Signal Boost and Signal Box
I have a UMA Samsung Galaxy S2 GTI9100P from Orange. I bought this model because I'm not a BB fan and my work was suffering from the lack of a mobile signal in the place I spend most time. I live in a village with no mobile signal from any network, but a class 3 BT exchange means lots of BT WiFi APs in people's living rooms. With the Signal Boost/UMA functionality and BT Wifi, I can get signal to make and receive call and texts all around the village.
To allow the rest of the family with non-UMA handsets to get a signal at home, I've also obtained an EE Signal Box (a Femtocell) with connects to my Broadband. As a result, I have fantastic coverage, most of my calls over the last three years have been over WiFi and I've turned down the handset offered by my employer as it would be a white elephant.
EE now plagues me with requests to upgrade my (admittedly battered and battery-tired handset) but I refuse to part with it until they again offer a handset with UMA or a similar technology built in. EE customer service and retail staff tell me that they no longer offer Signal Boost, or ask what it is.
In my use-case, 4G calling will never reach my family and I - a whole mile outside a major UK city - so WiFi is the way forward due to it's ubiquitous nature. I've gotten used to standing still while making calls (so I don't move out of WiFi range) so handoff between WiFi/4G/3G/2G isn't as important to me as just having a signal.
The truth of the oft-quoted 99% coverage is that it relates to population, not square miles. There are vast swathes of the UK with no hope of mobile coverage or fast Broadband and those of us who choose to live where we are part of the 1% would love to be connected somehow, without too much fuss.
Where do I sign up?