Wireless Data (Wireless Networks)

Wireless Data
Wireless data systems transfer of digital signals between two data devices via a wireless communication path. Most wireless data services are dedicated to specific types of applications. Vertical wireless data applications (vertical) are very specific solutions, and have continued to win over mass market “horizontal” offerings. Vertical solutions include applications such as utility meter reading or mobile dispatch. Horizontal solutions have mass-market appeal such as wireless e-mail.

The growth of the Internet has also enabled low-cost, standardized access to wireless data networks that is accelerating the growth of the wireless data marketplace. In 2001, almost all the new mobile telephones had wireless Internet access capability.

Figure 1 shows a basic wireless data system. In this example, many types of wireless data devices communicate through a public wireless data system. In the core of the system, there is a switching system. The switching system commonly routes the data between the wireless device and a computer system (such as a company computer). In this diagram, there are more receivers than transmitters. This is required to allow low-power mobile data transmitters to reach the system. Base station transmitters can provide up to 500 Watts effective radiated power (ERP) while portable mobile data devices can usually provide less than 1 Watt of transmitted power.

Figure 1: Wireless Data System

Wireless data get the attention it deserves when a mass-market wireless data application (often called the “Killer App”) is embraced by the public. Here are a few successful vertical wireless data applications:

Wireless data for the electric power, waste water, and natural gas industries. New competition in the utility industry demands the benefits of a wireless data solution for timely customer-focused improvements.

Wireless data for field service personnel. Field service organizations use wireless data to close the gap on a geographic distance to improve customer service, technician productivity, and increased revenues.

Companies with mobile sales forces have increased their productivity and efficiency of personnel by filling out much of their paperwork “on-line”. Sales force access to corporate databases has proven paramount in the new paradigm of doing business the 21st century style.

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