the past year, mobile and integrated fixed/mobile operators announced an increasing
number of fixed-mobile convergence initiatives, many of which are materializing
in 2006. The majority of these initiatives are focused around UMA, the first standardized
technology enabling seamless handover between mobile radio networks and WLANs.
Clearly, in one way or another, UMA is a key agenda item for many operators.Operators
are looking at UMA to address the indoor voice market (i.e. accelerate or control
fixed-to-mobile substitution) as well as to enhance the performance of mobile
services indoors. Furthermore, these operators are looking at UMA as a means to
fend off the growing threat from new Voice-over-IP (VoIP) operators.However,
when evaluating a new 3GPP standard like UMA, many operators ask themselves how
well it fits with other network evolution initiatives, including:
o Soft MSCs
o IMS Data Services
o IMS Telephony
whitepaper aims to clarify the position of UMA in relation to these other strategic
initiatives. For a more comprehensive introduction to the UMA opportunity, refer
to "The UMA Opportunity," available on the Kineto web site (www.kineto.com).
Network Reference Model
best understand the role UMA plays in mobile network evolution, it is helpful
to first introduce a reference model for today's mobile networks. Figure 1
provides a simplified model for the majority of 3GPP-based mobile networks
currently in deployment.