Wednesday, March 11, 2009

UMA Jumps Into LTE

On Monday, the UMA/GAN standard moved into its next phase with the announcement that the ‘VoLGA Forum’ is basing its work on the spec . The forum states that it is “comprised of leaders in the wireless industry seeking to enable mobile operators to deliver mobile voice and messaging services over LTE access networks based on the existing 3GPP GAN standard.”

I say GAN has moved into its next phase because, as a technology, this is nothing new. GAN has been delivering ‘voice and messaging services’ (and more) over fixed-line IP access networks for some time. The forum’s announcement simply acknowledges that there is a viable mobile IP access network in the form of LTE requiring a similar service.

While the technology is similar, the actual application is quite different. Whereas traditional UMA services like dual-mode phones and femtocells address the FMC segment of the market, the concept of VoLGA is to have a VoLGA client on every LTE phone.

Basically VoLGA is the enabler for making phone calls over LTE.

Based on posts by Martin Sauter and my good buddy Dean Bubley, it’s clear there is a problem with the ‘status quo’ approach for voice over LTE. Martin Sauter’s comment:

Over the past two years I've written numerous posts about different proposed options on how to do voice calls over LTE and the lack of a simple and straight voice solution. This is, in my opinion, a serious threat to the success of LTE if not resolved soon.

I’m sure we have not heard the last of the VoLGA Forum.

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