Networking UPDATE: Mobile & Wireless Edition--August 13, 2003

1. Mobile & Wireless Perspectives - WLAN and WWAN: How Low Will Prices Go?

2. Announcements - Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: for Security-Minded IT Pros - Try Windows & .NET Magazine!

3. Instant Poll - Results of Previous Poll: Tablet PC Interest - New Instant Poll: WLAN Where?

4. Event - New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

5. New and Improved - Expand the Use of Your Pocket PC - Type Text Messages with 1 Hand - Submit Top Product Ideas

6. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1. ==== Mobile & Wireless Perspectives ==== (contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])

WLAN and WWAN: How Low Will Prices Go? In previous editions of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I've discussed the various types of available wireless networking options, including carrier wireless WANs (WWANs) and Wi-Fi wireless LANs (WLANs). During the past few weeks, I've noticed a definite improvement in WWAN and WLAN coverage and connectivity. In this edition of Networking UPDATE: Mobile & Wireless Edition, I want to explore some of the wireless-connectivity enhancements that the mobile and wireless industry is experiencing and discuss another trend: the dropping prices of these services. One network enhancement that I'm seeing in the industry is that T-Mobile has begun to offer its HotSpot service in United Red Carpet Clubs. In addition, other wireless carriers (e.g., Verizon Wireless) are continuing to enhance their 2.5G networks with better coverage, such as the recent launch of the 1xRTT service in Denver. Pricing trends are equally interesting. T-Mobile recently reduced the price of its General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) service to $20 per month for unlimited data transfers, assuming you already have a T-Mobile voice service plan priced at $30 per month or higher. So, if you're using Windows Mobile for Pocket PC (which I discussed in the July 16 column), this reasonably priced unlimited data plan--along with the Pocket PC's new always-connected functionality--offers a great way to stay connected for corporate email and Instant Messaging (IM). T-Mobile has also reduced the price of its T-Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi service to $20 per month for unlimited data, again assuming you have a phone account. In the past, I've been hesitant to pay extra for the Wi-Fi HotSpot service because of a lack of good coverage. However, most Starbucks, Borders Books & Music stores, and (as I mentioned) United Red Carpet Clubs are now offering T-Mobile HotSpot service. Finding an Access Point (AP) to get connected is now fairly easy. For example, I recently had impressive connectivity experiences both in town and out of town. First, as I traveled to and from a couple of meetings across town, I was able to stop at a Starbucks store multiple times to check email and send some important messages. Second, while in transit for the trip out of town, I was able to visit various United Red Carpet Clubs before and after my flights to synchronize email. Increasingly, for short or long trips, I'm able to use these hotspots to stay connected and remain productive. The trend of decreasing costs isn't unique to T-Mobile. In general, we're seeing wireless-connectivity coverage options increase while subscription costs decrease. Will the cost of hotspot services ultimately decrease to the point at which it's free wherever you go? Every time I go into a Starbucks, I buy a coffee, and to get access to the United Red Carpet Clubs, I pay a membership. I foresee a day when these companies will pay the cost of hotspot access so that I continue to drink their coffee and fly their airline. Also, as other companies (e.g., McDonalds) begin to offer cheaper or free Wi-Fi access, other companies and other providers will have no choice but to do the same. Another consideration is WLAN versus WWAN connectivity. Today, WLAN services offer high-bandwidth connectivity but limited coverage, whereas WWAN service typically offers better coverage but lower bandwidth. As the coverage of WLAN hotspots increases and the bandwidth of WWAN connections increases, the differences between the two technologies become less important. For example, the WWAN 1xRTT data service from Verizon or Sprint PCS already has speeds greater than 100Kbps. The 1xRTT service doesn't offer speeds as fast as Wi-Fi, but it provides sufficient speeds for email productivity. The speeds and coverage of all commercial wireless networks will continue to increase while prices continue to decrease, and consumers will reap the benefits. I'm already enjoying the improved connectivity and lower prices. The good news is that both will only get better.

==== 2. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: for Security-Minded IT Pros How secure is your network? Have you ever been hacked? If you had to lock down 100 machines in 5 minutes, could you do it? How has Windows Server 2003 improved its security features? Want to stop spam? Register for Windows & .NET Magazine Connections 2003 coming this fall to Orlando, and get all the answers to these questions and much more! http://www.winconnections.com

Try Windows & .NET Magazine! Every issue of Windows & .NET Magazine includes intelligent, impartial and independent coverage of security, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, and more. Our expert authors deliver how-to content you simply can't find anywhere else. Try a sample issue today, and find out what more than 100,000 readers know that you don't! http://www.winnetmag.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei203xup

==== 3. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: Tablet PC Interest The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What level of interest does your company have in Tablet PCs?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 50 votes: - 28% We're evaluating - 8% We're currently deploying - 16% We plan to deploy - 48% No interest

New Instant Poll: WLAN Where? The next Instant Poll question is, "Where have you implemented a wireless LAN (WLAN)?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) In my home, b) At the office, c) Both, or d) Neither. http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

==== 4. Event ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show! Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/wireless

==== 5. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Expand the Use of Your Pocket PC PhatWare released CalliGrapher, HPC Notes, PhatSpell, and Pocket dbExplorer for Pocket PCs. CalliGrapher is handwriting-recognition software that supports cursive, print, or mixed handwriting styles. HPC Notes lets you create notes and sort them by type, subject, creation, and modification date. You can also synchronize notes from multiple databases. PhatSpell is spell-checking software that features 10 dictionaries that you can access from your Pocket PC. Pocket dbExplorer lets you browse, view, edit, and manage databases that you find on your Pocket PC. You can also use the utility to back up and restore one or more database and system registry settings to a file. For pricing, contact PhatWare at 650-559-5600 or [email protected] http://www.phatware.com

Type Text Messages with 1 Hand Ventris released HandyScript, a Windows text-input system for cell phone text-messaging needs. HandyScript technology lets you type text with one hand. The software is language-independent and uses an 11-symbol keypad to provide all the requirements of the alphabet, including characters, symbols, and punctuation marks. HandyScript costs $39.95. Contact Ventris at [email protected] http://www.ventris.com

Submit Top Product Ideas Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

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==== 6. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

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