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Orange extends Unik with world-first 3G UMA service


* New 3G UMA platform gives customers simple and affordable access to multimedia services, indoors or on the move
* Orange extends Unik portfolio with two 3G UMA devices from Samsung and Sony Ericsson

Orange today announces the launch of the world’s first 3G unlicensed mobile access (UMA) platform, opening up a new world of multimedia services to its Unik customers. Launching first with two exclusive Orange handsets from Samsung and Sony Ericsson, UMA and 3G network technology will be combined in one device for the very first time.

Orange’s UMA service (Unik) allows customers to use a single handset to make calls by seamlessly switching from fixed WiFi to mobile cellular networks as they leave or enter their home or office. For the first time Orange will bring together 3G and UMA technology in a move that will see customers experience richer content services and faster data speeds on Orange’s 3G and WiFi networks more cost-effectively.

“With the launch of the world’s first 3G UMA service we are making life as simple as possible for our customers, whilst helping them get more from their mobile phone,” says Georges Penalver EVP of Group Strategic Marketing at Orange. “Orange was one of the first to bring the benefits of UMA technology to our customers in 2006 with the launch of our Unik service. Today, with our new 3G UMA platform, our Unik customers will be able to take advantage of 3G’s capabilities delivering exciting multimedia services, such as Orange Music, Downloads, TV and Video. We have increased the benefits of this innovative technology, delivering a simple and cost-effective solution to meet our customers’ needs. That’s why UMA is at the heart of our convergence strategy.”
The first 3G UMA handset to launch will be the Samsung P270. This will be followed by the launch of the Sony Ericsson G705u - the company’s first UMA handset. By combining the best capabilities of fixed and mobile, Orange’s customers can enjoy continuous access to news, information and rich entertainment applications from a single device.

John Delaney, a Research Director with industry analyst IDC, said:
“The introduction of WiFi into high-end mobile phones has been very successful. Users of such phones are taking advantage of WiFi to stream and download multimedia to their phones more quickly and more cheaply than they can over cellular. This usage trend can be supported effectively by making the experience seamless, removing the need for users to think about and switch manually between different access points and network domains.”

Orange’s 3G UMA service will initially be available in France in October followed by Poland, Spain and the UK. Orange’s existing Unik service is currently available to customers in France, Poland (Unifon), UK (Unique) and Spain (Unico).


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