Nokia 6301 hits on UMA
Nokia officially revealed a spanking new handset to feature UMA. Nokia 6301 is a revamped version of the successful thin bar Nokia 6301.
Visually, Nokia 6301 is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor. It has the exact same design with only slightly larger dimensions, the increase in thickness being the most notable. Nokia 6301 stands at 13.1 mm as opposed to the 11.7 mm of Nokia 6301. It has also gained two grams of weight to total 93 grams.
In terms of features, the most important improvement in Nokia 6301 is of course the WLAN support. It seems the-not-so-long-ago exotic WLAN is becoming almost a standard feature. In Nokia 6301 user memory gets a boost to 30MB, topped with microSD memory card support of up to 2GB. A 128MB memory card will ship with the handset. So much for differences with Nokia 6300, Nokia 6301 remains a tri-band GPRS and EDGE enabled device.
Having UMA at your disposal means that whenever there is an accessible Wi-Fi hotspot near you, be it your home, office or university, or simply in the street, the device can connect to it and use the connection for making and accepting calls and sending and receiving data similarly to using wireless VoIP-telephony on your GSM mobile phone. The handset would be able to switch connections between the licensed cellular radio access network and the Wi-Fi network even in the middle of a call without the user ever noticing. The most important difference from the widely known VoIP technology is that UMA is after all tightly linked to the mobile radio network, which is used for routing, authentication and billing. A call initiated using the Wi-Fi interface eventually reaches the 2G core network through the UMA network and, once the signal is transferred, it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the cellular traffic. Subscribers using UMA can take advantage of improved indoor coverage and higher data rates, when accessing the local WLAN. Do not throw your hopes for free calls out of the window just yet, since the technology allows the UMA-enabled devices to be used as regular VoIP handsets. But it's of course up to the manufacturer to decide whether to block that functionality or not.
Shipping is expected to begin to selected markets in Europe in the forth quarter of 2007. The estimated retail price is EUR 230 before taxes or subsides.
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