12
Oct
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I was about to go to sleep, but, of course, when I heard of a possible G2 OTA report, and one that brings such important new features as WiFi calling, otherwise known as UMA, and native tethering, I had to stay up just a bit longer.

Update: T-Mobile's implementation is not exactly UMA - it doesn't transfer your calls between WiFi and T-Mo towers.

Thanks, people in comments!

Here is what we know so far:

  • an OTA is indeed real and has been rolled out to some users
  • it's likely that T-Mobile is doing a very limited test, at least for now and at least until someone discovers a direct link to the OTA download
  • speaking of the direct link, it hasn't been found yet, but if you see it posted around, please drop a line in the comments
  • post-OTA pictures showing both native tethering and WiFi calling, as promised, can be found below, thanks to Stryf3
  • if you want to keep your soft root, the folks at the #g2root freenode IRC channel are warning against installing the OTA just yet
  • the update process itself may or may not shine some light and help figure out a permaroot process, but I have my doubts

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This is a developing story - additional info may be posted if and when we find out something new.

Source: xda, Stryf3

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Noel

    Willl the beloved only 10 months old N1 have wifi calling..i hope it does. The N1 is holding just fine when compared to the crop of new devices. I see no reason just yet to change from my N1..i seriously might give the Mytouch HD a shot as a second phone. But most likely i will wait till next yr and see what the Dual cores n new chips from Nvidia, Qualcome etc, do to make Android phones and the Android experience even more flawless n technologically-advanced.

  • Kris

    I have a Samsung vibrant from tmobile.ots running android - of course. What's the likelihood of it getting wifi calling? My parents live in a rural area with zero cell phone towers.

  • http://www.threadcakes.com/ Chris Cardinal

    My understanding is that the Wifi calling feature is NOT UMA, but just a straight-up VOIP solution. UMA implies that the phone can handle call hand-offs to the 3g or 2g network; this is NOT doable in this implementation of Wifi calling, if I recall correctly. (I'm hoping beyond hope that I'm wrong, since UMA would be amazing, but I don't think UMA is software-only, and I don't think any Android phones are capable of it.)

    I'm hoping Wifi works for texting and for incoming calls... I frequent a cottage up north with no cell service but with broadband, so this would be fantastic.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      You may be right but, unfortunately, it's not very clear at the moment. We'll see what we can dig up.

    • Tmogeek

      It is a variant of earlier UMA service with the main difference that calls will not handoff to the GSM network.

      It is better than voip offerings like Gvoice, Skype etc. because calls are made using your cell number.

  • Deus Invictus

    WiFi Calling is not the same as UMA. UMA requires both a software and hardware component, and allows seamless hand offs between the two. So you could be making a call over wifi walk out of range and it will switch to the Cell towers without you knowing. T-mobile said when they announced this that it will drop the call if you leave WiFi range. But it is a good solution to allow for WiFi Calling without the hardware support.

  • hohum

    G2 > N1
    Stop lying to yourself
    Neither of these features are important to me so, I don't care.

  • UMA_early_Adopter

    T-Mobile appears to use the term 'Wi-Fi Calling' to market their UMA service. All references to phones with 'Wi-Fi Calling' are referencing UMA support, not other methods of connecting voice over the data network.
    UMA doesn't specifically require seamless handoff to the GSM network, although that is the design goal. UMA refers to the protocol used to route encapsulated packetized voice over the data network. It is not the same as VOIP utilizing SIP protocol. In order to implement UMA, the device must have both hardware and software to support the protocol, although these days, some hardware codecs can actually be emulated in software, blurring the lines. Being an early adopter of UMA from T-mobile, I can tell you that seamless handoff from UMA to GSM or GSM to UMA has always been a bit problematic for T-mobile to implement due to differing latency on the GSM and data networks. At one time T-mobile offered phones from Nokia, Samsung and RIM Blackberry with UMA, but now only Blackberry (until we get the G2 going !!). As an early UMA adopter (I have horrible signal strength in my house), I have tried phones from all 3 manufacturers, and the only reliable implementation has been with the RIM Blackberry (which works great!). Early Nokia's burned my hand from heat, Samsung Katalyst locked up. The Samsung T339 is pretty good, but for voice only. I have not tried the Nokia E73. Having the G2 up on UMA would be great, but we'll have to wait and see if it is as rock steady as the RIM devices. I hope it's good, since I'm grandfathered with an unlimited UMA calling plan!

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