with those $400+ smart phones to simply have something that will work.

This is better than Micro-Cell as Micro-Cell is designed to be restrictive. DECT is not. This is better than Wifi Calling as there is no need for carrier support. In addition, the phone can connect to an Access Point at home, and then one at work when they get to work. While I personally think that UMA (if done correctly) is better, this is not going to happen (at least in North America).

How to Make it Happen?

First, there needs to be a better way to interconnect a phone and access point. I only had one DECT Phone, and that access point came with a phone. I never bought another phone, but there should be a software/hardware button kind of like WPS for routers. Obviously there has to be DECT Radios in the phone. Cellular phones do not have DECT Radios, and more likely to support 2 cellular carriers rather than having DECT capabilities. Also, there has to be a server like GUI for the Access Point to set up rules. An example might be when this handset (cell phone) is not connected to the Access Point, send calls to this phone number. I learned from personal experience that having a phone with 2 lines and both lines ringing at the same time is not good for the user nor phone.

However, again – I feel that DECT (along with the Plain Ordinary Telephone System) should be treated as legacy. However, it is the carriers and developers that make this a viable option. While I feel that the Google Android OS is a very good one, and has been my choice of mobile OS since the HTC G2/Magic (second Android phone built), there are things that could be left to be desired. One is UMA support. A software developer has provided a solution that must be integrated into the phone’s ROM, but it would make more sense if this was just a part of the OS. The customer’s SIM card can hold the UMA option, and obviously – UMA has to be supported on the carrier end. At least with DECT, there is no demand to have support from the carrier, although it does mean two telephone numbers.

A Little too Little too Late After the Butchering

T-Mobile announced that new phones running Android will be coming out with a special application to offer wifi calling. Technical blogs, and people reading this story been raving of this. It is obviously the best thing since home made apple pie, right? Think again.

T-Mobile have been offering such for years now. It’s just after the butchering and the change of policies, they had made this more of a niche item rather than a full feature service. It is called UMA, and is designed to work on UMTS networks, and LTE. However, Once T-Mobile moved to the Even More, and Even More Plus plans, they butchered the UMA service and phones equipped with the feature had to pay with the minutes. Therefore no more free UMA calling. This meant that people wanting to make their cell phone a home phone without getting unlimited minutes would have to either stay on the less attractive plans, or go to the new plans and drop the UMA for free option. However, after that – it will seem as if UMA has been rather unreliable – even to the point where it was more likely not to work. Of course, it is never anyone’s fault.

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R.I.P. UMA. You Will Be Missed

Now, I am not saying completely dead, but T-Mobile literally pulled the plug, and last breaths. Shame on you for killing UMA. How could you, and after all it’s done for you. Now, I am sure that some people would say I have UMA! You lie Frank. And yes, you are right – UMA still technically exists. Here is what you need to consider.

For those that don’t know what UMA is, it is when you are able to use your cell phone’s wifi capabilities to connect to your broadband service to use all of the features normally on your cell phone service across the Internet. This is normally associated with phone calls, and people benefit either on a cost perspective (not paying for phone calls on the cell network), or infrastructure where there isn’t a good reception for the carrier. Continue reading R.I.P. UMA. You Will Be Missed

Calls with the US for Free

There are many times when people come to the US to work, or live, but have families in other parts of the world. The US is notorious for high international rates. I remember calling Canada by accident (since US shares numbers with Canada and a few other countries), and it cost me 25¢ per minute. And I am sure that real communications between people is paying such high rates are intolerable for most.

This tip would help people to make communications easier and more tolerable. Now keep in mind, that even though the calls are most likely free – this does not make the service itself free. It would mean that such calls are not going to cost an arm and a leg. I would provide a number of options, and from there – most people would be able to make an informed decision.

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Samsung SGH-T339

A few days ago, I have acquired the Samsung SGH-T339 for T-Mobile. As with most of my phones this one is a UMA enabled phone, and of course it runs on T-Mobile. For the use to make voice calls on the UMA network, T-Mobile charges $10/account – hopefully this would change though. One of the big issues of the UMA enabled phones is there are 10 phone not counting variations such as colors. Out of those 10, only three are normal smart phones. So, what’s special about this one. Well, it is the only of the 3 cell phones that is not a Nokia. However, beyond that it’s not special.

There was two choices in colors. A grey, and sickly blood red color. Assurion was stupid, and sent the red one when I asked not to get this one. The phone is a clam style phone with all of the basic buttons. It has a 1.3MP camera with a dedicated camera button. It also has dedicated volume keys, a charging/handsfree port, and a microSD slot which I would assume supports 2GB maximum. The phone does support Tethering, but the plans are limited in support, and the phone itself only supports EDGE. The phone is Tri-band which would mean it isn’t guaranteed to support calling from any part of the world. One could expect in world application – to have to charge the battery every 5 – 6 days. It does support music files such as mp3, and wma (no DRM). Since the music would most likely sit on the micro-SD card, transferring should be as simple as using your media player to copy a playlist from your PC to the card. It supports bluetooth, and A2DP as well as wifi-g. The price of this phone is $160, or $60 with a 2 year contract and before rebates.

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Standards of a new House

There are many designs, shapes, and textures to homes today. Some are large, and some are. Some are tall, and some are wide. While I feel only a few restrictions should be placed on homes in comparison today in regards to designs, I feel that the house should be dramatically changed from what they are today.

The reason is the home is the cause of 45% of the greenhouse gases. Imagine if every home was to these standards, we could cut our pollution by almost half. These proposals of requirements are based on technology of today, and while a little more expensive (expect +25%), this would be a dramatic savings to the environment (small carbon footprint), nature (small reality footprint), and the pocket (smaller impact on your finances). However, considering the dramatic changes, these would probably be best for new homes.

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Just Call Me

Global communications is important, so why is it so complex. Why is it when you call, you have no idea whether you’re calling a phone, fax, or pager? It is estimated by 2025, the US would have to insert a phone number into your area code which means that everyone would have to change their phone number. In addition, everyone in the NANP would have to do this whether they would need to or not. Also, world travelers are always trying to figure out what numbers are to be used for things like emergencies, or taxi services. And too bad if you need the country’s embassy because most probably don’t know it.

And this would be especially true with the people in the US, where you are charged for incoming services like calls, or SMS, as well as outgoing. In a matter of fact, gimmicks like network calling, group calling, and other things have been a mainstay of the cell phone company. And if you are in the US, you could accidently call Bermuda, or Canada, and yes you would pay international rates. The reason is these countries share the US International dialing code, but is still considered as an international call. What I propose is going to be ground breaking, and dramatic for every country in the world, but in turn – would solve every problem a person may have.

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What an Ideal Smart Phone Should be Like?

In a previous post, I noted that the cell phone should die. OK, so now if we took into consideration of that, and the cellular carriers didn’t kill you with a high bill over having smart phones, what would an ideal smart phone be? Well, there is no ideal phone now. There are many that have features that would make an ideal phone, but there is no ideal one.

To make things interesting – I am going to base my thoughts on current technology. This would keep me from talking about holograms and roller shade like screens. Of course, some of the features would make the phone more expensive, but mass production would of course cut the costs. The smart phone should be able to cater to all audiences – at least to a visual interface.

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A Letter to T-Mobile

T-Mobile is my cellular carrier for my cell phone which is also my home phone. No, I don’t give my T-Mobile number out, that is another company that does that, but if you read this post in full (by selecting the read more link), you would find all of the things I have to say hopefully to suggestions on T-Mobile.

For those that don’t know, T-Mobile is a national true cellular carrier within the US. In the US, there are 4 such carriers which are Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile (biggest to smallest). Everyone else is either regional providers (has towers but not national coverage), or VMNO (rents the cell towers from someone else). So for those that wish to read a 3 page letter, by all means – enjoy

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A Year with the Blackberry

It has been a year since I bought my RIM Blackberry 8320, and I thought I would give my thoughts. I am sure that very few would find this as interesting considering that the 8900 is the replacement to it, but some things would be worth noting.

First, I did have some problems with it that required that I replaced it. Also, I was a bit naive, at first, and dropped once which made a little scratch at the top. Nowadays, I use a hard plastic shell to covers everything but the buttons. It makes it impossible to use the holster though.

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