This happens to be my personal opinion; surfing the internet from the comfort of my warm quilt with my laptop in this is freezing cold minus the hassles of being tied down because of the wires. Wifi has made the life very easy; although I had a bitch of a time to make it work on Ubuntu. It isn’t turned on by default; I had to download and install windrivers (unfortunately since Lenovo doesnt come out with stuff that works outside the box). Nevertheless, it was worth it all the trouble.
I am still searching for a capable smart phone in order to ease up my twisted life a bit. Having a Wifi enabled handset would logically be an extension of my desktop. Literally. I have managed to make my bluetooth work on Ubuntu and sync my Nokia to it. I have a back up; if I have a Wifi enabled handset it would allow me to catch up on the VoIP market as well.
Annoyances remain. The current crop of the VoIP players donot allow any degree of interconnectivity. All of them have “secretive protocols”; no one sticks to open and secure standards. It would be great to call a Skype customer from a Gizmo enabled set and thus bringing about true interoperability. I dont see this happening anytime soon; for the time being I’d have to rant about it. It is the similar case with the chat clients; although Pidgin has made things easier to connect to different chat protocols and all the while I can connect to them all! I needed something similar for VoIP; i guess when there is enough demand, someone would find a way to this messy problem as well.
Nevertheless, I was thrilled to know that Wifi enabled handsets can work with those carriers who can offer UMA for phone calling over WiFi networks. It’s a technology that allows you to make voice calls over WiFi and switch fairly seamlessly between GSM and WiFi calls. No need for a separate VoIP account and application on the phone (i.e.: Skype).UMA works only with GSM and it’s technically not VoIP as are SIP services. UMA provides a pipeline or tunnel for pure GSM to travel through via IP.
This means that an end to end connected network like Airtel could easily offer something like this. All it needs to do is to cut deals with smartphones manufacturer; most likely it’s going to be some Chinese crap. Sell it aggressively with it’s broadband connections. It’s a win win deal ; at end of the day everyone likes to yap for free in this country. Routing the calls through Wifi is cheap; very cheap. I am not sure whether there are any security implications or not. Unless there isn’t, it would take real guts and grunge marketing efforts on Airtel’s behalf to make this happen.
They would have a real deal on that count.