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February 6, 2003—In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
- Mobile & Wireless Q & A
- Don't Miss Our 2 New Security Web Seminars in March!
- Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show!
3. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Essential PDA Features
- New Instant Poll: PDA Price Range
- Event Highlight: allNet Devices: The Digital Ubiquity Forum
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Store Data on the Go
- Access Your Messaging Software from Your PDA
6. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])
In the past month, I've received several mobile and wireless questions from readers, and I think the answers have applicability to this UPDATE's general readership.
Q: In the December 2, 2001, edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, you wrote, "Second generation (2G) networks feature a 9.6Kbps to 20Kbps wireless data speed, 2.5G networks handle 20Kbps to 128Kbps, and 3G networks support up to 384Kbps." After reading articles about Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), I gather that UMTS supports speeds as fast as 2Mbps. Am I missing something?
A: UMTS is a 3G standard that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) developed. Part of the UMTS specification describes data rates specific to various user scenarios. These user scenarios break down into three categories: stationary (fixed) user, slow-moving user, and fast-moving user (e.g., car, bus, train). The theoretical data rate for fixed UMTS communication is 2Mbps. The 384Kbps number is specific to slow-moving users. However, these data rates are theoretical and are achieved only in perfect conditions. Also, remember that all users in a cell site must share data rates. Therefore, as the number of wireless data users increases, the actual data rates available to each user will be slower. So, 384Kbs is probably a high estimate of the data speeds we'll see with UMTS.
Q: Why have the media devoted so little ink to the incompatibility of smart phones and Wi-Fi? What do you think of the possibility of a single CompactFlash (CF) slot on these devices to permit the use of an 802.11b card?
A: Great question. Smart phones' lack of support for Wi-Fi comes down to two primary reasons. First, Wi-Fi requires a lot of power to transmit data at fast data rates. If you've ever used a Wi-Fi card with a Pocket PC, you know how quickly the card can drain a battery. In case you're wondering why Bluetooth is more compatible with smart phones, Bluetooth uses about a hundredth of the power that Wi-Fi requires. Second, wireless carriers who sell smart phones want you to use their wireless data services—for example, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Radio Transmission Technology (1xRTT). Wireless carriers have invested much money into upgrading their networks to support faster data rates and want to maximize the returns. The inclusion of a CF slot on smart phones is a possibility, but a Secure Digital (SD) slot is more likely. T-Mobile's Pocket PC Phone Edition has an SD slot, but it supports only file storage—not other wireless cards. Go figure!
Q: From what I've seen, the Audiovox Thera Pocket PC on the Verizon Wireless network hasn't enjoyed the same success as the T-Mobile device because of the slowness of the current Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) speed on Verizon's network. With GPRS, T-Mobile can keep the device continuously connected at about 40Kbps. Verizon can offer only 14.4Kbps. What are your findings?
A: The T-Mobile device is a true Pocket PC Phone Edition device, whereas the Thera is a regular Pocket PC device with a built-in Sierra Wireless wireless data card. Therefore, battery consumption and other features aren't optimized in the Thera. The Verizon network supports higher data rates in many regions, but Verizon is struggling to upgrade all sections of its nationwide network to its Express Network. Verizon has different network infrastructures in different regions following the mergers that formed the combined Verizon network. In many locations, the speed defaults to the lower 14.4Kbps.
Q: I'm aware of all the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi applications in personal and office IT, but I have little knowledge of the potential applications in industrial technology. Do you know of any industrial automation companies that are applying either technology?
A: I don't have specific examples of industrial automation companies using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, I've heard about efforts to use Bluetooth for equipment tracking similar to the way people use current Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies. The advantages of using Bluetooth are the low power consumption and the low costs of Bluetooth radios.
If you have any mobile and wireless questions, send them to me at the address above. Perhaps your question will appear in this space. See you next time.
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3. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which feature most influenced your choice of PDA?" Here are the results from the 49 votes:
- 51% Brand/OS - 12% Memory/expandability - 12% Wireless connectivity - 12% Size/weight - 12% Color display
(Deviations from 100 percent are due to rounding error.)
The next Instant Poll question is, "When you consider your next PDA, what price range will you aim for?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) $100-$200, b) $200-$300, c) $300-$400, d) $400-$500, or e) $500 or higher.
February 10 through 11, 2003
San Jose, California
The allNet Devices forum is designed to educate technology and business professionals about emerging trends to help vendors identify and evaluate new business initiatives and revenue-generating opportunities. Program topics include the next-generation home network, the role of multiple devices, interconnectivity, and the mobility bridge that exists between the home and office. For information about this event, go to this URL.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Procom Technology announced ProMobile, a backup system for USB-compatible notebook and desktop computers. The pocket-sized system is designed for mobile professionals and features storage capacities that range from 20GB to 60GB. The system measures about 3" x 5" and weighs 6.25 ounces. ProMobile supports Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows 98 systems. Pricing starts at $249. Contact ProCom Technology at 800-800-8600.
Equisys released Zetalink 3.0, software that lets remote workers securely access corporate messaging and groupware functions from mobile phones and PDAs. Zetalink provides mobile employees realtime access to Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server. You can also remotely access Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and finance applications. For pricing, contact Equisys at [email protected] or 770-772-7201.
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES — [email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — [email protected]
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Mobile & Wireless UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Customer Support — mobile_&[email protected]
- WANT TO SPONSOR Mobile & Wireless UPDATE?
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