Feeds

T-Mobile to offer ‘seamless’ 3G, Wi-Fi data service

Even as US vendor patents the technique

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Network operator T-Mobile has pledged to combine its Wi-Fi wireless LAN and 3G mobile phone services into a single high-speed data network.

The company aims to achieve "total seamlessness" between the technologies, T-Mobile CEO Rene Obermann said this week.

"We are creating one multi-speed, multimedia network; integrating 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi," he said.

Earlier this week, the company said it had at long last connected its US and European Wi-Fi hotspot networks to allows subscribers from either territory to roam across the other. T-Mobile has some 700 hotspots in Europe and over 4000 in the US.

Obermann said the company plans to offer data cards for laptops which will connect users to the Internet via Wi-Fi when in range of a hotspot or by 3G connection in other locations.

'Seamless' to us means that the user isn't necessarily aware which wireless technology he or she is connecting by, and as he or she passes from one coverage zone to another - hotspot to GPRS, say - the system performs a smooth handover.

What Obermann means, however, is that the T-Mobile will update the GPRS data card it currently offers with a version that supports not only the 2G standard, but Wi-Fi and, ultimately, 3G too. Unfortunately, if it's anything likes existing cards, users will have to make the switch from connection to connection manually.

Rival network operator Vodafone has already begun offering a 3G data card, and Orange this week said it plans to start selling one of its own during the second half of the year.

If T-Mobile does have "true seamlessness" in mind, it will have to deal with Florida-based Calypso Wireless which this week revealed it has been granted a US patent that allows users to roam between mobile phone networks, WLANs and even Bluetooth links without breaking their connection.

The company claims its system automatically chooses either the fastest or least expensive available connection.

Calypso is eyeing the voice world rather than data, but the principle is the same. "With our technology, mobile carriers will be able to place VoIP and telecom/Internet switching equipment on their networks that will allow cellular calls to automatically switch and roam between their cellular networks and the Internet using wireless VoIP via Wi-Fi access points," said David Davila, Calypso's president and CEO, in a statement.

Davila said Calypso plans to "aggressively pursue licensing agreements", and likened his company's approach to the way Qualcomm licenses its CDMA technology. He also said the company has already signed agreements to perform field trials of the system. ®

Related Stories

T-Mobile spearheads university WLAN project
T-Mobile signs roaming deal with ... itself
T-Mobile goes 3G in UK
Orange kicks off 3G trials in UK and France
Vodafone goes 3G for data only

Related Products
Visit the Wi-Fi Department of The Reg mobile store

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.