This is a long winded post about my nightmare to get my entire house covered for UMA. Just thought I would post all the details in case it helps any of you who are having issues with extending the range of your WIFI in your home/office to ensure you don't lose UMA coverage...
I live in NC where there is no UMA to EDGE handoff since Tmo has no service offering. Hopefully this will change as soon as their SunCom integration finalizes. Because UMA->EDGE doesn't work, I found that I was dropping my UMA connection (and the whole call) when I would walk anywhere near the front of my house.
I was on a Linksys WRT54G v2 running Sveasoft
for a long time which worked really well for UMA but even with the output signal cranked up, I couldn't reach the front of the house. Finally after about 6 years, my WRT54G died.
In my quest to get more range with a new router, I went through three different routers and one repeater in the last week to see if I could find a router which had more range and still works with UMA. I tried the Netgear WPN-824 RangeMax
G, Linksys WRT160N
router, Linksys WRE54G
Range Expander and the Apple Airport Extreme N
All firmware were stock and up to date. I won't go into why each one of them failed but in general, the Apple didn't support UMA, the netgear range was not that great, the WRT160N signal kept going up and down, and the Range Expander doesn't support UMA and was a nightmare for a very literate technology person to setup.
I finally got everything working by buying two Buffalo WHR-HP-G54
routers from Circuit City. They are no longer being supplied as Buffalo is in some legal proceedings over some patents, but I called around and found a Circuit City that still had some in stock. You can check the status of their legal proceedings here: Buffalo Technology - Products - Wireless
The Buffalo WHR-HP-G54
has a switch on the bottom which switches from router/ap to repeater / bridge / ap. So I followed the directions here at http://www.buffalotech.com/support/g...guring_WDS.pdf
(warning PDF) and got both the router and bridge / repeater working in about 20 minutes using WDS
My laptop could then roam all around the house and yard and you could watch it switch between AP's without any issues. I was worried the 8320 wouldn't be as good at the switching.
I was surprised to find that the blackberry is just as good at the handovers. The 8320 won't update its network details page to show you that you have roamed over to the other AP in most cases, but if you watch the Client Monitor on the Buffalo stock firmware, you can easily see the 8320 moving from one AP to the other as you walk through the house while on a call.
I have only been testing this for about a day now so I am sure all of this can come crashing down. I have my fingers crossed.
I played around with DD-WRT
firmware on the Buffalo and though they seem awesome, I reverted to factory firmware to see if I could get this working first on it. I don't really need to crank up the signal output now that there are two AP's but if I find uptime/reliability issues with the stock firmware I will definitely be changing over to either Tomato or DD-WRT.
Anyways, feel free to PM me if you want technical details of the setup.