Nokia will offer a mobile phone capable of working on cellular networks and wireless LANs in the second quarter of this year. It will also release network operating equipment to support the new converged handset.
The 6136 phone is based on the UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) specification, which enables the hand-off of voice and data connections between GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks and WLANs.
The latest version of the UMA software from Kineto, launched last week, has also got support from Cisco.
The handset, to cost 275, will support all GSM frequencies. It will be equipped with a 1.3 megapixel camera and removable micro SD format memory card, said Kai Öistäm", executive vice president and general manager of Nokia's mobile phone division.
Nokia also plans to offer network operators equipment to support the new GSM-WLAN phone's functions in the second quarter, it said.
The mobile phone industry is at a "turning point" with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. Some manufacturers and operators may view VoIP as a disruptive technology, while others will see it as an opportunity, according to Öistäm".
"We view VoIP as an opportunity," he said.
There is still only one UMA service in operation, the BT Fusion product, which launched last summer. Although little has been heard of this since, BT is claiming 2000 sign-ups a week, and last week re-packaged Fusion, in a version for business.