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EMCC Introduces: WiFi For Smartphones Print E-mail
Written by EMCC Software   
Sunday, 02 April 2006
WiFi technology is becoming increasingly familiar to both enterprises and private users. EMCC takes a look at the impact of this technology on the mobile phone.

WiFi is becoming a familiar technology to consumers. Used in conjunction with a PC/laptop and a home broadband connection it can be used to share access, and gives the user the convenience of connecting to the Internet from anywhere within their home. More and more businesses are using WiFi as part of their corporate network due to its convenience and ease of use. It allows employees to move freely through the building to meeting rooms and still have access to network services on their laptops. WiFi also gives businesses a cost effective way to extend their internal network without the expense of cabling an office.

Bluetooth and WiFi have both emerged as popular wireless technologies, but they are meant for different purposes and shouldn't be considered as competing technologies. Bluetooth is designed for use in a Wireless Personal Area Network, for example replacing cables between keyboards and PC's; it has low power usage and a short range. WiFi is intended as a Wireless Local Area Network and has a much larger range and bandwidth.

WiFi networks operate at 2.4 and 5 GHz radio bands and have a data rate of 11Mbps or 54Mbps, depending on the standard. While this is less bandwidth than traditional Ethernet LANs it is more than enough for most users to perform everyday tasks.

IEEE has developed a set of WiFi network standards known as 802.11. There are many standards in this family but the most widely known are:

  • 802.11a operates at 5Ghz and has a maximum bandwidth of 54Mbps.
  • 802.11b operates at 2.4Ghz and provides a bandwidth of 11Mbps.
  • 802.11g operates at 2.4GHz and gives a bandwidth of 54Mbps.

There are also various security protocols used in the 802.11 standards: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) was designed to give WLANs the level of security expected from a standard LAN; WPA was introduced to address the problems found in WEP, giving more sophisticated data encryption and user authentication.

There are a large number of uses for WiFi technology; most people are familiar with WiFi being used on their laptops and PCs, either at home or in the office. However, providing this technology in a mobile phone gives further benefits for the enterprise or home user.

Push Email - This is a very important application area for enterprises; Push Email keeps mobile devices up-to-date with a company's Email server. Push Email can sometimes involve a large amount of data transfer between the mobile device and the Email server. Using WiFi as the bearer for this transfer reduces the data cost while also providing fast download speeds.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) - Another important developing technology, providing voice calls over computer networks. VoIP helps reduce communications costs while enabling extra levels of intelligence to be built into the networks that support it. While WiFi is not involved directly in VoIP, it provides a low-cost, high-speed bearer for the data.

Dual Mode Telephony - Mobile devices now have the ability to make calls using WiFi as well as conventional cellular technologies. The integration of these features is an area of much development and will give large benefits to both home and enterprise users, in terms of reduced costs and extra features.

Internet browsing - As technology develops mobile devices are acquiring larger higher resolution screens with more colour depth; increasing the popularity of web browsing. WiFi enables high speed browsing whilst decreasing data charges.

The Future

WiMax is a standard developed by IEEE (802.16). It enables wireless connections with a range of up to 30 miles and bandwidth of up to 70Mbps. This is an impressive new technology and a big step up from WiFi. It provides a wireless alternative to standard broadband access, as well as reducing costs for deployment in areas without an existing infrastructure.

In Conclusion

As time goes by more and more WiFi enabled mobile devices will appear on the market. This technology creates many new business opportunities for mobile operators, handset manufacturers and third parties. Push Email, VoIP and IMS solutions all offer lower cost services for users when delivered over WiFi. This may reduce data traffic revenue for mobile operators, but it can be offset by the provision of new services that can be implemented using the extra bandwidth provided by WiFi. Enterprise services will particularly benefit from WiFi as most companies will already have a WiFi network.

About EMCC Software

EMCC Software is a leading provider of mobile solutions and development services. With comprehensive experience in open mobile OS development and enterprise solutions, EMCC Software has been working within the Symbian, Linux, Java and Windows Mobile communities since 1998. Our wide-ranging expertise includes platform development, communications, messaging and UI creation. Our clients include mobile industry leaders. EMCC Software specialises in consulting, development and training services and has developed a portfolio of leading-edge smartphone software solutions.

Further information about EMCC Software Ltd can be found at www.emccsoft.com



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