T-Mobile to Begin Testing UMA Calling on Android Devices


The Boy Genius Report just made an extremely short (2 sentences short) posting claiming they have received word that T-Mobile will begin testing UMA calling on their Android phones sometime in Q3 this year. If you have or had a BlackBerry through T-Mo, you may be familiar with the feature that allows you to make voice calls over your  home’s Wi-Fi network rather than the carriers network. From what I have read, UMA on the BlackBerry could be shoddy unless you purchase T-Mo’s official Linksys router.


Again, they said TESTING and Q3, which to me sounds like they won’t even get around to seeing if the feature is viable until much later in the year. Sounds like a great option for those that live in areas with less-than-stellar reception.

[via BGR]

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  1. Let’s hope there’s some weight to this rumor. That was one thing I was reluctant to lose when I switched from my 8320 to the G1. Of course it wasn’t enough of a draw back to keep me from switching, but UMA support on Android would be “rad-a-killer”.

    And yes, a UMA user is better off using a T-Mo branded router for UMA calling rather than a standard router. Just because T-Mo routers give priority to UMA calls over other data going through a router, thus greatly improving call quality.

  2. So will this be an add-on to all current Android devices, or will this be just like the other UMA device where they have to be specially made to take advantage of it.

  3. My wife has a Blackberry, and has never had any troubles at all using UMA. Our home, church, and her parents house are all good calling locations for her. I hope the same holds true for the G1!

  4. Thats really good.

    It would be good for rural area’s.

  5. This is excellent news! I have been hoping UMA support would be available on Android devices. About a year ago my family of 4 ditched the land line and went with 4 cell lines. One of which is using a UMA Nokia phone ($10 all you can eat in wifi). I use it over Verizon Fios and their supplied wireless access point. Just about everywhere else frequented has open wifi and thus UMA calling. MyTouch, G1 and Cliq are being used in wifi only for data and the Nokia owner is craving an Android device. What most do not realize is that with a UMA phone on Tmo you can get great reception in any wifi spot…the extra $10/mo makes it a no charged minutes call.

  6. You know if this is true Verizon will unfortunately charge an arm and a leg for this type of service, Im sure they will charge more than Tmo’s $10 a month just because its Verizon.

  7. I used to have a Samsung Katalyst. UMA worked great to make free calls back to the US when I was on vacation in Australia.

  8. I sure hope this is true. I am currently using a Samsung to make calls from my home. I would rather be using my G1! I had to get a family plan just so I wouldn’t have to switch the sim card every time I needed to use my phone at home. If we get UMA on our Android phones, I can do away with the extra line.

    Also, living in Maine, WiFi is common, but cellular signal isn’t. If T-Mo put UMA on their popular phones, they could get a lot of customers in rural areas, not just here in Maine.

  9. if this thing comes with an additional monthly plan that would be typical.

  10. Man I hope this is true. I really miss having UMA service on my old Blackberry and had no problem with it on my non-tmo router. Main reason I’m out of the country several times a year and with UMA and the hotel’s wifi you’re making and receiving local calls just like you were back home, rather than paying $2.00 a minute international roaming. It’s also great for visiting friends / family with poor T-mo service. If you don’t pay the $10 a month for unlimited UMA calls wifi calls just come off you regular minutes. Loosing UMA was the only reason I hesitated moving to my G1

  11. i’m confused… if UMA calling is nothing but placing a normal phone call over your wifi connection rather than your 3g or other digital phone connection – then it is nothing new. I have been able to do that with my android since receiving the G1 18 months ago. In fact what made it the greatest thing was that when i was in Mexico for vacation last year – as long as my phone was linked to the free wifi in my hotel lobby, then i didn’t pay any extra for the international roaming for data or calls. ??? So what is UMA and why is it different or in fact “new” ?

  12. I even double checked that concept right now – yup made a call while on my homes wifi through my G1? Am i the only one that can do that?

  13. @Garett Couple of advantages with UMA. The carrier supports it. Calls come to and from your regular cell number, no forwarding services required, nothing to start or stop; it just works. Start a call on your home wifi leave your house and the UMA call switches to t-mobiles towers. As long as the call starts on wifi the whole call is free.

    How are you making wifi calls from your G1? I have not found anything that works well.

  14. Did T-Mo not recently announce that they would no longer be offering new UMA service? This sounds sketchy.

    Don’t get me wrong; UMA was awesome. I made all kinds of free phone calls using UMA over the hotel WiFi when I was in Sweden for business last year. It wraps up everything in the UMA protocol so texts were free, too. And the signal in my office is not good. I miss my old UMA capable phone.

  15. Does this mean tha my nokia E51 will work at home using my y-mobile router as my nokia 6301 does using UMA ?

  16. @Roger – yeah roger, my G1 does that now. In fact i recall over a year ago when i received the G1 in its roll-out, a conversation with a Tmobile CSR about a hotspot app and if i needed it or if my wifi settings on the android OS did the same thing. He confirmed that with the G1 i didnt’ need it and my calls originating on a wifi signal would not count against the minutes in my plan. And then as i mentioned they confirmed for me that while on was on Vaca in mexico – i would not have service where i was at but that the wifi would still work if the hotel offered it and i made calls and checked emails and surfed the web all on the free wifi in the hotel lobby and didnt have any roaming charges on my bill from it. This is why i’m so confused – i dunno why no one else can make wifi calls from the G1 or why it doesn’t switch to 3g when you leave the house. Sounds weird but i’m not making it up… i do that every day.

  17. Just called my boss too who had a G1 until a recent glitch and now a Cliq i think. I called from my house while my G1 was on wifi and she confirmed for me that she has always been able to do that same thing. We make wifi calls and it doesn’t count against the minutes in our plan. So confused

  18. Verizon already has this, its their network extender.

  19. Wow, so many people talking about something they have no clue about.

    @home service has been discontinued. This was Voip to replace a land line. UMA service used to be called @home, thus the confussion.

    Using UMA (tmobile uses wifi as a femtocell) is completely free. The $10 was an optional add-on which allowed free calls when connected to UMA.

    The phones currently using UMA all have the same chipsets as non-UMA phones, so connecting is a software AND carrier issue, not a hardware issue. Only Blackberry has really taken the initiative with this service.

    There were bugs with the handoff from wifi to 3G, but the Bold 9700 has pretty much proven that they have been worked out.

    And whoever said they were using this on an Android phone is using some SIP phone and not a TMO number.

  20. Agree Chad, UMA IS NOT @HOME
    UMA is much better that the Verizon and AT&T versions that need special hardware (femtocells). T-Mo uses regular WiFi signals to make calls. The handover between 3G and UMA is smooth, I have tried it overseas many times and it works just like being back home. UMA is in the phone’s (in my case a BB 9700) FIRMWARE. Is not a lame add-on software like Skype or G1, etc. You just use your regular T-Mo number.
    UMA is the only reason I will stay with T-Mo. I always have 4 bars WiFi at Home and Work!

  21. UMA service on the Blackberry is shotty even with the T-mobile router.

  22. UMA on my BB 8900 works great on T Mobile router and any other router. No problems at all. Time for a new phone though just waiting on it to come out on a touch screen with Android OS.

  23. I was hoping the new Samsung Vibrant Android Smartphone on T-Mobile would support UMA…alas it does not. Like some previous posters on here, the only reason I stay with T-Mobile is because of UMA. UMA makes it great to make calls just as if I were here in the USA when I am in a wi-fi area.

    Right now the number of phones that can do UMA on T-Mobile is just 3 models…2 blackberries and one Nokia…very disappointing they don’t have a single Android phone that does this.

  24. Had to return my Vibrant due to lack of signal. :(
    Currently have a Nokia UMA. Since I cannot get a cell signal at my house or at work, I am dependent on UMA. I do not have the @HOME and I don’t care if I get charged minutes for making the calls. At least I can make a call with UMA instead of having a dead phone at home. T-MO – for once, please set yourself apart from the competition and offer something that customers really want. And reading the previous posts, also take the time to educate about UMA. Create a demand for it and your investment will pay off. By the way, start with the Vibrant so that I can buy it again and not having to return it ;)

  25. The comments on this article crack me up… The g1 does not and has NEVER made uma calls. Anyone telling you differently, even an ill-informed rep, they are just as clueless as you. Check your call log.

  26. I have @home, and even though it’s flakey, it’s the best solution because I get poor signal on AT&T and T-Mobile where I live. I have a Nokia 6301, it’s only good for voice calls, and I really want a smart phone so I can keep up with work emails, but I really don’t want the blackberry, which is all T-mobile offers with UMA. If they’d offer UMA on a real smart phone, I’ll stay with T-mobile when my contract is up in September, otherwise I’ll find a phone I like, get a signal booster for home use and switch carriers.

  27. I’m confused about the router comments, UMA works perfectly for my on my LinkSys router and my Netgear router, I can detect no difference in call quality.

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