Mobile technology is, as the name suggests, technology that allows consumers and business users to perform computing and communications related tasks without being tied to a single, fixed location. The concepts of work, and working hours, for example, are becoming less well-defined, as mobile telecommunications technology and wireless Internet connectivity allow the possibility of telecommuting – that is, working away from a traditional office environment, either at home, or elsewhere – saving travelling time, and costs, and increasing productivity.
Mobile devices, nowadays, take many forms. Perhaps the most useful of all, however, are those which run an operating system akin to that found on a conventional desktop PC, or, in other words, notebook or laptop computers. Laptops are available in a number of different shapes and sizes, but all essentially involve a compromise of some kind; very small, lightweight laptops may be easy to carry around, but may lack processing power, and additional extras, while larger, heavier laptops may be faster, and have all the “bells and whistles” you could ever need, but are correspondingly less portable. A handheld computer, or PDA (“Personal Digital Assistant”) – running a “cut-down” operating system, such as Windows Mobile – is, of course, another possibility. These devices typically lack a standard keypad, and are operated via a touch screen, with a fingertip or stylus. Mobile telecommunications technology is available, obviously, in the form of the mobile phone, but the concept of !
a “smart phone” – essentially a mobile phone, but with advanced capabilities, above and beyond voice telephone calls – has continued to expand in recent years.
Mobile Broadband & Beyond
Mobile devices can be enabled for use with a wide range of technologies. These may include EDGE (“Enhanced Data for GSM Environment”), an enhancement for 2G (“2nd Generation”), or 2.5G, GPRS (“General Packet Radio Service”) telecommunications networks, or, more recently, truly 3G, or 3.5G, GSM technology. Bluetooth and WiFi – the generic name for IEEE 802.11 compliant wireless networking technologies – are also available for the wireless connection of mobile devices.
Typical sales, or customer service, applications may include presentations given to prospective customers using a laptop – possibly streaming media from a web server, if the laptop has mobile broadband capability – transferring product literature, wirelessly, to a client`s computer, remotely accessing a diary, or allowing, say, restaurant customers to pay via a wireless payment terminal, rather than a fixed till.
Mobile broadband technology is becoming very popular, not least because it is fast, convenient and flexible. A laptop, or notebook, computer can be equipped for mobile broadband access simply by plugging in a lightweight USB (“Universal Serial Bus”) broadband modem, or “dongle”. This allows Internet access, at speeds approaching those of traditional, fixed line connections, anywhere where there is sufficient coverage. This can be particularly advantageous for anyone who wishes to access the Internet, but has no permanent place of residence – students, for example – and/or no landline telephone line. Indeed, mobile broadband technology is advancing at such a pace that laptop and notebook computers equipped with integral modules – which increase 3G speed, and are “future proofed” for 4G technologies, such as HSPA (“High Speed Packet Access”) and “Long Term Evolution” – are starting to become available. The new mobile broadband technologies support download speeds of up to 7Mbp!
s (“Megabits per second”).
For more information on mobile broadband visit – http://mobile.broadbandgenie.co.uk/