Providing support for Generic Access Network (GAN)/Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)

Posted on 2010-02-05 17:08 UTC by Paul Grodt. Status: Under consideration, Categories: Internet & Networking.

The N900 does not currently support Generic Network Access (GAN), which is often also referred to by its implementation, "Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)".  This is a feature that, if implemented by a mobile provider, allows acess to a 3G/GSM network through a generic Internet (IP) connection.  In the case of the N900, this would be an 802.11 Wi-fi connection.  This allows voice calls and SMS in places that have poor or zero cellular signal reception (e.g. basements, shielded buildings).  This also effectively bypasses the need to purchase a separate Femtocell.

GAN is currently supported by multiple operators, including T-Mobile and Orange.  It is supported on multiple smartphones, including Nokia's 6301, 6086, 7510 (According to Wikipedia)

The protocol is defined in 3GPP TS 43.318 and 3GPP TS 44.318. I see no requirements that would prevent a software implementation of this feature in the N900.

Link to brainstorm discussion thread

(This has been discussed in a more general sense on this thread.)

Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: maemo team implementation

Posted on 2010-02-07 11:14 UTC by Paul Grodt.

The implentation would likely require modification of the telephony stack, or at least in-depth knowlege of the stack API. Further, Nokia already appears to have access to GMA implentation for other devices. Thus, the Maemo team should implement this.


Solution #2: community contribution by Leveraging ofono interface

Posted on 2010-02-07 11:39 UTC by Paul Grodt.

It may be possible to create an adapter package that translates the packet data in such a way that it simulates a generic GSM/UMTS modem to the ofono library (an OSS project, separate from Maemo, though still maintained by Nokia).  With this solution, handoff (switching between the mobile network and the GAN connection in the middle of a call) would likely not be possible. However, I'd hardly consider handoff requisite for the release of this feature.

Because the connection package is still closed, Nokia would likely still need to perform some of the integration aspects.

Latest activities to brainstorm Providing support for Generic Access Network (GAN)/Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)