Nokia has started a two-month trial of Wi-Fi handsets in the company's first public test of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) using wireless Lan technology.
Fifty families in Oulu in Finland have been given Nokia 6136 handsets to test the system.
The device supports seamless handover from GSM to wireless Lan networks for both voice and data calls.
"UMA technology brings simplicity in the use of voice over IP," said Peter Ropke, senior vice president for mobile phones R&D at Nokia.
"This pilot is an important step forward in bringing functional UMA technology to the mass market. Operators and consumers will be able to garner the benefits of this new technology."
The use of UMA makes it cheaper for operators to provide coverage in remote areas. Rather than having to install expensive GSM base stations, coverage can be extended with cheaper Wi-Fi hotspots.
Residents in Oulu have had free access to Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city since last year as part of the Pan Oulu project.
Nokia trials Wi-Fi phones in Finland
By Will Head on Jul 31, 2006 1:53PM