Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

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MarkDFora
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Location: Queensland

Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by MarkDFora » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:05 pm

For those who don't know, UMA is a technology that allows mobile phones to make calls via the Internet. It's not VOIP, it's not MOIP, it doesn't require a special application or a new service. Technically it's identical to a mobile phone connected to a mobile tower excepting it does it via an Internet connection back to your mobile phone provider. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlicensed_Mobile_Access for more details.

I used UMA for years with T-Mobile in the US under their house-brand of @home and it's just awesome.

Here's what's good about UMA:

0. It uses any internet connection your phone can see. Home wifi? Yes Maccas Wifi? Yes. Office Wifi. Sure.
1. You don't need a new service or a new number *and* SMS works as normal in both directions. Much better than that Virtual Mobile Number stuff that Exetel touts. I don't want a new number. I've had my number for 10 years and everyone knows it.
2. Many mobile phones automatically include support for it, include all Android phones, Blackberry and many Nokia phones.
3. You don't need to rent a femto-cell type device from your mobile company that is locked into your home Internet access
4. You can use it anywhere on the planet as long as your phone has Internet access
5. Even if you get zero bars, if your Internet connection is good, you get awesome voice quality
6. It reduces congestion on mobile phone towers - the most expensive infra-structure, phone companies have

Frankly, I don't understand why carriers are so luke-cold about UMA. My only guess is that they risk losing roaming fees. Which, to be fair, is a bucket-load of money for most of them. But not Exetel.

Now why would Exetel want to offer such a service? Because they could arbitrage the minutes.

They could say to Optus that they will carry 1 minute of a cell call across their DSL network, charge the customer 1 minute of use as per the plan, give Optus their cut and yet not use any Optus mobile phone infrastructure. That's close to zero cost for Optus which means Exetel could negotiate a greater cut of the minutes. The net result is:

1. Less load on Optus wireless infra-stucture
2. Same revenue from Customer
3. Ability to get better margins from Optus due to 1.

Why would customers like it?

1. No change in pricing. Whatever they pay per minute or per SMS is unchanged.
2. Better call quality
3. Connectivity in areas where this is no, or poor mobile phone coverage
4. Zero cost for International roaming if they can get Internet access

What's not to like?

Dazzled
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by Dazzled » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:48 pm

Certainly sounds interesting.

Items 0 and 4 on your benefits list apply to ordinary VoIP as well, including when overseas. I've received a few calls lately from Asia over whatever internet medium was available via an Exetel VoIP account. Audio was excellent. No roaming charges - just free Exetel to Exetel calls. Any mobile device that can run the software and connect to wifi or ethernet as well can be used.

MarkDFora
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:28 am
Location: Queensland

Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by MarkDFora » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:23 am

Dazzled wrote:Certainly sounds interesting.

Items 0 and 4 on your benefits list apply to ordinary VoIP as well, including when overseas. I've received a few calls lately from Asia over whatever internet medium was available via an Exetel VoIP account. Audio was excellent. No roaming charges - just free Exetel to Exetel calls. Any mobile device that can run the software and connect to wifi or ethernet as well can be used.
Dazzled, you are quite right about VOIP coming close to UMA.

The biggest limitation with VOIP - leastwise in Australia - is the partitioning of our number space between SMS and non-SMS capable numbers.

A lot of my friends and family love to TXT and as you know, they can't TXT Aussie VOIP numbers. To achieve that at the moment I have to get a Virtual Mobile Number. That strikes me as quite an expensive hack at $20/month and now my friends have to differentiate between my TXT number, my mobile voice number and my VOIP number. Quite the mess compared to the US where I hand out just one number for everything and it works everywhere care-of UMA.

Maybe when the 05xxxxxxxxx range gets released it's an opportunity to create a merged VOIP and TXT service?

James
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by James » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:23 pm

Hi,

Optus (Exetel's upstream) offers this right now, but charges standard call rates; http://www.optus.com.au/home/home-zone/

Exetel will only be able to offer this if our upstreams do.

James

MarkDFora
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:28 am
Location: Queensland

Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by MarkDFora » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:42 pm

James wrote:Hi,

Optus (Exetel's upstream) offers this right now, but charges standard call rates; http://www.optus.com.au/home/home-zone/

Exetel will only be able to offer this if our upstreams do.

James
Ok, so Optus already offer it. They are my upstream for my mobile service. I'm ok with the standard call rates. How do I sign up? Do I call Optus or Exetel?

jokiin
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by jokiin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:54 pm

MarkDFora wrote:
James wrote:Hi,

Optus (Exetel's upstream) offers this right now, but charges standard call rates; http://www.optus.com.au/home/home-zone/

Exetel will only be able to offer this if our upstreams do.

James
Ok, so Optus already offer it. They are my upstream for my mobile service. I'm ok with the standard call rates. How do I sign up? Do I call Optus or Exetel?

Sort of, it's the device you mentioned on your original post, a femtocell
3. You don't need to rent a femto-cell type device from your mobile company that is locked into your home Internet access

James
Exetel Staff
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by James » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:55 pm

jokiin wrote:
MarkDFora wrote:
James wrote:Hi,

Optus (Exetel's upstream) offers this right now, but charges standard call rates; http://www.optus.com.au/home/home-zone/

Exetel will only be able to offer this if our upstreams do.

James
Ok, so Optus already offer it. They are my upstream for my mobile service. I'm ok with the standard call rates. How do I sign up? Do I call Optus or Exetel?

Sort of, it's the device you mentioned on your original post, a femtocell
3. You don't need to rent a femto-cell type device from your mobile company that is locked into your home Internet access

My bad, but it isn't something Exetel is able to offer.

jokiin
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by jokiin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:14 pm

James wrote:
My bad, but it isn't something Exetel is able to offer.
Although Exetel can't offer that device I have heard of people setting them up to do the same but using a resellers service (internode via Optus) so it could still serve some purpose to some I'm sure

MarkDFora
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:28 am
Location: Queensland

Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by MarkDFora » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:15 am

jokiin wrote:
Although Exetel can't offer that device I have heard of people setting them up to do the same but using a resellers service (internode via Optus) so it could still serve some purpose to some I'm sure
Note that UMA is a feature built into the handset. Some Nokias have it. Some Blackberries have it. Some Androids have it, etc. But not all handsets support it, in particular (and surprisingly) iPhones don't.

A femto-cell is a separate box that acts like a tiny mobile tower. In fact it *is* a tiny mobile tower - broadcasting on the same frequencies, etc. Most Telcos geo-lock femto-cells and charge you a monthly fee to rent the device. OTOH, Telcos that offer UMA seem to do so for no additional charge. They are two different technologies trying to solve the same problem - offload voice/SMS traffic to the Internet.

I don't like femto-cells because roaming requires lugging around a femto-cell box that probably won't work anyway because Telco have purposely restricted their mobility. Conversely, you are restricted in you choice of handsets if you want to use UMA. Sigh. It's an ugly mess.

I think you know this about femtos jokiin, but I just wanted to make clear how UMA differs.

In any event, as James suggests, it seems like Exetel can't leverage the UMA service that Optus already have. That's too bad. Maybe one day...

MarkDFora
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:28 am
Location: Queensland

Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by MarkDFora » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:23 am

MarkDFora wrote:
jokiin wrote:
Although Exetel can't offer that device I have heard of people setting them up to do the same but using a resellers service (internode via Optus) so it could still serve some purpose to some I'm sure
Note that UMA is a feature built into the handset. Some Nokias have it. Some Blackberries have it. Some Androids have it, etc. But not all handsets support it, in particular (and surprisingly) iPhones don't.

I think you know this about femtos jokiin, but I just wanted to make clear how UMA differs.
Dag nabbit! That Optus link is for a femto-cell after all. I'm talking UMA - waaahh.

So I'll ask again (James). Any chance of a UMA service from Exetel?

James
Exetel Staff
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Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by James » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:43 am

jokiin wrote:
James wrote:
My bad, but it isn't something Exetel is able to offer.
Although Exetel can't offer that device I have heard of people setting them up to do the same but using a resellers service (internode via Optus) so it could still serve some purpose to some I'm sure
I've got one at home and it works fine.

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: Could Exetel offer a UMA service?

Post by James » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:44 am

MarkDFora wrote:
MarkDFora wrote:
jokiin wrote:
Although Exetel can't offer that device I have heard of people setting them up to do the same but using a resellers service (internode via Optus) so it could still serve some purpose to some I'm sure
Note that UMA is a feature built into the handset. Some Nokias have it. Some Blackberries have it. Some Androids have it, etc. But not all handsets support it, in particular (and surprisingly) iPhones don't.

I think you know this about femtos jokiin, but I just wanted to make clear how UMA differs.
Dag nabbit! That Optus link is for a femto-cell after all. I'm talking UMA - waaahh.

So I'll ask again (James). Any chance of a UMA service from Exetel?
Again, if Optus offer it we can, but they don't.

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