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Cellular Technologies for Emerging Markets: 2G, 3G and Beyond by Ajay R. Mishra

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9

Unlicensed Mobile Access

9.1 Introduction to UMA

Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology helps mobile operators in completing the cost and performance advantages of IP access technologies of fixed networks to deliver good-quality, low-cost, mobile voice and data services in locations where subscribers spend most of their time in homes and offices and to extend the technology beyond homes and offices, precisely to ‘hot-spot’ areas. As the name suggests, this technology promotes the use of unlicensed spectrum technologies as a part of an integrated communication network. The need to deliver high performance and low cost services (voice and data) to home/office subscribers gave rise to UMA technology. This technology promotes the use of unlicensed spectrum technologies such as WiFi/WLAN/802.11b/g and ‘Bluetooth’ as part of an integrated communication network.

UMA is also known as a Generic Area Network (GAN). It is a telecommunication system that allows seamless integration of the cellular network with unlicensed wireless technologies. A GAN/UMA system headset system can operate in the following four modes:

  • Cellular network.
  • Cellular network where available and WiFi otherwise.
  • WiFi where available and cellular network otherwise.
  • WiFi only.

UMA is a decentralized, diverse, seamless connection and is simple for the user. UMA-enabled dual mode handsets enable operators to provide high-performance, low-cost mobile services to subscribers when in the range of a home, office or public ...

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