For all of you T-Mobile customers who are plagued with inadequate service and are on the fence trying to decide whether or not to cancel, this may be the deciding factor. Word on the street is that the initial rounds of beta testing for T-Mobile's UMA service
are a wrap, and the service is running smoothly. One of the beta testers decided to break the chains of his NDA and talk about it (anonymously of course); first off, let's discuss the device used. Our tester's weapon of choice was the Samsung T709. According to this UMA guinea pig, the device isn't very "feature rich." The phone came with most of the standard features one might expect, such as a 1.3 megapixel camera, large color display, stereo headphones, internal antenna, and a decent amount of internal memory, and so on. The phone has a built in MP3 player that sounded great with the stereo speakers or using the included headphones. "The only drawbacks were it was missing Bluetooth, expandable memory, and no USB cable," said he. Now on to the good stuff. This was the first round of testing and it lasted about 6 weeks; it went really well, judging from his and the other beta testers' comments. Apparently using UMA service in one of T-Mo's hotspot routers was flawless and transitioned while on a call with no problems. In the second scenario (UMA over an end-user router), testing was almost useless, as his router was an older model unable to stand up to the challenge. When it works, though, it supposedly works very well. "I think with a newer router that includes Quality of Service (QoS) on it, it will be a killer." Overall, it was reported that voice quality was much better then other VoIP services out there, but unfortunately our tester was unable to provide much detail as far as the launch timelines on UMA. And with a review this good, we're seriously hoping it shouldn't be too far off.
[Thanks, Secret Squirrel]