The 8820 supports the 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi standards and WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security protocols which allows you full wireless connectivity experience. And thanks to the UMA support users can seamlessly switch voice calls between a wireless carrier cellular network and a Wi-Fi network. The idea behind the UMA technology is simple enough – when there is an accessible Wi-Fi hotspot near you, for example in your home, office or university, or simply in the street, the UMA-enabled device would connect to it and use the broadband connection for making and accepting calls and sending and receiving data.
It resembles a lot using wireless VoIP-telephony through your GSM mobile phone. Things get even better though, since the UMA enabled phone would also be able to use regular GSM base stations as any normal mobile phone would. The handset would be able to change connections between the licensed cellular radio access network and the unlicensed IP network seamlessly even in the middle of a call without even the user noticing.
All you need to use the new technology is a UMA-enabled device, an operator that supports UMA, and an Internet broadband connection that you can access via Wi-Fi (WLAN). The most important difference from the widely known VoIP technology is that UMA is after all tightly linked to the mobile radio network, which is used for routing, authentication and billing. A call initiated using the Wi-Fi interface after all reaches the 2G core network through the UMA Network and once the signal is transferred, it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the cellular traffic.
Do not throw your hopes for free calls through the window just yet since the technology allows the UMA-enabled devices to be used as regular VoIP handsets. But it’s of course up to the manufacturer to decide whether to block that functionality or not.
The Wi-Fi functionality of the device is further enhanced by an IPSec-based software that supports the most commonly used VPN gateways to allow users access the corporate network through a VPN.
The Blackberry 8820 comes with an enhanced music player, fullscreen video playback capabilities plus stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) support for listening music on wireless headphones. The handset doesn’t have a camera but that goes without saying for the most part of business-oriented devices.
Availability and pricing for the Blackberry 8820 are yet unknown.