Wireless and Mobile Networks

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A wireless network is a network that uses wireless instead of wired technology. A mobile network (also called a “cellular network”) is a network operating on a radio frequency, consisting of radio cells, each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a “cell site” or “base station”. These cells are used to provide radio coverage over a wider area.  

Smartphones make up 52 percent of all web traffic globally in 2019. This is essential for e-commerce as a growing number of customers are buying products using their smartphones. Wireless and mobile networks have the advantages of mobility, flexibility, ease of installation, and low cost. These systems are particularly effective when no infrastructure (such as communication lines or established wired networks) is in place, which is common in many developing nations and in old buildings that do not have the necessary wiring for a network. 

There are various definitions of mobile and wireless computing. Mobile computing might simply mean using a laptop away from the office or using a modem to access the corporate network from a client’s office. Neither activity requires wireless technology. Wireless LANs usually refer to proprietary LANs, meaning they use a certain vendor’s specifications, such as Apple Computer’s LAN protocol for linking Macintosh devices. The term wireless LAN is also used to describe any wireless network. Wireless LANs have the same characteristics as wired LANs, except they use wireless media, such as infrared (IR) light or RF. 

Wireless networks have many advantages. For example, healthcare workers who use handheld, notebook computers or tablets (such as the iPad) with wireless capabilities are able to get patient information quickly. Instead of writing notes on paper regarding the patient’s condition, then transcribing the notes into an electronic form, they can enter information directly into the handheld devices. Because the information can be sent to and saved on a centralized database, it is available to other workers instantly. In addition, entering notes directly prevents errors that are common during the transcription process, which improves the quality of information. Many businesses use wireless and mobile networks to improve customer service and reduce operational costs.