BlackBerry UMA Coolness (or how to avoid GPRS)

Wouldnt it be GREAT if your mobile phone could use a wireless hotspot instead of the carrier signal to communicate ? Perhaps like me you purchase a carrier package that didnt include good coverage to your house. Or like me, you've been completely stuffed with roaming charges (in my case, £300 for a 10 day trip to the US.

Given our current opinion of carriers, this might just be a pipe dream. But. Hang on. Lets join the dots:

  • Engaget Announces that t-Moble are starting a service called TMobile@Home, using UMA handsets. Okay.

  • BlackBerry announce their 8820 - a Wifi enabled handset. That has UMA support.

  • I'm currently on T-Mobile..

Now this rather changes the playing field. Imagine you have a HUGE pervasive wifi cloud at your workplace - and your phones can roam on and off that cloud, as well as using carriers for out-of-wifi range backup ? Imagine you could use that Wifi Link from abroad..

Now this is where it gets interesting. Smaller carriers with poor coverage may be able to use this to build huge competitive advantage by opening up networks. And of course this might be the final nail in the coffin of 3g.

( Lets assume that BlackBerry have done their usual magic of getting a Wifi adaptor to work without flattening the phone battery, as the iPhone appears to have done - Another nail in the coffin of windows mobile phones).

Interesting times indeed.