Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, June 6, 2002

Mobile & Wireless UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network.
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June 6, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Wireless Networking: State of the Industry

2. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Get Valuable Info for Free with IT Consultant Newsletter

3. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Enterprise Mobility Platform
  • New Instant Poll: Public Access Points

4. RESOURCES

  • Tip: What Are Type I, Type II, and Type III PC Cards?
  • Event Highlight: Mobile Internet Services 2002 World Forum

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Understand 802.11 Technology
  • Send Messages to Wireless Devices Through the Internet

6. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])

  • WIRELESS NETWORKING: STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

  • In the May 23 edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I looked at specialized solutions for your Wi-Fi (the 802.11b wireless standard) network. This time, I conclude the wireless-networking discussion with a look at the state of the industry, including trends and the future of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.

    Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks provide significant and useful mobile-enterprise and consumer solutions. Many organizations and consumers have deployed Wi-Fi systems during the past year, increasing the technology's market penetration and success. For example, I enjoy the ability to access airport Wi-Fi networks when I travel. However, the standard still has challenges to overcome.

    In the United States, most Wi-Fi hot spots are standalone access points (APs) in airports and other public places. When I travel, I find that these hot spots are typically incompatible with one another, and I commonly experience connection difficulties and increased costs because I must establish a new account at each location. To ensure consistent coverage and billing, the industry needs to consolidate Wi-Fi hot spots. Another problem involves connection speed; although Wi-Fi connections can be as fast as 11Mbps, providers' Internet connections are often much slower (about 128Kbps), resulting in poor network performance. Some companies, however, are trying to consolidate hot spot services with wireless carriers; for example, VoiceStream recently purchased MobileStar, the operator of many nationwide Wi-Fi hot spots.

    The wireless LAN industry continues to make advancements with new technologies; 802.11a is on the market now, and 802.11g is due soon. The 802.11a standard is similar to 802.11b but provides wireless data speeds as fast as 54Mbps and uses the 5.5GHz spectrum range, which has less interference than the 2.4GHz spectrum range that 802.11b uses. The 802.11g standard, which will feature full compatibility with already-deployed 802.11b devices, will soon appear in devices that provide 54Mbps speeds and use the 2.4GHz range.

    Bluetooth has been slow to gain market momentum, primarily because Bluetooth chips are most often embedded in other devices such as phones and PDAs, whereas 802.11b uses standalone APs and access cards. Thanks to its power savings and wider-spectrum benefits, however, Bluetooth will grow in popularity. Many hardware vendors have already released Bluetooth-enabled products, and thousands more are being developed. Expect to see many Bluetooth-enabled devices on the market in the next few years.

    Bluetooth 2.0 is also on the horizon and will debut in specialized devices that provide improved range and bandwidth. Because of the direct integration of Bluetooth chips with devices such as mobile phones, Bluetooth 2.0 will offer interesting functionality such as the ability to use an available local Bluetooth connection to make calls and transfer data. When a Bluetooth connection isn't available, customers can use third-generation (3G) and 2.5G technologies. This type of functionality is available today in some PDAs that use both 802.11b and Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD)/General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) standards. Because of 802.11b's power-consumption requirements, however, we won't see the technology built directly into mobile phones.

    In the next regular edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I'll change gears and look at other aspects of the mobile and wireless industry. See you then.


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    2. ANNOUNCEMENT
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • GET VALUABLE INFO FOR FREE WITH IT CONSULTANT NEWSLETTER

  • Sign up today for IT ConsultantWire, a FREE email newsletter from Penton Media. This newsletter is specifically designed for IT consultants, bringing you news, product analysis, project management and business logic trends, industry events, and more. Find out more about this solution-packed resource and sign up for FREE at
    http://www.itconsultmag.com

    3. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: ENTERPRISE MOBILITY PLATFORM

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which platform have you chosen for your enterprise mobility solution?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 33 votes:
    • 21% Palm
    • 73% Pocket PC
    • 6% Other

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: PUBLIC ACCESS POINTS

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Have you ever used a public access point (AP)?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    4. RESOURCES

  • TIP: WHAT ARE TYPE I, TYPE II, AND TYPE III PC CARDS?
    (contributed by David Ciccone, [email protected])

  • Type I, Type II, and Type III PC cards are portable storage devices, each about the size of a credit card. The main difference between each type of card is their thickness. Type III PC cards are thicker than Type II PC cards, and Type II PC cards are thicker than Type I PC cards. Type III PC cards are thicker so that they can accommodate more electronics than, say, a Type I PC card. The most prominent Type III PC cards are hard disks; however, Type II PC card hard disks have become available in recent years. Type I PC cards are less common because they're primarily available as Flash storage cards and tend to be more expensive than other types of storage cards such as CompactFlash (CF).

    For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com/articles/index.cfm?action=faq

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: MOBILE INTERNET SERVICES 2002 WORLD FORUM

  • June 17 through 20, 2002
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Mobile Internet Services 2002 will explore how to provide next-generation services to the mobile user. The forum promises to analyze the value chain from infrastructure and application development to content delivery, assessing the latest services from the industry's leaders. Vital aspects such as generating revenue and key applications will be discussed in depth, providing a thorough view of the rapidly expanding mobile Internet services market.
    http://www.mis-2002.com/flash.htm

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/events

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • TIP: WHAT ARE TYPE I, TYPE II, AND TYPE III PC CARDS?
    (contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
  • UNDERSTAND 802.11 TECHNOLOGY
    O'Reilly released "802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide" by Matthew S. Gast, a book that guides you through all aspects of planning, deploying, and maintaining a wireless network. The book covers the security concerns unique to a wireless network. You'll also learn about two new 54Mbps standards: 802.11z and 802.11g. The 443-page book costs $44.95. Contact O'Reilly at 707-827-7000, 800-998-9938, or [email protected]
    http://www.oreilly.com

    SEND MESSAGES TO WIRELESS DEVICES THROUGH THE INTERNET
    NotePage released PageGate 4.0, text and messaging software that lets you send messages to pagers, mobile phones, and other wireless devices though the Internet. PageGate incorporates Simple Network Paging Protocol (SNPP), Wireless Communication Transfer Protocol (WCTP), and SMTP. The software can direct undeliverable messages to a backup recipient or group. PageGate supports an unlimited number of pagers, mobile phones, and Short Message Service (SMS) carriers. The software runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x systems and starts at $150. Contact NotePage at 781-829-0500.
    http://www.notepager.net

    6. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    This biweekly email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today.
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