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Mobile Solution Components

Wireless Data Networks

There are two types of data networks:

  • Circuit switched is often called "dial-up". A device using a circuit switched network only connects to it when data is to be sent.

  • Packet network is one where you are connected all the time and only pay for the actual data sent.

Nearly all data-only wireless networks are packet networks. In contrast, nearly all voice-only networks are circuit switched.

Wireless Data Modems

There are a growing number of wireless devices that provide connections between computing devices and the wireless networks. Wireless modems for the voce and data networks are often incorporated into wireless voice handsets. All CDMA handsets and many of the new GSM handsets require only a serial cable to connect the handset to the computing device.

Mobile Computers

There are many varieties of mobile computing devices available. Most of these devices, such as Windows CE-based and Palm OS based products are wireless ready in that it is easy to add wireless modems and run wireless enabled applications. Some devices now being introduced even include integrated wireless modems.

  • Laptop/Notebook Computers

  • Ruggedized Mobile Computers

  • Handheld Computers

  • Palmtop-Sized Computers

  • Auto PC

  • Embedded Computers

Wireless-enabled Applications

There are many wireless-enabled applications available today. Many of these are for the vertical markets that have embraced wireless data in the past. At this time, many application vendors are in the process of introducing applications for the next phase of the market in areas such as sales force automation, or for vertical markets such as insurance, healthcare, and finance.

Many of the existing vertical business applications are wireless-enabled using wireless middleware. Others were developed specifically for the mobile marketplace, often using wireless middleware to handle wireless communication challenges.

Wireless Middleware

Middleware is an enabling layer of software that resides between the business application and the networked layer of heterogeneous platforms and protocols. Middleware is used to create a three-tier architecture, which adds a layer of functionality between the client and server. This tier shields developers from the intricacies of underlying operating environment and enables communication between disparate networks. It is a software development tool or wireless-enablement tool that provides a common set of APIs to allow applications to communicate via wireless data networks.

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