It's funny, given the number of conferences that Informa asks me to speak at or chair, that I hadn't been aware that they were running their second UMA forum in March, until I spotted this post on Guy Kewney's site.
The last one in mid-2006 in Barcelona was quite interesting, although my usual, measured analysis (OK OK, I had a slide called "salvaging something from the wreckage of UMA") was comparatively tame when set against my analyst peer John Strand's stream of invective.
Anyway, so what can we infer from the agenda? Well, there's the usual set of suspects presenting, on both the vendor (Moto, Kineto, Alcatel , LG & the usual grudging "well, in some contexts, if you really insist" line from Nokia) and operator side (BT, TeliaSonera, FT/Orange, Telecom Italia). There's someone from Orascom in Egypt, which maybe indicates a new convert to the cause, plus what look to be some "Devil's advocate" counter-pitches from Hello AS and VIPnet.
Then there's the new-found hope for UMA, the femtocell vendors. I'm quite a believer in this as an application, as I've long held that the "killer app" for UMA was authentication-over-IP, not dual-mode handset access & handover. Femto's don't move in & out of WiFi/cellular coverage, and they don't have a UI, which makes them much better-suited to the technology than actual phones. (I noticed that BT is actually referring to its new Fusion handsets as WiFi-capable, which should put the cat among the pigeons when buyers expect to use them in a similar fashion to their other WiFi devices - eg networking them to their desktop PC's hard drive to swap music files....)
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