Monday, October 22, 2007

Free My Phone by Walt Mossberg

"A shortsighted and often just plain stupid federal government has allowed itself to be bullied and fooled by a handful of big wireless phone operators for decades now. And the result has been a mobile phone system that is the direct opposite of the PC model. It severely limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world, just as the cellphone is morphing into a powerful hand-held computer." more...

This is a brief excerpt from noted technology journalist Walt Mossberg. While this has the tone of a rant, it's hard to argue that Walt is not spot on in his assessment of the state of the mobile wireless industry in the United States.

While consumers may enjoy some minor sticker shock relief from subsidized devices, the consequences are otherwise dire. The industry is in a near state of gridlock with innovation and choice stifled by the carriers, with a wink and nod from the FCC.

I believe the FCC needs to make a stronger mandate for open access, especially for devices and services. The walled garden approach will not work, and it has been proven that an open model gave rise to more robust markets and services for PC's, the Internet and let's not forget long distance communications.

The FCC can foster innovation and access while protecting the interests of the carriers that successfully bid and pay for use of the spectrum, but let's not forget that the spectrum is a national asset which needs to be effectively leveraged.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Search of Wireless Wiggle Room - New York Times

Published: October 21, 2007

I RECENTLY watched a YouTube clip of a young man removing the memory chip from his iPhone with his teeth, in an attempt to “unlock” the device for use on a network other than the AT&T system for which the phone was exclusively sold. His gyrations were a particularly vivid reminder of the limits imposed on cellphones by the companies that run national wireless networks in the United States.

But there are signs that the existing order in the wireless world may finally be changing.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

OLPC News: LATU Uruguay Buying 100,000 OLPC XO's Over Classmate PC!!

"...this is a stunning upset for Intel and a resounding confirmation for OLPC. LATU will be purchasing 100,000 laptops for children, with an option to buy 50,000 more, at $199 per laptop."


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Japan Leads U.S. in Fast and Cheap Internet Connections - New York Times

"The United States may be the world’s largest economy, but when it comes to Internet connections at home, many Americans still live in the slow lane. By contrast, Japan is a broadband paradise with the fastest and cheapest Internet connections in the world."
more... :

Monday, October 01, 2007


Glossary of Mobile and Wireless Terms

* 1xEV-DO (CDMA2000 1x evolution data only) — See EV-DO.
* 1xEV-DV (CDMA2000 1x evolution data and voice) — See EV-DV.
* 1xRTT (CDMA2000 1x radio transmission technology) — A 2.5G transmission technology; an evolution of CDMA2000 that adds voice capacity and supports peak downlink data rates of up to 144 Kbps in a single 1.25MHz channel, typically delivering 80 Kbps to 100 Kbps in the field.
* 2.5G — Enhancements that provide packet data capabilities over 2G networks. 2.5G improves the available data rates supported by the air interface, thereby permitting the introduction of new, data-oriented services and applications. The increased data rates rise to a theoretical maximum of 384 Kbps, although in the field, available data rates often may be as low as 20 Kbps. GPRS is an example of a 2.5G technology.
* 2G (second generation) — The second generation of wireless networks is designed to improve on analog with digital, circuit-switched solutions. The three main 2G technology standards are GSM, which is based on European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standards; TDMA IS-136; and CDMA. The Japanese PDC standard is similar to IS-136. GSM and IS-136 are TDMA technologies. 2G services typically support data rates of 9.6 Kbps, 14.4 Kbps and up to 64 Kbps in certain IS-95B deployments.
* 3G (third generation) — 3G wireless networks support peak data rates of 144 Kbps at mobile user speeds, 384 Kbps at pedestrian user speeds and 2 Mbps in fixed locations (peak speeds), although some initial deployments were configured to support just 64 Kbps. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) coordinates 3G standards through its International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) project and incorporates the key standards bodies, Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and 3GPP2. See also LTE.
* 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project) — This collaboration project among various standards bodies, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and enterprise application integration-41 (EAI-41), under the auspices of the ITU, is developing global specifications for the evolution of 3G technologies. 3GPP focuses on the evolution of GSM and WCDMA, while 3GPP2 focuses on the evolution of CDMA2000.
* 4G (Fourth Generation) — Now known as IMT-Advanced (IMT-A), it is the subject of a global standardization effort involving the ITU, 3GPP, 3GPP2, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), vendors and operators that aim to define the next-generation local and wide-area cellular platform. They hope to decide spectrum assignments for IMT-A at the World Radio Conference in 2007 (WRC-07), complete standardization in 2009 and introduce commercial services by 2012. The key features of 4G are likely to include support for peak data transmission rates of 100 Mbps (wide area) and 1 Gbps (fixed/low mobility); seamless hand-over between different wireless bearers; and an all-IP core and radio transport for voice, video, multimedia and data services, as well as call control/signaling. Several technologies are competing: the evolution to 4G could be from 3G, WiMAX or Wi-Fi. In any case, 4G will likely require the following technologies: Handover, Interlayer Optimization, MIMO, Mobility, OFDMA and SDR.
* 802.11 — See Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11a — Standard for the physical layer of WLANs operating at 5GHz. The number of channels available depends on the country where the system is operating, with 13 channels available in the U.S. and another 11 pending local ratification of the global ITU agreement governing these frequencies. The maximum link rate is 54 Mbps per channel, but maximum user throughput will be about half this, and the throughput is shared by all users of the same radio channel. Frequency bands for 802.11a may differ in different parts of the world. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11b — A standard for the physical layer of WLANs operating at 2.4GHz. It has three nonoverlapping radio channels. The maximum link rate is 11 Mbps per channel. Data rates fall off as the distance between the user and the radio access point increases. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11d — Supplement to the MAC layer in the base 802.11 WLAN standard. It aims to promote worldwide use of 802.11. It will allow access points to communicate information on the permissible radio channels and at acceptable power levels to user devices. The current 802.11 standards cannot legally operate in some countries, and the purpose of 802.11d is to add features and restrictions to WLAN systems that would allow them to operate within the specific regulatory guidelines of these countries. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11e — Supplement to the MAC layer to provide quality of service (QOS) support for LAN applications. This will apply to all 802.11 physical-layer standards (a, b and g). The purpose is to provide classes of service with managed QOS levels for data, voice and video applications.
* 802.11f — A recommended practice document. It aims to achieve access point interoperability within a multivendor WLAN network. The document defines the registration of access points within a network and the interchange of information between access points in case of the hand over of users. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11g — A physical-layer standard for WLANs in the 2.4GHz radio band. It provides three nonoverlapping radio channels with a maximum link rate of up to 54 Mbps per channel. Support for complementary code keying (CCK) modulation makes 802.11g backwardly compatible with 802.11b. The addition of OFDM and packet binary convolution coding (PBCC) modulation schemes achieves higher link rates. See "802.11g: A New Wireless Networking Standard." See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11h — Supplement to the MAC layer to meet the regulatory provisions for European 5GHz WLANs. European radio regulations for the 5GHz band require products to have transmission power control (TPC) and dynamic frequency selection (DFS). TPC limits the transmit power to the minimum needed to reach the farthest user, while DFS selects the radio channel at the access point to minimize interference with other systems (interference with radar systems are of particular concern). See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* 802.11i — Supplement to the MAC layer to provide improved WLAN security. It applies to all 802.11 physical standards (a, b and g). The purpose is to provide an alternative to WEP, with new encryption methods and authentication procedures. A key part of 802.11i is IEEE 802.1x. See Wired Equivalent Privacy, WPA and WPA2. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN and 802.1x.
* 802.11j — The 802.11j standard specifies 802.11 WLAN operation in the 4.9GHz to 5GHz band to conform to Japanese radio operation rules for radio for indoor and outdoor use. It was finalized in 2004. This specification also paved the way for public safety bands at 4.9GHz in other geographic locales. Public safety channels are dedicated for such use and although still "public," are not available for general use. 802.11j also defines uniform methods that let access points move to new frequencies, or change channel width for better performance or capacity — for example, to avoid interference with other wireless applications.
* 802.11m — A maintenance effort to recraft the master 802.11 specification incorporating the various amendments that have been approved to date. It can be considered a housekeeping event by the 802.11 Working Group. Some have confused this specification with outside efforts to provide common maintenance methods for WLANs. 802.11 does not deal with WLAN maintenance.
* 802.11n — A proposed extension of 802.11 technology intended to increase network speed up to 600 Mbps and to improve operating range. 802.11n is based on MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, which uses multiple antennas at the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver) to optimize speed and range. 802.11n is not expected to be ratified by the IEEE 802.11n task group until the first half of 2008, and until certification is in place later in 2008, no vendor can claim to be 802.11n compliant.
* 802.11r — An IEEE 802.11 standard still under development. Once ratified, it will govern the way roaming clients will communicate with access points for re-association, re-authentication and QOS resources. It is aimed at refining the transition process and at minimizing latency as a mobile client moves between access points.
* 802.11s — An IEEE working group formed in July 2005 that is defining a protocol for auto-configuring paths between access points in a wireless mesh network distribution system. The original 15 proposals were whittled down to two sets of ideas in January 2006 — one from the Wi-Mesh Alliance (WiMA), led by Nortel and others, and the SEEMesh group backed by Intel, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo and Texas Instruments. In March 2006, these two groups merged to create a single joint proposal, which the IEEE working group has now approved.
* 802.11t — Also called Wireless Performance Prediction (WPP). The goal of the 802.11t project is to provide a set of recommended measurement methods, performance metrics and test recommendations that enable manufacturers, independent test labs, service providers and end users to measure the performance of IEEE 802.11 standard equipment and networks. It will not be considered a standard.
* 802.11u — Concerned with improvements to interworking with external networks. 802.11 has focused on providing service for pre-authorized users. 802.11u covers users who are not pre-authorized but have a relationship with an external network. This will permit a limited set of services, such as emergency calls.
* 802.11v — Intended to deal with wireless network management. 801.11v will focus on configuration of client devices while connected to IEEE 802.11 networks. The standard may include cellularlike management paradigms, such as listing only access points that have a cooperative arrangement with the user's home service.
* 802.11w — Targeted toward increasing the security of WLAN management frames. WLAN data is encrypted, but management frames are not. Although the vulnerability is extremely small, providing vulnerabilities mostly in denial of service attacks, this would be a last step in completely securing all aspects of WLAN transmission. Adoption of 802.11w would remove the threat caused by malicious systems that attack through repeated disassociation requests appearing to be sent by valid equipment. 802.11w will work with 802.11r and 802.11u.
* 802.15 — A working group of the IEEE focusing on standards for short-distance wireless networks, such as wireless personal-area networks (WPANs). WPANs address wireless networking of portable and mobile computing devices, such as cell phones, consumer electronics, pagers, PCs, PDAs and peripherals, allowing these devices to communicate and interoperate with one another.
* 802.16 (WiMAX) — The IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Standards is developing standards and recommended practices to support the development and deployment of broadband wireless metropolitan area networks (WMANs). 802.16 was designed to bring broadband wireless connectivity into buildings from an ISP or other carrier, thus offering an alternative to wired T1 and DSL lines in the last mile. It can also be used to provide high-speed connectivity between Wi-Fi networks across large campuses, as well as to create a WMAN throughout a city, suburb or region. The WiMAX Forum ( promotes 802.16 standards and in January 2006 began providing interoperability certification. See also WiMAX.
* 802.16-2004 (fixed WiMAX) — Originally known as 802.16d, this approved standard uses 2GHz to 11GHz frequencies, which can penetrate walls and other dense objects. 802.16-2004 provides transmission to stationary devices and replaces prior 802.16 and 802.16a specifications. Higher frequencies require line of sight.
* 802.16a — Approved in 2002, the original (and now obsolete) 802.16a standard provided for up to 70 Mbps of shared point-to-multipoint transmission in the 10GHz to 66GHz frequency bands as far as 37 miles.
* 802.16e-2005 (Mobile WiMAX) — Originally known as 802.16e, 802.16e-2005 is an evolving extension of 802.16-2004 for mobile use in the 2GHz to 6GHz band. It allows people to communicate while walking or moving at vehicular speeds. It aims to add many of the features specified for 802.20 to the 802.16 standard (see also 802.20). Products conforming to 802.16e-2005 are expected to be deployed as infrastructure for fixed, semimobile and mobile networks. Although the standard has been ratified, a compliance and interoperability certification process is not expected to be in place until the second half of 2007.
* 802.1x — The IEEE WLAN security standard 802.11i includes the 802.1x framework for authentication. 802.1x uses Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), which works on wired and WLANs for message exchange during the authentication process. In a WLAN with 802.1x, there are three main components:
o A supplicant — Client software on a device requesting authentication to the network
o An authenticator — An access point to which the user is trying to connect
o An authentication server — Returns an accept or reject message to the access point
+ A client is authenticated to the network through a series of EAP messages exchanged between the supplicant, authenticator and authentication server.
* 802.20 (mobile wireless broadband) — Unlike the 802.16 task group, the IEEE 802.20 task group has been working specifically on a mobile wireless broadband standard. This group originally included proprietary wireless broadband vendors, such as ArrayComm, Flarion Technologies and IPWireless, which already have commercial deployments. However, because of a lack of any real progress, during 2004 this group suffered defections to 802.16e-2005, and the 802.20 standards effort is not expected to survive. 802.20 aims to provide high-speed wireless connectivity to mobile users even when they are traveling at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
* 802.22 — A developing technology for use in the metropolitan-area network (MAN) and beyond for frequency bands of 900MHz and below (replacing the U.S. analog TV spectrum).
* Access point — See AP.
* ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) — This regulator of broadcasting, radio communications, telecommunications and online content in Australia was formed from two earlier bodies, the Australian Communications Authority and the Australian Broadcasting Authority. See
* AIM (AOL instant messenger) — A free, public instant-message service and one of the earliest. A wide variety of free client software is available, supporting Windows and Macintosh PCs, Palm operating system Pocket PCs and Symbian handheld devices. See also instant messaging.
* AIN (Advanced Intelligent Network) — Introduced by AT&T Network Systems in 1991, this network enables service providers to define, test and introduce new multimedia messaging, personal communications services (PCS) and cell routing.
* AMPS (advanced mobile phone service) — A U.S.-originated analog cellular standard with widespread implementation around the world. AMPS terminals and networks can receive and transmit analog wave signals.
* AMR (adaptive multirate) — a GSM codec that lowers the codec rate in response to interference, affording a greater level of error correction and potentially allowing operators to reduce capital expenditure by reducing the number of cell sites needed to support the user base.
* Analog — An electronic transmission accomplished by adding signals of varying frequency or amplitude to carrier waves of a given frequency. See also 1G.
* ANSI (American National Standards Institute) — ANSI coordinates the development and use of voluntary consensus standards in the U.S. and represents the needs and views of U.S. stakeholders in standardization forums around the globe. ANSI is actively engaged in accrediting programs that assess conformance to standards.
* Antenna — The element from which a radio transmission is radiated and through which transmissions are received.
* AOA (angle of arrival) — a technology for determining the location of a cellular mobile phone. AOA requires a complex and expensive antenna array at each base station to determine the angle from which a cellular signal comes. It works best when detecting voice transmissions. See also LBS.
* AP (access point) — Primarily referred to in relation to WLAN, the pico base station used for bridging wireless transmissions to a wired network.
* ARPU (average revenue per unit) — The average revenue per connection per month.
* Bandwidth — The capacity, frequency width or range of frequencies of a communications channel that can carry a signal without distortion on a transmission medium. It is measured in hertz in analog transmissions and in bits per second (bps) in digital transmissions.
* Basic phone — This is a voice-centric, entry level-mobile device costing up to $100 before subsidy, with basic functionality targeted at emerging markets and first-time users, and often is used for prepaid subscriptions. Examples include: Nokia 1110, 2300, 2600, 2650 and 3310, Sony Ericsson J100 and K200. See also business smartphone, consumer smartphone, cellular PDA and enhanced phone.
* Biometrics — A biometric characteristic, or a biometric trait, is a measurable physiological or behavioral trait of a living person, especially one that can be used to determine or verify the identity of a person in access control or criminal forensics. Most real adoption of biometric technologies during the next five years will come from government applications (for example, immigration, Social Security and surveillance), while corporate adoption will continue to grow slowly until biometric readers (for example, cameras, fingerprint readers and high-quality microphones) are routinely embedded in the hardware, such as notebooks.
* Bluetooth — A low-power, wireless networking technology. There are two classes of Bluetooth device. Class 1 has higher output power and a range of about 100 meters, and Class 2 has lower power and a range of about 10 meters. Bluetooth enables ad hoc networking of up to eight devices (supporting voice and data). The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) was founded in 1998 by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba and is supported by more than 2,500 organizations. The Bluetooth v.1.0 specification was ratified and published in 1999 and supported data rates of up to 1 Mbps. Bluetooth Version 2.1, along with its enhanced data rate (EDR) specification, was ratified in March 2007. It triples v.1.0 performance, bringing it to 3 Mbps, suitable for larger files and streaming media, and simplifies the "pairing" process used for securely linking one Bluetooth device to another. It also reduces power consumption, doubling the battery life of headsets and other mobile devices where the Bluetooth radio is a large percentage of the power budget. Future versions of Bluetooth will incorporate ultrawideband (UWB) to achieve data rates of up to 600 Mbps. See also ZigBee and UWB.
* BOSS (billing and operational support system) — This generic term refers to the key back-office software systems required to run a cellular network. More commonly known as business support system (BSS)/operations support system (OSS) — see BSS and OSS.
* BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) — This application ecosystem was designed by Qualcomm to support application development, provisioning, marketing and billing of handheld wireless data applications, predominantly for consumers.
* BRTI (Badan Regulasi Telekomunikasi Indonesia) — The telecommunications regulator in Indonesia.
* BSC (base station controller) — This is a network element that controls and monitors a number of base stations and provides the interface between the cell sites and the mobile switching center (MSC).
* BSS (base station subsystem) — The base transceiver station (BTS) and BSC parts of the radio access elements of a mobile network
* BTA (basic trading area) — A geographic area designation that was used for the allocation of 800MHz cellular licenses to mobile service providers in the U.S., and determines where they can operate. Each metropolitan trading area (MTA) is made up of several BTAs. There are 493 BTAs and 51 MTAs in the U.S. See also MSA, MTA, RSA.
* BTS (base transceiver station) — A fixed radio transceiver in any mobile network. The BTS connects the mobile terminals to the network. It sends and receives radio signals to the terminals and converts them to digital signals that it passes on the network to route to other terminals in the network or to the Internet.
* Business smartphone — An enterprise and professional consumer ("prosumer")-focused device with an open operating system offering enterprise capabilities, such as wireless e-mail, personal information manager (PIM) synchronization, security and device management features, and at least 64MB of storage (embedded or removable). The device should have a voice-centric form factor (one-handed use should be possible). However, enhanced or QWERTY keyboards may be included to support data input and messaging. Other optional features include a mini Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector, charging from the PC and extensive third-party application/developer support. Examples include the BlackBerry Pearl, HTC MTeoR, Nokia E60 and E70, Palm Treo 750, RIM BlackBerry 7100, and Sony Ericsson P910 and P990. See also basic phone, cellular PDA, consumer smartphone and enhanced phone.
* BWA (broadband wireless access) — A generic term for services based on a wireless broadband MAN, it sometimes is referred to as wireless broadband access (WBA).
* CAI (common air interface) — Technical parameters of control and information signals are passed between a radio transmitter and receiver so that equipment manufactured by different companies can communicate.
* CDMA (code division multiple access) — This spread-spectrum technology standard assigns a pseudo-noise (PN) code to all speech and data bits, sends a scrambled transmission of the encoded speech over the air and reassembles the speech in its original format. By assigning a unique correlating code to each transmitter, several simultaneous conversations can share the same frequency allocation.
* CDMA2000 — The commercial name for the IMT-2000 CDMA Multicarrier (MC-CDMA) standard developed by 3GPP2 standards organization of the ITU. It is an evolving family of cellular networking specifications that offers enhanced voice and data capacity over cdmaOne. The family includes 1xRTT, EV-DO, EV-DO Rev. A, EV-DO Rev. B and EV-DO Rev. C. See also IMT-A.
* CDPD (cellular digital packet data) — Cellular data is transmitted over a cellular network. In early deployments, packet data moved at 19.2 Kbps over ever-changing unused intervals in the voice channels. Modern deployments use dedicated data channels. CDPD is an IP-based network with RC4 encryption that allows cellular networks to offer remote and mobile computing.
* Cell — The area covered by a single fixed BTS in a cellular radio network. It may vary in size from less than 0.5-kilometer radius to more than a 120-kilometer radius, depending on technology, capacity, atmospheric conditions and power.
* Cell site — The entire set of equipment needed to receive and transmit radio signals for cellular voice and data transmission, it typically includes the following equipment: transmitters, receivers, power amplifiers, combiners, filters, a digital signal processor, a power supply and network interface modules.
* Cell-Fi — Cell-Fi devices combine cellular and Wi-Fi capabilities, potentially enabling voice and data users to roam seamlessly across public or private 802.11 wireless networks and public GSM or CDMA cellular networks. Some Cell-Fi handsets are available, but commercial and technical limitations (such as completion of the 802.11r standard) will delay widespread use until 2009. See also 802.11r.
* Cellular PDA — A data-centric mobile device with rich-PDA functionality. Examples include the HTC TyTN, Nokia E61, RIM BlackBerry and T-Mobile MDA. See also basic phone, cellular PDA, consumer smartphone and enhanced phone.
* Cellular radio — This is a method of increasing the number of simultaneous radio conversations that can be supported by a fixed number of radio frequency (RF) channels by limiting the range of transmitters to a single cell, to which a proportion of the available channels is allocated. Adjacent cells are allocated a different set of radio RF channels to avoid interference or the blocking of conversations. Frequencies can be reused in cells at intervals sufficient to avoid interference.
* cHTML (Compact Hypertext Markup Language) — A proprietary microbrowser system, this is designed for use on i-Mode services. See also i-Mode.
* Connection — A cellular account; a cellular subscriber may operate several different cellular accounts, and multiple connections in the form of subscriber identity modules (SIMs) may be associated with one customer or one mobile device.
* Consumer smartphone — This consumer-focused smartphone, with a voice-centric form factor (one-handed use should be possible), is marketed to users primarily as a consumer multimedia device (for example, music, pictures, gaming, browsing and e-mail). This device is closer to an enhanced phone in specification and usage, but because it runs on an open operating system, it is classified as a smartphone. Examples include Nokia 5500, 6680, N73 and N93, Panasonic X700, Samsung SGH-D730 and Sony Ericsson W950. See also basic phone, cellular PDA, consumer smartphone and enhanced phone.
* Contactless card — A chip-based Near-Field Communication (NFC) card based on RFID technologies that uses radio frequencies to transmit data and needs no physical contact to be read by readers or terminals. Contactless cards are waved near the reader to record transactions or to identify the user. Systems are either passive, with the readers generating the frequency, or active, in which case the card activates the reader. Sony's FeliCa chip-card technology (which has been integrated into mobile phones for m-banking and m-commerce in Japan) is an example.
* CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface) — An industry cooperation between Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nortel and Siemens to define an open and published interface between radio equipment control and the radio equipment. Although open and freely available, this interface is not defined by 3GPP and is currently targeting WCDMA.
* CSD (circuit-switched data) — Data transmission over a wireless network using circuit switching rather than packet switching. Once a connection is established, the user is charged for the use of a dedicated circuit.
* DAB (digital audio broadcasting) — DAB transmits digital, rather than the analog audio signals traditionally used in broadcast radio. DAB is broadcast on terrestrial networks, with prospects for satellite broadcasting in the future. Apart from receiving high-quality audio entertainment via the radio, programs can also be accompanied by text, such as lyrics. The DAB-IP variant used by Virgin U.K. can also support video.
* DAS (distributed antenna system) — This system uses passive (nonpowered) or active (powered) networking equipment, such as antennas, fiber optic, coaxial cable and other technologies, to extend RF coverage (any technology) inside a building.
* DCS-1800 — See GSM 1800.
* DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) — A European standard for cordless phone data and voice transmission using the 1.9GHz band and offering up to 144 Kbps. It is typically used for short-range communications.
* Desktop replacement PC — Desktop replacement PCs meet all criteria for notebook PCs but typically weigh 7.5 pounds or more.
* DGT (Directorate General of Telecommunications, Taiwan) — The regulator for telecommunications, broadcast radio and TV in Taiwan, an agency of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. See
* Digital — This signal transmission conveys information through a series of coded pulses representing 1s and 0s (binary code).
* DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting) — DMB is a technology that can transmit digital video to mobile devices. It was developed from the DAB standard, which has established itself as the best terrestrial radio system for delivering CD-quality, digital stereo sound in fixed, portable and mobile reception conditions.
* DoJa (DoCoMo Java) — The DoJa profile is the NTT DoCoMo Java environment specification for i-mode mobile phones, used mainly for i-mode games.
* Dual mode — This is a mobile device that functions on two different bearer technologies, such as GSM and WCDMA, or 1x and WCDMA. In early 3G deployments in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, most 3G phones are both dual-mode and tri-band to allow users to roam onto 2G networks when they are outside the 3G coverage area. See also tri-band.
* Dual-band — This mobile device supports voice and data communications conforming to one bearer technology, such as GSM, but on two different sets of frequencies. For example, to support additional mobile network operators or to provide additional capacity and coverage, many European and Asia/Pacific countries/markets have licensed deployment of GSM networks on both 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums. A dual-band GSM phone allows the user to roam automatically across networks on either frequency. Most GSM phones sold in these countries are dual-band. A tri-band phone is required to roam between operators in the Asia/Pacific region, Europe and North America, because GSM has been deployed in 1,900MHz spectrum in North America. See also tri-band.
* Dual-band network — This cellular radio system operates in two different frequency bands in which network elements conform to an identical network architecture and radio interface.
* Duplex channel — A two-way radio communications channel.
* DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) — DVB-H is a technology standard for systems that transmit digital multimedia data to mobile devices in the form of Internet Protocol (IP) datagrams. It is a development from the Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T) standard, which was intended mainly for portable and stationary reception using rooftop antennas.
* DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial) — DVB-T is the technology used in Europe to transmit digital television. DVB-T systems have been launched in Finland, Germany, Italy and the U.K. See also DVB-H.
* E-cash (electronic cash) — The term describes currency that can be loaded onto smart cards, PCs, remote servers or handheld devices and then used to purchase goods and services. It is typically used for low-value purchases and allows anonymous purchasing. Such smart cards may be referred to as stored value cards.
* E-coupon (electronic coupon) — This describes applications that enable an electronic version of a coupon to be sent to a consumer's handheld device or mobile phone. Users can then carry the e-coupon in their devices for use at an online store or a traditional business. The coupon may be presented on the device screen as a bar code that can be read by conventional bar-code readers.
* E-purse (electronic purse) — This describes applications that allow value (for example, e-cash) to be loaded into a smart card or handheld device, which can then be used to make purchases. A device or card can hold multiple e-purse applications designed for specific uses (for example, an e-purse on a student card or device could be restricted to purchases at a bookstore).
* E-wallet (electronic wallet) — Residing on either a device or a server, this software application stores personal information (for example, passwords and shipping addresses), digital certificates and information for a variety of payment instruments (for example, credit cards or e-cash) used for e-commerce transactions. The information can be automatically applied to payment and other Web transactions.
* E1 — This European equivalent to T1 is a common-carrier-provided, point-to-point digital line service used in private data networks and cellular, Wi-Fi and fixed network backhaul. An E1 delivers 2.048-Mbps capacity, which can be split into multiple 64-Kbps channels and is typically charged by distance. See also T1, T3.
* e112 (Enhanced 112) — Name given by an European Union (EU) recommendation (2003/558/EC) to enhanced location services for communications networks so that emergency calls provide the caller's location. This applies to both fixed and mobile networks. The EU's recommendation, published in 2003, suggests that member states use their best efforts to provide reliable location information. See also e911.
* e911 (Enhanced 911) — U.S. emergency response service that provides automatic number identification and location information to the operator answering an emergency "911" call placed from a mobile phone. Emergency services numbers vary widely around the world — for example, 211 from GSM mobile networks in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, 999 from fixed lines in the U.K., and 000 (colloquially "triple-oh") from fixed lines in Australia. See also e112.
* EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) — An extensible framework and transport for other network access authentication protocols. The original dial-up Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) provided only basic security by using Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP). EAP was added to support more sophisticated authentication, particularly on wireless networks. See also LEAP.
* EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) — Part of the 3GPP set of standards and based on GSM and shared media packet data, EDGE uses a different and more-efficient modulation scheme: the eight-phase shift key (8-PSK) rather than the Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) modulation scheme used over the radio interface by GSM and GPRS. This enhanced modulation technique opens up more bandwidth per radio carrier or cell. EDGE supports peak data rates of up to 384 Kbps per cell, assuming that all eight radio channels (time slots) are used and that one of the time slots is not reserved for signaling. As with GPRS, the bandwidth is shared by all concurrent users operating within the same cell. EDGE requires higher radio signal quality than that found in an average GSM network before higher data throughput speeds can be reached. EDGE also provides enhanced GRPS capabilities for data using 8-PSK, and when fully integrated with adaptive multirate (AMR), EDGE 2 also provides superior voice capacity to the GSM network.
* EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service) — This standard uses some of the features defined in the Short Message Service (SMS) specification to enhance the user experience when sending messages. A thin client is added to the mobile phone and by using standard SMS parameter fields, such as the user data header, binary-encoded and concatenated messages can be sent that display enriched content, such as italicized, emboldened or underlined text, pre-defined sounds, monophonic tunes and static or animated images.
* Enhanced phone — A voice-centric mobile terminal with enhanced features, such as camera, MP3 player, video player, Java support, and calendar and contact synchronization. These devices support data services, such as Web browsing and multimedia messaging. Examples are the Motorola V600, Nokia 6230, and SonyEricsson S700. See also basic phone, cellular PDA, consumer smartphone and enhanced phone.
* EOTD (enhanced observed time difference) — measures the time differences of arrival of the signal from three base stations and can be implemented without changing the network. Response time is approximately five seconds. See also LBS.
* EPOC 32 — A mobile device operating system originally developed by Psion, which was acquired by Symbian, and subsequently renamed the Symbian OS. See also Symbian.
* Erlang — A unit of telecommunications traffic measurement describing the total volume of traffic over one hour. Cellular system capacity depends on the number of channels available for voice and data, the amount of traffic users generate and the grade of service offered to each user. Telecommunications engineers use Erlang traffic formulas to understand traffic patterns and design networks with sufficient capacity to avoid excessive blocked calls. Variations or the formulas are used for call-center capacity planning. The unit is named after Danish telecommunications pioneer A.K. Erlang, who first described the traffic volume formula in 1909.
* ESMR (enhanced specialized mobile radio) — A wireless communications method that uses a network of transmitters and receivers to transmit voice and data within the network and among wireless and wireline users. Operating frequencies range between 300MHz and 3GHz, with normal operation in the 800MHz and 900MHz frequency band. ESMR delivers a service level that is very close to cellular service but often offers enhancements such as push-to-talk (PTT) and calling-party services. Examples of ESMR networks are Ericsson's Enhanced Digital Access Communications System and Motorola's Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network (iDEN).
* ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) — The mission of this not-for-profit enterprise is to produce the telecommunications standards used throughout Europe. Some standards developed by the ETSI may be adopted by the European Commission as the technical base for directives or regulations. ETSI's main task is to remove any possible variation from a global standard and to focus on a defined, European-specific set of requirements. ETSI also ensures interoperability between standards, such as Integrated Services Digital Network, GSM and UMTS.
* EUDCH (Enhanced Uplink Dedicated Channel) — Part of the 3GPP R.6 enhancements to the WCDMA standard, EUDCH aims to provide data upload speeds up to 5.8 Mbps, reduced latency and 2x capacity increase by adding additional dedicated transport and control channels. It is not expected to be commercially available until at least 2009.
* EV-DO (CDMA2000 1x Evolution-Data Optimized) — Also known as 1xEV-DO Rev. 0, this 3G evolution of the CDMA2000 1xRTT adds additional voice capacity and peak data downlink rates of up to 2.4 Mbps (400 Kbps to 700 Kbps in practice). EV-DO is backward-compatible with cdmaOne and 1xRTT services, and many CDMA operators are upgrading to EV-DO in metropolitan areas.
* EV-DO Rev. A — The successor of the EV-DO Rev. 0 standard (which became commercially available during 2006) aims to increase peak data downlink speed to 3.1 Mbps, peak upload speed to 1.8 Mbps, reduce latency and add QOS — features that make possible IP-based services, such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), PTT and video telephony.
* EV-DO Rev. B — An evolution of the EV-DO standard (which may be commercially available by 2008) that aims to further increase data throughput and further reduce latency. Sometimes known as DO Multicarrier or NxDO, Rev. B introduces a 64-bit Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) scheme and allows more flexible use of up to 20MHz of spectrum, with aggregation of up to 15 1.25MHz channels. Using all 15 channels supports data downlink speeds of up to 73.5 Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 27 Mbps. However, this increase comes at the expense of extra spectrum requirements, probably in the ITU-reserved "extension bands" at 2.5GHz.
* EV-DO Rev. C — Now known officially as ultra-mobile broadband (UMB), Rev. C is a proposed future version of the CDMA2000 1xEV-DO standard, which may be ratified by the end of 2007 and commercially available during 2009. See also UMB.
* EV-DV (CDMA2000 Evolution-Data and Voice) — Qualcomm and Samsung (which had built a trial network in South Korea) have now officially abandoned further work on EV-DV. It was intended to further improve voice capacity by aggregating multiple carriers, but this effort has been superseded by Rev. B of EV-DO.
* FCC (Federal Communications Commission) — The communications regulator in the U.S. See
* FDD (frequency division duplex) — FDD is a radio modulation scheme that defines separate uplink and downlink frequencies, allowing users to transmit and receive simultaneously.
* FeliCa — A contactless (NFC) IC card technology developed by Sony that enables users to read and write data by placing the card in close proximity to a card reader. The technology has been widely adopted by railway companies in Japan and elsewhere in the Asia/Pacific region for train ticket payment and generic e-commerce. Mobile handsets with an embedded FeliCa card are widely available in Japan and these are called "Osaifu Keitai" (literally "wallet mobile phone"). See also Osaifu Ketai.
* Femtocells — Like picocells, femtocells are even smaller cellular base stations designed for use in residential or corporate environments that connect to the customer's broadband connection using an IP link. Advantages include lower cost than existing microcellular technology, physically smaller units and greater network efficiency.
* FHMA (frequency-hopping multiple access) — FHMA is a spread-spectrum transmission technology that allows simultaneous data or voice communications to share the same communications medium by causing transmitting and receiving stations to change the frequency rapidly in a pseudo-random sequence among many discrete radio channels. Transceivers are synchronized using a hopping sequence calculated from a pre-defined algorithm. This sequence can be dynamically adjusted to avoid other transmissions or interference in the same frequency band.
* First generation (1G or analog) — The first generation of wireless networks based on analog frequency division multiple access technologies. Many of these systems were individually tailored, country-specific solutions, including technologies such as advanced mobile phone service (AMPS), Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) and total access communications system (TACS). Although these were the first generation of mobile telephony, they are actually never referred to as "1G."
* FOMA (Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access) — NTT DoCoMo's WCDMA cellular service, launched in October 2001, was only the second deployment of its kind in the world — the first being the network of Manx Telecom on the Isle of Man.
* Frequency band — A range of frequencies defined and dedicated to a particular type of service or radio technology, a frequency band is usually divided into a number of channels.
* Fuel cells — Technology for low-cost miniature battery power supplies. Like batteries, fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction. But fuel cells are recharged by refilling or replacing the chemicals (examples include hydrogen, methyl alcohol or aluminum mixed with oxygen from the air) instead of plugging a charger into a wall-socket. They deliver energy density many times that of lithium and can power sophisticated devices longer. However, choosing a stable fuel source that is safe and readily available, and decreasing the size for smaller devices while maintaining efficiency remains a challenge.
* Galileo — A new GPSS (Global Positioning Satellite System) of 30 low-earth orbit satellites, backed by the European Commission and European Space Agency and planned for commercial operation in 2008. It will complement and may ultimately supersede the older GPSS system used by the U.S. government (and most commercial GPS equipment). See also GPS, LBS.
* Gateway (transcoding) — A server designed to transform data streams to better match device capabilities. For example, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) gateway servers convert HTML to Wireless Markup Language (WML) for wireless devices, and a number of products can reformat HTML for devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. Today, HTML-based servers predominate. HTML can be made aware of a unique device requesting content; however, more often, "shadow" Web server applications are created to draw off and reformat native content.
* Geofencing — Creating a virtual boundary in which a device or individual can be tracked and monitored or detected if the boundary is violated, the technology has been used for a paid pet-tracking and child-tracking service in Japan and for Alzheimer's patients in North America.
* GGSN (Gateway GPRS support node) — Provides a gateway between the GPRS mobile network and packet-based public data networks, such as the Internet. It also screens and maps addresses while supporting a number of serving GPRS support nodes (SGSNs).
* GPRS (general packet radio service) — An ETSI GSM Phase 2+ specification for data-over-packet radio access, the radio interface supports shared-media packet access, as opposed to GSM's dedicated-channel dial access. GPRS is built on top of established GSM network infrastructure and requires new network elements to link the core mobile network to the public packet network (see SGSN and GGSN); the base station transceiver cards need to be upgraded to support GPRS, and packet control units (PCUs) must be installed into the radio access network. Typical data rates available to GPRS users in 2006 range between 20 Kbps and 50 Kbps. GPRS forces operators to continually trade off radio resources for voice against data because they cannot be simultaneously operated over a single channel.
* GPS (Global Positioning System) — A technology for assessing the location of any compatible receiver unit, using satellites to provide 24-hour positioning information regardless of the weather. GPS works on the principle of triangulation — by knowing its distance from three or more satellites, the receiver can calculate its position. Accuracy varies but can be as accurate as three meters. Although the technology is most commonly known as Global Positioning System, the satellite constellation used by the U.S. government (and most commercial GPS equipment) is known as the GPSS (Global Positioning Satellite System). The GPSS system will be complemented and possibly superseded by the Galileo System of 30 satellites, backed by the European Commission and European Space Agency and planned for commercial operation in 2008. Russia operates an equivalent GPSS known as Glonass. See also LBS.
* Gray market — This term describes the import and sale of mobile terminals outside regular commercial channels as defined by the original manufacturer or the relevant government, creating a parallel market to authorized distribution channels.
* GRX (GPRS Roaming eXchange) — A standard defined by the GSM Association that allows customers to access GPRS data services while roaming away from their home network.
* GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) — A digital, cellular-phone system standard that originated in Europe, it is deployed in more than 170 countries worldwide and uses a TDMA radio propagation scheme. In Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, GSM has been deployed at 900MHz and 1,800MHz, with 1,900MHz most common in North America. (See GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900.) Multifrequency handsets are available that support international roaming between these standards (see dual-band and tri-band).
* GSM 1800 — A GSM system operating in the 1,800MHz frequency band. The standard was previously referred to as DCS-1800.
* GSM 1900 — A GSM system operating in the 1,900MHz frequency band. This variant of GSM technology is widely deployed in North America. GSM 800, a GSM variant for 800MHz frequencies, has also been deployed but not widely.
* GSM 900 — A GSM system operating in the 900MHz frequency band. In many GSM 900 countries, GSM 1800 has also been deployed to support additional operators or additional capacity. Therefore, most handsets in these countries are dual-band.
* GSM Anywhere — An initiative supported by ETSI to provide GSM network functionality using frequencies outside 900MHz, 1,800MHz and 1,900MHz frequency allocations. An example is the reuse of analog cellular phone frequencies in the 450MHz band in Scandinavian countries.
* Handoff — The process of transferring a mobile telephone call from one cell to another without dropping the call. Cellular users may traverse several cells during a conversation, sometimes requiring high-speed handoff in a moving vehicle. Soft handoff entails establishing a second radio link with the terminal before the first link is severed.
* HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language) — A device- and network-independent language developed by Openwave for Web programming on a handheld device with limited memory and display, such as a cellular phone or PDA.
* HLR (home location register) — HLR is a database in a wireless network containing customer data, including service entitlements and call-routing information. In combination with the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), it provides the network mechanism for cell-to-cell handover of calls and local and international roaming.
* Hot spot — An area, often public, such as an airport, coffee shop or convention center, that is covered with a WLAN service. This service is available for the public to use for a nominal charge, free or as a premium service.
* HSCSD (high-speed circuit-switched data) — An obsolete GSM circuit-switched data connection technology superseded by EDGE and HSDPA.
* HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) — An enhancement to the UMTS terrestrial radio access network (UTRAN) to increase the downlink data rate to more than 10 Mbps, HSDPA has been defined by 3GPP as part of release 5, building on the core network all IP migrations included in release 4. HSDPA is being implemented in phases, with theoretical maximum downlink rates of 3.6 Mbps, 7.2 Mbps and 14.4 Mbps. See also HSPA.
* HSPA (high-speed packet access) — A term referring to the combination of HSDPA and HSUPA to improve the downlink and uplink speeds for WCDMA. See also HSDPA,HSUPA, WCDMA.
* HSUPA (high-speed uplink packet access) — Improves upstream data bit rate on the 3G systems in coordination with HSDPA, the objective being to support symmetrical up and down data rates, so that 3G can support applications such as videoconferencing. Many of the same techniques used in HSDPA will be used for HSUPA, including adaptive modulation, along with hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ). Originally, WCDMA used only QPSK modulation; however, under HSUPA, 16-QAM may be used, which can carry a higher data rate but is less resilient to noise. See also HSPA.
* HUD (heads-up display) — HUD uses optics mounted near the eye (on eyeglasses or a headset) to project the screen image. Although the physical display is small, the user has the illusion of watching a larger screen several feet away from the eye. This can be delivered as a display that blocks the user's vision or one that superimposes the computer image over the user's view of the real world (a simulacrum).
* i-Mode — The brand name of NTT DoCoMo's flagship mobile Internet product. It was launched in February 1999, using a 9.6-Kbps packet overlay network on the PDC infrastructure and a compact HTML (cHTML) microbrowser in the terminals. In 2002, it was upgraded to support data rates of up to 28.8 Kbps. Its success is largely the result of the huge quantity and variety of content — itself a result of the ease of creation of cHTML and a business model that rewards independent content creators with up to 91% of the revenue stream. An international licensing program has seen it deployed by mobile network operators in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region on CDMA and GSM bearer networks.
* iChat — Apple's Macintosh OS client for AIM.
* iDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore) — A statutory board of the Singapore government, operating under the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts (MICA). The iDA is a single agency for integrated planning, policy formulation, regulation and industry development of the IT and telecommunications sectors in Singapore. See
* iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) — A wireless technology developed by Motorola that combines the capabilities of a digital cellular telephone, two-way radio, alphanumeric pager and data/fax modem. iDEN can be operated in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1.5GHz bands and is based on TDMA and GSM architecture. Its main differentiating feature is the built-in PTT function, such as is offered by Nextel. It is also sometimes defined as Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network — see also EMSR.
* IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) — A nonprofit professional association of scientists and engineers founded in 1963 with more than 365,000 members in 150 countries, it is best known for setting global standards for computing and communications. It currently oversees about 900 active IEEE standards and has 400 more in development. See
* IM (instant messaging) — Internet-based, person-to-person text messaging and collaboration systems that may operate peer to peer or by public or private relay servers. Some examples also support videoconferencing, and VoIP. Typically, client software for one service cannot access any of the others, although several multiservice clients, such as Trillian, are available. See also AIM, iChat, Lotus Sametime, MSN IM, Skype, Windows Messenger.
* IMEI (international mobile equipment identifier) — A unique identity number assigned to a cellular terminal that can be recognized and blocked by the network to which it is connected. Useful for fraud prevention and to bar access to someone using a stolen phone. See also IMSI.
* IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) — A next-generation, application delivery architecture. Within the IMS architecture, applications can be created, controlled and changed, regardless of the kind of network or platform on which they run. IMS promises to bring flexibility, operational effectiveness, openness and standardization to the delivery of applications across fixed and mobile networks. It specifies a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based control layer, with open interfaces, to the transport and services layers above and has a centralized end-user profile depository. IMS promises improved interoperability between networks and offers carriers control over applications on a per-session basis, for increased flexibility. There are three logical elements within the IMS architecture:
o The session control layer
o The interworking, or gateway, layer
o The application layer

For more information see "Introduction to IP Multimedia Subsystem Architecture."

* IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) — Is a unique number of up to 15 digits assigned to each GSM connection, containing country code, network operator code and terminal number. See also IMEI and HLR.
* IMT-2000 (International Mobile Telecommunications-2000) — The ITU's name for a family of 3G cellular standards. It is aimed at providing a standard framework for worldwide wireless access that links the diverse system of terrestrial- and satellite-based networks.
* IMT-A (International Mobile Telephony Advanced) — In December 2005, IMT-A became the ITU's official term for 4G mobile telephony. ITU currently defines the objectives of IMT-A as providing throughout of up to 100 Mbps for a moving terminal and 1 Gbps for a static terminal. See also 4G and LTE.
* IN (intelligent network) — An architecture standardization effort involving ETSI, the ITU and ANSI. It originated from Ameritech's Feature Node/Service Interface concept of the late 1980s. The basic idea is to have a "dumb" switch controlled by a computer for which new applications or services can be created.
* Internet telephony — A term used to describe packetized IP voice traffic sent over the Internet (as distinct from a private or managed IP telecommunications infrastructure). When used to enable Internet telephony from a PC, it requires client software on the PC such as Skype, plus a broadband connection with minimal latency. See also IP telephony, VoIP.
* IP datacasting — IP datacasting uses DVB-H technology to transmit digital multimedia data to mobile devices in the form of IP datagrams. Content can be optimized for mobile handsets by adapting it to their small screens.
* IP telephony — The term used for LAN-attached telephony systems and the associated telephone handsets (that is, the IP version of the PBX). More specifically, IP telephony involves the delivery of the telephony application (for example, call setup and teardown, and telephony features) over IP, instead of using circuit-switched or other modalities. IP telephony is not the same as VoIP or Internet telephony, although the terms are commonly (and erroneously) used interchangeably. See also Internet telephony and VoIP.
* iPhone — A forthcoming Apple device that combines an iPod music player, mobile phone and Internet capability in a handheld unit with a touchscreen interface. It is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2007.
* IrDA (Infrared Data Association) — This association maintains a standard for infrared data transmission (up to 4 Mbps). Because this technology's cost is extremely low, it is now embedded in many consumer electronic devices (for example, laptop computers and handheld devices, such as PDAs and cellular phones).
* IS (Interim Standard) — An ANSI designation usually followed by a number that refers to an accepted industry protocol.
* IS-136 — Also known as digital AMPS (D-AMPS) the second-generation of the TDMA technology standard evolved from IS-54, mainly deployed in the U.S.
* IS-41 — The network standard that allows all switches to exchange information about subscribers in the U.S.
* IS-54 — The first generation of the digital TDMA technology standard in the U.S.
* IS-95 — Also known as cdmaOne. See CDMA and cdmaOne.
* ITU (International Telecommunication Union) — An agency of the United Nations, headquartered in Geneva. The ITU is the body through which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecommunications networks and services.
* J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition) — A cut-down version of Java defined by Sun Microsystems for use in mobile terminal devices, such as mobile phones. J2ME is part of a set of related Java technologies that includes definitions of profiles and configurations.
* Latency — A measure of the responsiveness of a network, often expressed as the round-trip time (in milliseconds), that is the time between initiating a network request and receiving a response. High latency tends to have more impact on the end-user experience than on bandwidth in interactive applications, such as Web browsing. Low latency is required for many next-generation IP applications, such as VoIP, video telephony and PTT. See also RTT.
* LBS (location-based services) — Services based on the location of a mobile user as determined by using network and/or terminal-based technology. Technologies supporting this include cell of origin (also known as Cell ID), angle of arrival (AOA), time of arrival (TOA), extended observed time difference (EOTD) and GPS or assisted GPS. GPS can be used without any network modification but requires handsets to support GPS. Location data can be used for a variety of services to mobile-device users, including advertisements, billing, information, tracking and safety. See also e-911, GPS.
* LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol) — A de facto standard developed by Cisco comprising a pre-standard roaming authentication protocol for 802.1x and pre-standard encryption algorithm. LEAP is used in Cisco's proprietary enhancements to 802.11 LAN security. See also LEAP and 802.1x.
* LEP (Light-Emitting Polymer) — Technology patented by Cambridge Display Technology of the U.K. It is based on the ability of certain plastics to glow when charged with an electric current. Still in the early stages of development, the technology has the long-term potential to enable the development of flexible displays that could be rolled up and placed in a jacket pocket.
* LMDS (local multipoint distribution service) — A microwave-based, wireless technology that operates at around 28GHz. In the U.S. and other countries, it is used for fixed high-speed data, Internet access, and advanced telephone and entertainment services in metropolitan areas.
* Location-based services — See LBS.
* Lotus Sametime — An enterprise IM service operating via Lotus Domino servers.
* LTE (UTRAN long-term evolution) — A 3GPP project to define the requirements and basic framework for the WCDMA mobile radio access network beyond 3G, also known as release 8, probably the last step before 4G. The core specifications for release 8 are to be completed by mid-2007, with deployments toward the end of the decade. LTE includes objectives such as 100-Mbps download and 50-Mbps upload peak data rates in 20MHz of spectrum, full mobility to speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour, support for 3G network overlay and handovers between 3G and LTE. It will likely use MIMO, OFDMA and SC-FDMA in the link layers. Notably, it will not use CDMA for the radio layer, and there is a major operator-driven effort under way by ETSI to cap the IP royalties for LTE at a maximum of 5% of the cost of the equipment. See also MIMO, OFDMA, SAE and UTRAN.
* Lu — An interface connecting the Radio Network Controller (RNC) with an MSC or SGSN in a 3G network
* Lub — Interface connecting the RNC with Node B
* M-business (mobile business) — New business models enabled by the extensive deployment of key mobile and wireless technologies and devices (for example, Bluetooth, e-purses, GPRS, smartphones, UMTS and WAP) and by the inherent mobility of most people's work styles and lifestyles. The value proposition of m-business is that the user can benefit from information or services at any time or in any place.
* M-commerce (mobile commerce) — The delivery of e-commerce capabilities directly to mobile service users by wireless technology
* M-payment (mobile payment) — Payments initiated or completed through wireless devices. Many carriers are targeting the underdeveloped micropayments (less than $10) market for digital content and physical goods as a point of entry into retail payments.
* M2M (machine-to-machine) — Refers to the connection of two or more devices over a cellular network, in which a human does not control at least one side of the connection. This includes in-car navigation systems, remote-monitoring and control equipment, alarms and inventory management systems.
* MAG (Multichannel Access Gateway) — A MAG is server-based middleware that interfaces between a broad set of client-access devices and channels and the enterprise's established application infrastructure, with an architecture that hides the complexities and intricacies of these devices and channels from the application developer. MAG is an evolution of WAG but supports a broader range of channels, including fixed and wireless. See also WAG.
* Mainstream PC — Mainstream PCs meet all criteria for notebook PCs but typically weigh between 4 pounds and 7.4 pounds.
* MAN (metropolitan-area network) — A WAN technology deployed primarily in a city or region.
* Manufacturer — A producer of branded or unbranded finished products. A manufacturer could be a contract manufacturer, OEM or both.
* MAP (Mobile Application Part) — A protocol in GSM networks for communication between network elements.
* MB-OFDM (multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) — A UWB-bearer technology promoted by WiMedia Alliance and chosen by Bluetooth SIG for integration with current Bluetooth wireless technology. It will offer data throughputs of 480 Mbps and will work with applications designed to use wired standards, such as IEEE 1394 (Firewire) and USB. WiMedia devices will be capable of falling back to EDR or standard Bluetooth protocols to offer backward compatibility with the large number of Bluetooth devices already on the market. See also UWB.
* MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) — Part of the 3GPP r.6 enhancements to the WCDMA standard, it supports point-to-multipoint broadcast of mobile TV services to handheld terminals over cellular networks. It is not expected to be commercially available until at least 2009.
* MC-CDMA (multicarrier-code division multiple access) — The underlying standard for the CDMA2000 family developed by 3GPP2 standards organization of the ITU. See also CDMA2000.
* MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) — The regulator for the converging communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia. See
* MediaFLO (media forward link only) — An OFDM-based mobile TV and datacasting technology developed by Qualcomm for multicasting media content to mobile devices. With initial deployments in the U.S. in the 700MHz band by Verizon and prospectively by AT&T Wireless, MediaFLO is an alternative to other mobile TV candidate technologies, including DMB, DVB-H and MBMS.
* MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) — MEMS combine electrical and mechanical sensors on the same chip and typically convert physical movement into electrical signals (such as an accelerometer in a car air bag).
* Mesh network — A mesh network has no centralized access points but uses the wireless nodes themselves to create a virtual wireless backbone. Mesh network nodes will typically establish network links with neighboring nodes, enabling users to send traffic through the network by hopping between nodes. Mesh networks are self-healing, self-organizing and somewhat scalable, with additional capacity supplied by adding incremental nodes. See also Wi-Fi mesh.
* Messaging — An alphanumeric or graphic one-way or two-way service that sends, receives and displays messages on a mobile terminal device.
* Metrication — Building metrics or measurement tools into applications to monitor what is happening in the network or local environment where the application is operating.
* MIC (Ministry of Information and Communications) — The communications and IT regulator in the Republic of South Korea. See
* Microbrowser — A microbrowser differs from a standard browser in storage size and scaled-down functionality. Microbrowsers perform the client-side functions required to render Web content to a particular device. They share responsibility with back-end servers for this task in a manner similar to the methods described in Gartner's "Five Styles of Client/Server" model — for example, the presentation layer is controlled at the server level, at the client level or as a hybrid. Examples include Mobile Explorer, OpenWave and Opera.
* MII (Ministry of Information Industry) — The communications and IT regulator in the Peoples Republic of China. See
* MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) — A multiantenna wireless technology suitable for base stations and terminals that can increase throughput, system capacity and spectral efficiency, reduce fading, and improve resistance to interference. It is already being used in pre-standard 802.11n WLAN equipment and is likely to be adopted in WiMAX and future cellular standards.
* Minutes of use (MOUs) — A measurement (usually monthly) of a wireless user's total connection time.
* MMDS (Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service) — A fixed wireless technology, sometimes referred to as wireless cable TV or wireless generic DSL (xDSL). MMDS operates between 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz and is used for broadcasting, personal communications and interactive media services in metropolitan areas.
* MML (Multimedia Markup Language) — MML is a microbrowser developed for the J-Phone (now Vodafone KK) mobile data service, similar to DoCoMo's proprietary cHTML browser.
* MMS (multimedia messaging service) — A 3GPP mobile messaging standard that supports picture messaging, sound, graphics and voice. Unlike EMS, MMS does not draw on established messaging technology (such as SMS). Instead, it requires network operators to deploy new infrastructure, including a multimedia messaging service center. It uses a wireless data bearer to deliver messages and requires new functionality in mobile terminals. The MMS standard is defined jointly by the 3GPP (TS 23.140) and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), incorporating the Wireless Application Protocol Forum. MMS supports many new features that cannot be delivered using established mobile messaging standards.
* Mobile Centrex — A network-based service using wireless mobile phones that enables traditional, PBX-style calling features. Mobile Centrex can be provided in several forms: IP PBX with cellular or Wi-Fi dual-mode handsets, private base stations with cellular single-mode handsets, or mobile virtual private networks (VPNs).
* Mobile DRM (digital rights management) — A technology that allows the secure distribution, promotion and sale of digital content for mobile devices. The OMA sees mobile DRM as an enabler of controlled consumption of digital content, allowing content providers to specify usage rights on such content. Usage rights include, among other things, the ability to enable content to be previewed and the ability to prevent illegal copying and redistribution.
* Mobile Explorer — Microsoft's microbrowser for Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs. See also microbrowser.
* Mobile fax — This is a facility that allows facsimile reception and transmission over a cellular network.
* Mobile middleware — Middleware is the software layer that helps programs and databases on different computers work together. Mobile middleware allows the implementation of distributed applications connecting mobile and enterprise applications over wireless networks. Many products that are 100% wireless were created to fill in the missing functionality of, and are now merging into prevalent application, integration and middleware products (for example, application servers). As vendors of traditional middleware try to offer comprehensive wireless solutions, they will either build internally or will partner with (or buy) specialized wireless vendors.
* Mobile network — A cellular telecommunications system comprising MSCs, antenna cell sites and radio base stations.
* Mobile network operator (MNO) — A company that owns and operates one or more mobile networks.
* Mobile PC — Mobile PCs are computers designed to move easily with the user. Gartner segments mobile PCs into desktop replacement, mainstream, ultraportable, tablet or other mobile configuration. Mobile PC has replaced the term "notebook PC" in Gartner research, because that older term did not include tablet PCs.
* Mobile portal — A mobile Internet gateway that allows mobile devices to connect remotely with an enterprise intranet or extranet, typically via a Web browser interface. Consumer-oriented mobile portals provide access to mobile services and content using channels such as SMS, a microbrowser such as WAP, i-mode and voice. Consumer mobile portals aggregate content from many sources and may offer personalized services and content to mobile users — for example, unified messaging, news, search facilities, directories and m-commerce transactions.
* Mobile terminal — Mobile terminals include any mobile device capable of connecting to a wireless network, such as voice- or data-centric devices. See also basic phone, cellular PDA, consumer smartphone and enhanced phone.
* Mobile TV — Refers to any linear, continuous content that is streamed or broadcast over a network to mobile phones. This is often referred to as "live" or "real-time" TV.
* Mobile Web 2.0 — The use of existing Web-based content stored in more accessible formats for mobile devices, like xHTML, that is accessed natively through a mobile browser. Advanced mobile browsers will incorporate both Internet and mobile-network-based data to combine services, like location technology and search, for example, to provide location-specific information.
* Mobile WLL (mobile wireless local loop) — Wireless access solutions deployed using standardized cellular or low-mobility infrastructure and terminals. This primarily includes technologies such as cdmaOne (IS-95A and B), CDMA2000 1xRTT, Personal HandyPhone System (PHS) and Personal Access Communication Services (PACS). For commercial or regulatory reasons, mobile WLLs are not operated as full mobility cellular services, even though the networks may be technically capable of supporting such services. Personal Access System (PAS) is a trademark of UTStarcom for its portfolio of mobile wireless local-loop products based on the PHS standard.
* Mobisode — Audio (or audio and video) content specifically designed for playback on mobile audio/video players, such as Apple's iPod, and on MPEG-enabled mobile phones. Mobisodes are an example of "sticky" content — and are similar in concept to the radio serials of the 1940s and 1950s. These consist of compelling. short daily or weekly episodes that encourage subscribers to keep coming back for the next edition. See also Podcast.
* MOM (message-oriented middleware) — A model that programs the delivery of a message or a reply that must be deferred. MOM differs from other forms of program-to-program middleware, such as remote procedure calls and conversational services, because MOM communication is connectionless, in that sending and receiving programs do not interact directly. A program sends the message to the MOM, which then takes responsibility for delivering it to the proper receivers.
* MOUs — See minutes of use.
* MP3 (MPEG Level 3) — A format for audio compression that offers significant compression while retaining excellent audio quality. It can compress standard audio by approximately 12 to 1. Standard audio, as recorded on a compact disc, is 44.1KHz, 16-bit, two-channel audio. The uncompressed audio results in a transfer rate of 176 Kbps and requires up to 740MB for a 74-minute CD. Files compressed with MP3 can be transmitted over the Internet even when using a low-bandwidth connection, such as a 56-Kbps modem. The size of an MP3 file can vary, depending on the amount of compression employed in converting the wave file to an MP3 file. A 128-Kbps sampling rate results in an MP3 file that is approximately 1MB per minute of music. This sampling rate results in an MP3 recording that is almost indistinguishable from CD-quality audio. Dropping the sampling rate to 80 Kbps or 64 Kbps results in a recording that is still of reasonable quality but not approaching that of the CD. The compression achieved with MP3 makes it possible to distribute high-quality audio via the Internet.
* MSA (metropolitan service area or metropolitan statistical area) — A geographic area designation that was used for the allocation of 1,900MHz cellular licenses to mobile service providers in the U.S. and that determines where they can operate. An MSA is an urban area with at least 50,000 people, or a nonurban area with at least 100,000 people. There are 306 MSAs and 428 rural service areas (RSAs) in the U.S. There is considerable overlap with the older BTA and MTA designations. See also BTA, MTA and RSA.
* MSC (mobile switching center) — A stand-alone switch with lines and trunks supporting wireless telephony services. It covers core-switching functionalities and does not include off-switch subscriber information platforms, such as HLRs and visitor location registers (VLRs).
* MSN IM (Microsoft Instant Messaging) — A free, public IM service.
* MTA (metropolitan trading area) — A geographic area designation that was used for the allocation of 800MHz cellular licenses to mobile service providers in the U.S. and that determines where they can operate. Each MTA is made up of several BTAs. There are 493 BTAs and 51 MTAs in the U.S. See also BTA, MSA and RSA.
* MUD (multiuser detection) — Multiuser detection is a technique employed in cellular networks to reduce interference and to enhance capacity and cell coverage.
* Multiband terminal — A mobile device that can function on different (multiple) frequency bands, such as a dual-band GSM 900MHz terminal, which also operates in the 1,800MHz frequency band. See also dual-band, dual-mode and tri-band.
* Multimode terminal — A mobile device that functions on several different radio systems. Multimode terminals may support wide-area wireless broadband connections, such as WLAN, as well as multiple cellular networks. See also dual-mode.
* MVNE (mobile virtual network enabler) — An MVNE does not have a relationship with customers but instead provides network infrastructure and related services, such as provisioning, administration and OSS/BSS, to enable an MVNO to offer services to their own customers. In the U.S., Visage is an example of an MVNE.
* MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) — A company that does not own a mobile spectrum license but sells mobile services under its own brand name using the network of a licensed mobile operator. Virgin Mobile is one example of an MVNO. The term is applied to a variety of arrangements with a mobile network operator. At one end are companies offering mobile services under a particular brand, with their own marketing and tariff structure, usually through a sophisticated CRM system. At the other end are companies with their own core network infrastructure, issuing their own SIM cards and controlling elements of network infrastructure, such as the HLR and MSC, in addition to their own products.
* NFC (near-field communications) — An emerging short-range networking technique designed to provide a means of conducting secure transactions for consumer applications. NFC enables a combination of radio frequency identification (RFID) and connectivity-enabling devices to read tags and conduct transactions, and operates over a range of 10 centimeters, or about four inches. The physical, data link and networking layer specifications were released in October 2003 as ISO 18092. The NFC Forum industry body is developing higher-level protocols; focusing on incorporating NFC for making transactions on mobile phones, PCs and consumer electronics. NFC is unique among short-range wireless technologies in that it uses magnetic induction rather then electromagnetic waves. It will be capable of working in conjunction with other wireless technologies to simply and effectively establish secure connections between Bluetooth-, ZigBee- or UWB-enabled devices to exchange pairing information. See also FeliCa.
* NGN (next-generation network) — A generic term that describes the evolution and migration of fixed and mobile network infrastructure from distinct, proprietary networks to converged networks based on Internet Protocol (IP).
* NMT-450 (Nordic Mobile Telephone) — A cellular standard that operates in the 450MHz band. It is the original specification for analog cellular telephony developed for the four Nordic countries but subsequently deployed in some eastern European, South American and Asia/Pacific countries.
* NMT-900 — NMT standard operating at 900MHz
* NMT-F — A French variation on the NMT-900 standard
* Node B — The WCDMA/UMTS term for a radio base station receiver, as defined by the 3GPP. It provides radio coverage and converts data between the radio network and the RNCs.
* Notebook — See mobile PC.
* NTC (National Telecommunications Commission, Republic of the Philippines) — The communications regulator for information and communications technology in the Philippines, an agency of the Department of Transport and Communication. See:
* OBSAI (Open Base Station Architecture Initiative) — An industry initiative to produce a number of common, open interfaces within the base station. OBSAI is working to define three internal base station interfaces across CDMA2000, GSM/EDGE and WCDMA. Unlike CPRI, OBSAI is open to all industry players to join, but the interfaces are not available to non-OBSAI members.
* ODM (own design manufacturer) — An own design manufacturer is a company that designs, develops and manufactures mobile terminals under contract. These devices are sold to end users under the brand of the mobile terminal vendor, wireless service provider or contract partner. Examples of ODMs include Taiwan-based BenQ, GVC and HTC.
* OEM (original equipment manufacturer) — A company specializing in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of mobile terminal devices, the OEM is typically the vendor that sells handsets into the first stage of the distribution channel. Some OEMs subcontract the device design or its manufacture to third parties.
* OFCOM (Office of Communications) — The regulator and competition authority for communications in the U.K., with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services. See
* OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) — A spread spectrum modulation technology that uses a number of different carrier frequencies across the frequency band to carry data traffic. OFDM is spectrally more efficient than traditional wide-area wireless technologies. Variations on OFDM (such as OFDMA used by Flarion) are included in 802.20 and 802.16 technologies, as well as being under consideration for use in other future wireless technologies including LTE and 4G. See also OFDMA.
* OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) — Based on OFDM, multiple access is achieved by assigning subsets of subcarriers to individual users. Adaptive subcarrier assignment (including different numbers of subcarriers to different users) means that OFDMA can support QOS and is potentially more spectrally efficient and less susceptible to fading and interference than OFDM. OFDMA is a required technology for mobile WiMAX and LTE. See Also LTE, OFDM, WiMAX.
* OFTA (Office of the Telecommunications Authority) — The regulator and competition authority for telecommunications industry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. See
* OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) — An industry open standards forum set up to facilitate global user adoption of mobile data services by ensuring service interoperability across devices, geographies, service providers, operators and networks.
* Osaifu Keitai (literally "wallet mobile phone") — Mobile phones available in Japan that contain an embedded FeliCa NFC card. This enables the mobile phone to be used for many forms of e-commerce, including train tickets, mobile payments, vending machines, membership services and identification for building entry. NTT DoCoMo first introduced these devices in 2005, followed by the other major Japanese operators KDDI au and Softbank Mobile in the same year. See also FeliCa.
* OSS (operations support system) — The OSS facilitates the operations of a communications carrier's transport network. OSS can be thought of as "network-facing systems" and includes all the following solution areas:
o Inventory management tracks and manages all network assets (tangible and intangible). In this ongoing process, all installed and "on-hand" network assets are tracked for efficient inventory, procurement, repair and reuse.
o Network management includes configuration management, traffic management, fault management, security management, element management and performance management.
o Planning and engineering include all the steps (for example, budgeting, procurement, and line and service testing), from network planning to network construction.
o Provisioning and activation include all systems and steps related to the process of implementing orders for new and existing customers.
o Workforce management encompasses all activities surrounding work assignment, coordination and tracking.
* See also BSS.
* OTA (over the air) — The ability to download applications, services and configurations over a mobile or cellular network.
* P2P (peer-to-peer) — A style of networking in which computers communicate directly with one another, rather than by clearing traffic through managed central servers and networks. Personal computing devices, such as e-books, PDAs, phones and toys, will evolve from their simple, fixed-function, first-generation forms and will acquire more computing power and will run general-purpose operating systems or application platforms. Personal devices will become personal application platforms. At the same time, all these devices will incorporate at least one form of short-range wireless networking that will allow the proliferation of personal P2P applications.
* Packet-switched network — A data communications network in which data is divided into small segments known as packets. They are divided in such a way that each packet forms part of a complete message, which can be routed through a network of switches to its destination independently of all the other packets forming the same message.
* PACS (Personal Access Communications System) — U.S. standard (BellCore STD) digital cellular technology, providing low-mobility or fixed-wireless access to users operating in the 1,900MHz band. See also Mobile WLL.
* PAN (personal-area network) — Various personal wireless devices, such as mobile terminals and notebook PCs, connected wirelessly via a networking protocol, such as Bluetooth.
* PAS (Personal Access System) — A trademark of UT Starcom referring to its PHS-based wireless local loop solution operating in the 1,900MHz band. See also Mobile WLL.
* PCS (personal communications services) — A broad range of voice and data telecommunications services that allow people to communicate via two-way radio phones, based exclusively on digital technologies such as CDMA and GSM. Characteristics of PCS include personal numbers assigned to individuals rather than to phones, near wireline call transmission quality, low-power and lightweight terminals, enhanced call completion, call billing and call management services. PCS networks operate at 1,800MHz in the U.K. and at 1,900MHz in North America.
* PCU (packet control unit) — Part of a GPRS BSS product, the PCU provides an interface between the SGSN and the radio network using frame relay technology.
* PDA (personal digital assistant) — A data-centric handheld computer weighing less than one pound that is primarily designed for use with both hands. These devices use an open-market OS supported by third-party applications that can be added into the device by end users. They offer instant-on/off capability and synchronization of files with a PC. A PDA may offer WAN support for voice, but these are data-first, voice-second devices. Examples include the RIM BlackBerry 8700c, HP iPAQ 65xx, Palm LifeDrive, Nokia 9300 and E61, and Dell Axim X51v.
* PDC (Personal digital cellular) — A Japanese second-generation (2G/2.5G) digital cellular standard operating in the 800MHz and 1,500MHz frequency bands
* Peak traffic (Erlangs) — Calculated amount of channel use at peak time in Erlangs. See also Erlang.
* PHS (Personal HandyPhone System) — A Japanese standard operating in the 1,900MHz band for low-mobility digital cellular or mobile, wireless local loop services. It typically supports handover between cells for users traveling at pedestrian or slow vehicular speeds, or can be used to provide fixed wireless access to users. See also Mobile WLL and PAS.
* Picocell — Short-range cell, typically providing 100-meter to 250-meter range cellular coverage, used to boost in-building cellular coverage or for high-traffic locations.
* PoC (push-to-talk over cellular) — An OMA-defined specification for the delivery of PTT walkie-talkie services over a packet radio network, typically GPRS.
* Pocket PC — Now known as Windows Mobile Classic, Pocket PC was a profile definition for PDA devices using Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. Pocket PC devices usually included organizer functionality, e-mail, Web browsing, viewing and editing of Microsoft office files and PC synchronization, but they do not include cellular connectivity. See also Windows Mobile.
* Podcast — Audio (or audio and video) content specifically designed for synchronizing and playback on mobile audio players, such as Apple's iPod and MP3 playback-enabled mobile phones. Much of this content is highly topical, derived from existing radio or TV broadcasts, and it is often free. Podcasts are an example of "sticky" content: Listeners are encouraged to subscribe to a podcast "channel" that is typically updated with new content daily or weekly. See also Mobisode.
* Postpaid connection — A connection through a contract that includes airtime and is paid for at scheduled intervals (generally monthly).
* Prepaid Connection — A connection that requires no contract and for which the user pays in advance.
* R-UIM (removable user identity module) — Introduced by the CDMA Development Group (CDG) and the 3GPP2, an R-UIM card is a smart card for use with CDMA-based mobile phones. It allows customers to switch phones without changing their mobile number, stores frequently called numbers and provides some functions similar to the SIM card in GSM mobile phones.
* R.4 (WCDMA Release 4) — See WCDMA.
* R.5 (WCDMA Release 5) — See WCDMA.
* R.6 (WCDMA Release 6) — See WCDMA.
* R.7 (WCDMA Release 7) — See WCDMA.
* R.8 (WCDMA Release 8) — Also known as LTE. See WCDMA.
* R.99 (WCDMA Release 99) — See WCDMA.
* Radio packet assembler/disassembler (PAD) — A PAD with integrated radio transceiver for use with packet radio systems
* RFID (radio frequency identification) — A technology that uses low power radio waves to transfer data between a movable item and a reader to identify, track or locate that item. It does not require physical contact or a line of sight between the reader or scanner and the tagged item. This is one advantage over a bar code system. Another is that RFID tags can be read over a longer range — 100 feet or more. A typical RFID system has three components:
o Antenna
o RFID tag (sometimes called a transponder) that is electronically programmed with unique information
o RF module with decoder (transceiver)
* RFID tags may be active or passive, either actively collecting and aggregating data, or in the latter case, simply delivering data when interrogated.
* RNC (radio network controller) — The RNC plays a role similar to the BSC in a GSM network but supports node Bs used in UMTS networks.
* Roaming — The ability of a mobile user to access cellular services while away from the home network. This includes automated roaming between GSM networks, SIM-based roaming, where a user switches the SIM card into a mobile phone from a different network, or roaming across technologies (for example, between a WCDMA network and the GSM network of another operator). Roaming can take place within one country and often across national boundaries.
* RSA (rural service area) — A geographic area designation that was used for the allocation of 1,900MHz cellular licenses to mobile service providers in the U.S. and that determines where they can operate. An RSA is a nonurban area. There are 306 Metropolitan Service Areas (MSAs) and 428 RSAs in the U.S. There is considerable overlap with the older BTA and MTA designations. See also BTA, MSA and MTA.
* RTT (round-trip time) — A measure (in milliseconds) of the latency of a network. that is, the time between initiating a network request and receiving a response. High latency tends to have more of an impact than bandwidth on the end-user experience in interactive applications, such as Web browsing. See also Latency.
* SAC (subscriber acquisition cost) — Cost to the operator of net subscriber additions, typically including the cost of sales and marketing, and handset subsidies.
* SAE (System Architecture Evolution) — A 3GPP project to define the requirements for mobile network architecture beyond 3G. It aims to develop an architectural framework for an evolution or migration of 3G to a higher-data-rate, lower-latency, packet-optimized system that supports multiple radio access technologies, including UTRAN, Wi-Fi, WiMAX and wired technologies. The work of the 3GPP SAE task group is expected to conclude in late 2007. See also LTE.
* SC-FDMA (single carrier frequency division multiple access) — A multiplexing technique similar to OFDMA but one in which the subcarriers assigned to each user must be contiguous, which reduces processing-power and battery requirements for terminal devices. See also OFDMA.
* SDMA (spatial division multiple access) — An advanced multiple antenna technique that increases the spectral efficiency, range and bandwidth available to moving wireless terminals. Traditional cellular base stations radiate power in all directions because they have no information about where the mobile terminal is located. This wastes power and causes interference to adjacent cells, and makes it harder to distinguish weaker incoming signals from among the noise and interference. By using smart antenna technology to track the spatial location of mobile terminals, the radiation pattern of the base station can be adjusted to optimize both transmission and reception for each user terminal. By rapidly adjusting the phase of signals from several antennas, the base station can effectively steer a beam or a spot of radio frequency power to or from each user. Unlike MIMO, only one antenna is required at the client device, potentially reducing customer premises equipment costs. SDMA techniques are already used in proprietary wireless broadband systems, such as Navini's RipWave and Arraycomm's iBurst, and are likely options for mobile WiMAX and LTE. See also smart antenna.
* SDR (software-defined radio) — A radio hardware and software design that can tune to any frequency across a wide range of spectrum and that can decode any modulation technique or protocol — all under software control. Because they are very difficult and expensive to build, SDRs have existed only in military use until recently. The low cost and increasing power of modern digital signal processors and the huge and growing market for multiband, multimode mobile phones will make consumer SDR terminals practical and economically feasible by 2010. For example, to support global roaming and today's feature set, a mobile phone requires six frequency bands (800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 1,900MHz, 2.1GHz and 2.4GHz) and at least three protocol families — GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. By 2010, it will likely require two more bands (2.3GHz and 3.5GHz) and two more protocols — LTE and WiMAX.
* SGSN (serving GPRS support node) — Part of the GPRS infrastructure, the SGSN provides switching functionality, security and authentication via the HLR for GPRS users. The SGSN's primary interfaces are with the HLR, GGSN and PCU.
* SIM card (subscriber identity module card) — A programmable smart card in a mobile terminal that gives access to a network. It contains codes (such as the IMSI) to identify a subscriber to a digital mobile service and the details of the special services the subscriber has elected to use. A SIM card may be a removable plastic card with embedded memory and a processor chip or may be fixed within the terminal.
* SIM Toolkit (SIM Application Toolkit) — An ETSI standard that allows additional information and functionality to be preprogrammed onto the SIM card, providing a customized menu/user interface on the phone. This helps users directly access services provided by network operators and service providers, such as banks and entertainment organizations.
* SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) — A text-based protocol, similar to HTTP and SMTP, for initiating interactive communication sessions between users for voice and data communications.
* Skype — A free, public IM and VoIP service that operates peer to peer, rather than via a central relay server.
* Smart antenna — Smart antennas (also known as adaptive antennas) use an array of antennas in combination with smart signal-processing algorithms that track the location of a mobile client device, using techniques such as the direction of arrival (DOA) of a signal. The location or angular direction is then used calculate beam-forming vectors, to focus more of the power of the antenna beam on the mobile target. Smart antennas are used in cellular mobile phone systems and in proposed wireless broadband technologies, such as 802.16e-2005 (WiMAX) and 802.11n (MIMO). See also SDMA.
* Smartphone — Gartner defines two types — see the entries for consumer smartphone and business smartphone.
* SMS (Short Message Service) — A facility developed as part of the GSM standard that allows a mobile terminal to send, receive and display messages of up to 160 characters in Roman text and variations for non-Roman character sets. Messages received are stored in the network, if the subscriber terminal is inactive, and are relayed when it next becomes active. SMS has become increasingly available in CDMA networks and in some fixed networks.
* Spectrum harmonization — A global effort under the auspices of the ITU to encourage governments and regulators to allocate RF spectrum consistently across borders, thereby enabling global roaming, interoperability and global markets for telecom equipment. Every four years, the ITU holds the World Radiocommunication Conference, where global/regional spectrum assignments are negotiated and agreed on. A recent example is the 1.9GHz-to-2.1GHz band, which has been allocated to UMTS in almost every geography. The WiMAX Forum is undertaking similar efforts to support the global allocation of 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz for wireless broadband.
* Spread spectrum — A radio technology that allows a number of radio communications links to use the same band of frequencies simultaneously without mutual interference.
* Streaming — A technique that supports the continuous, one-way transmission of audio and/or video data via the Internet and, more recently, via a mobile network. In contrast to audio (for example, MP3) and movie (for example, MPEG) files that must first be downloaded, streaming media begins playing within a few seconds of the request. Streaming requires a streaming encoder (which converts the audio or video source to a data stream), a streaming server that delivers the encoded media over a network and a client media player that cooperates with the server to deliver uninterrupted media. To compensate for variations in network quality and latency, the client buffers a few seconds of audio or video before beginning delivery, then tries to stay ahead during playback. Examples of streaming systems include QuickTime RealMedia and Windows Media.
* Super-3G — A 3GPP working group proposed in January 2005 by a consortium of mobile carriers and infrastructure vendors led by NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone. The working group is known as LTE (WCDMA long-term evolution). See also LTE.
* Symbian — A joint-venture company started in 1998 by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Psion to develop Psion's EPOC 32 operating system into a real-time operating system for handheld phones and PDAs. Matsushita, NTT DoCoMo, Siemens and Sun subsequently joined. Its first products were released in 1999. Symbian has released reference designs and a software developers' kit. Motorola sold its stake in Symbian in 2003, while Nokia acquired Psion's stake in 2004.
* SyncML (Synchronization Markup Language) — SyncML was an initiative originally set up to develop a uniform synchronization protocol operating on any device over any network and among various vendors' products. The protocol was intended to provide support for a wide range of transports and media types.
* T1 — A common-carrier-provided, point-to-point digital line service used in private data networks and cellular, Wi-Fi and fixed network backhaul. A T1 (so called because it was first sold by AT&T in the 1960s) delivers 1.544 Mbps capacity that can be split into multiple 64 Kbps channels and is typically charged by distance. See also E1, T3.
* T3 — A common-carrier-provided, point-to-point digital line service typically used in the Internet. A T3 line delivers 44.736 Mbps capacity that can be split into 672 64 Kbps voice or data channels and is typically charged by distance. See also E1, T1.
* Tablet PC — Tablet PCs meet all criteria for notebook PCs but are equipped with a pen and on-screen digitizer and are configurable into a tablet format.
* TACS (total access communications system) — The analog cellular standard first used in the U.K. for services in the 900MHz frequency band. It allows for up to 1,320 channels using 25KHz-channel spacing.
* TCH (traffic channel) — A channel used for voice, data or signaling.
* TD-CDMA (time division duplexing-code division multiple access) — TD-CDMA and its Chinese cousin, TD-SCDMA, are 3GPP-approved time division duplexing (TDD) air interfaces defined by the UMTS 3G cellular mobile phone standard and mainly used to provide Internet access. In TDD, the same spectrum is shared for the uplink and the downlink via time division. TD-CDMA uses 5MHz channels, each divided into 10-ms frames and each containing 15 time slots (1,500 per second). CDMA is used within each time slot to support multiple users. TD-SCDMA uses 1.6MHz channels. In much of Europe and Asia, a specific UMTS-TDD spectrum has been set aside from 1,900MHz to-1,920MHz and from 2,010MHz to-2,025MHz, and operators were often obliged to buy TDD spectrum, along with the UMTS-FDD paired-frequency spectrum they needed for 3G voice. 2,500MHz to-2,690MHz has been used for TDD in some countries (for example, the U.S.), and 3.5GHz in others (for example, the U.K. and New Zealand). Although TD-SCDMA is still undergoing trials in China, TD-CDMA has been deployed in over a dozen commercial wireless broadband and public safety networks globally by IPWireless. See also TD-SCDMA.
* TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access) — One of the international 3G standards approved by ITU and driven by China, with Datang as one of the original conceivers of the technology. TD-SCDMA is expected to be deployed in China as one of the 3G technologies, along with WCDMA and CDMA2000, as the country approaches the issuance of 3G licenses in 2007. See also TD-CDMA.
* TDD (time division duplex) — A radio transmission technique in which the uplink and downlink share a single channel, with the transmit and receive pulses separated by time. Users can be allocated multiple time slots in the uplink and downlink, permitting asymmetric data transmission.
* TDMA (time division multiple access) — A digital modulation technique that allocates a discrete amount of frequency bandwidth to each user to permit many simultaneous conversations. Each caller is assigned a specific time slot for transmission. TDMA provides improved spectral efficiencies over analog systems. A derivative of this standard used in North America is called NA-TDMA. Other TDMA-based cellular systems include D-AMPS, DECT, GSM, PDC and enhanced TDMA.
* TDOA (time difference of arrival) — A method of processing cellular phone signals to identify the location of a switched-on mobile phone. Based on triangulation, TDOA determines the position by comparing the time difference of the arrival of the reverse control channel at various cell sites. In ideal circumstances, accuracy is 50 meters to 150 meters, but the average is 150 meters to 200 meters. See also LBS.
* TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) — An ETSI standard for digital private mobile radio and public access mobile radio technology for police, ambulance and fire services, along with security services, utilities, the military, public access services, fleet management, transport services, closed-user groups, factory site services, mining and other uses. TETRA is a TDMA-based system with four user channels on one radio carrier and 25KHz spacing between carriers.
* TOA (time of arrival) — measures the arrival times of a signal from a mobile device to three network base stations to calculate the location by triangulation. It requires synchronization of base stations, which is not supported by GSM and has a rather long response time (about 10 seconds). Accuracy in ideal circumstance is 50 meters to 150 meters but 150 meters to 200 meters on average. See also LBS.
* TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) — The telecommunications regulator in the Republic of India. See
* Transcoding server — See Gateway Transcoding Server.
* Tri-band — A mobile device that supports voice and data communications conforming to one bearer technology, such as GSM, but on three different sets of frequencies. For example, many European and Asia/Pacific countries/markets have licensed deployment of GSM networks on both 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums, and in North America GSM has been deployed on 1,900MHz. A tri-band phone allows the user to roam automatically between networks on any of these frequencies in any of these countries, providing its home operator has roaming agreements with local mobile network operators. See also dual-band and dual-mode.
* TRX — A radio transceiver that is part of a BTS. Each TRX supports a number of channels dependent on the radio access technology.
* Ultraportable PC — Ultraportable PCs meet all the criteria for a notebook PC but typically weigh less than 4 pounds.
* UM (unified messaging) — A messaging system that enables subscribers to collect their e-mail, fax and voice mail messages from a single message box by using fixed or mobile devices.
* UMA (unlicensed mobile access) — UMA is designed to enable networks to support seamless connectivity between wide-area cellular networks, such as GSM/GPRS, and unlicensed spectrum technologies, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
* UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) — The brand name that will be used to describe the CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision C (Rev. C) standard. The new standard will support peak download speeds of up to 280 Mbps in a mobile environment and combines CDMA, OFDM, OFDMA and TDM air interface techniques, plus MIMO and SDMA advanced antenna techniques. The standard is expected to be published in the second quarter of 2007 and to become commercially available on a global basis in 2009.
* UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) — Part of the ITU's IMT-2000 family of 3G mobile communications systems, UMTS will play a key role in creating a mass market for high-quality wireless multimedia communications. It comprises two separate standards: WCDMA for the paired frequency bands using FDD; and TD-CDMA, which is used in the unpaired TDD bands. See also 3G and WCDMA.
* USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) — An enhancement of the GSM SIM card that is designed to be used in UMTS networks
* USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) — USSD is a GSM bearer service similar to SMS. However, unlike SMS messages, USSD messages are not stored or forwarded. USSD acts more like a transactional environment in which a message generates a near real-time reply. It is likely to find increased application with WAP-based services, because it eliminates the delay of SMS store-and-forward. USSD is available on all GSM phones.
* UTRA (Universal Terrestrial Radio Access) — A UMTS system supporting TDD and FDD access.
* UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network) — Defines the radio portion of the network including Node Bs and RNCs.
* UWB (ultrawideband) — Also known as pulse radio, UWB is an emerging wireless technology that uses pulsed radio techniques to transmit data. The transmitter sends a low-power broadband signal, with each channel ranging from 10 million to 40 million pulses per second. The correlator, which knows the timing code of the transmitter, listens at these intervals and decodes the signal. UWB uses orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and very wide frequency bands, occupying several gigahertz (GHz) of spectrum. The IEEE 802.15.3 Task Group 3a (TG3a) considering UWB standards was disbanded in January 2006 after a long stalemate between two warring factions: MultiBand Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (MB-OFDM) UWB, supported by the WiMedia Alliance, and direct sequence-UWB (DS-UWB), supported by the UWB Forum. However, in February 2006 the Bluetooth SIG announced that it had chosen WiMedia proposal as the future bearer for Bluetooth, effectively cementing it as the de facto standard. See also MB-OFDM.
* VLR (Visitor Location Register) — A server in a cellular network that supports roaming functions for users outside the coverage area of their HLR. The VLR uses SS7 signaling to obtain information about the user from the HLR and then establishes a temporary record on the VLR, while the user is within the VLR coverage area, ensuring mobility management and call-handling functions.
* Voice browser — A system that allows telephone access to voice portal sites. It prepares and presents information to callers. It also interprets commands and allows navigation. Architectures and implementations vary, but many will use VoiceXML or a similar protocol to access the portal application. This is sometimes called a VoiceXML gateway.
* Voice Browser Usability Group — A group within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) responsible for developing voice portal usability and best-practices guidelines.
* Voice mail — A network system that allows unanswered phone calls to be diverted to a personal answering service. Revenue may be generated by making a connection charge to the service, a subscription charge for the service, or by charging the subscriber for messages deposited or retrieved.
* Voice over IP — See VoIP
* VoWLAN (voice over wireless local-area network) — The use of VoIP technology and wireless network components to support voice over Wi-Fi.
* Voice portal — A system that uses advanced speech recognition technology and provides access to information on the Internet. Key components of most voice portals are:
o Speech recognition
o Text to speech
o Information aggregation
o Categorization software
o Telephony and Internet interfaces
o Administrative interfaces

Optional components include software to support context-sensitive, personalized assistance (for example, an intelligent assistant) and support for VoiceXML.

* VoiceXML — An XML-based language supported by more than 200 companies. It was founded by AT&T, IBM, Lucent and Motorola.
* VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) — The term describes the transmission of IP packetized voice traffic over a communications infrastructure (for example, LAN, WAN). Confusingly, VoIP is not the same as Internet telephony or IP telephony, although the terms are commonly and erroneously interchanged. See also Internet telephony and IP telephony.
* VPN (virtual private network) — A system that delivers enterprise-focused communications services on a shared, public network infrastructure and provides customized operating characteristics uniformly and universally across an enterprise. The term is used generically to refer to voice VPNs. To avoid confusion, IP-based data services are referred to as data VPNs. Service providers define a VPN as a WAN of permanent virtual circuits, generally using ATM or frame relay to transport IP. Technology providers define a VPN as the use of encryption software or hardware to bring privacy to communications over a public or untrusted data network.
* W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) — A not-for-profit group, based in the U.S., that develops and recommends standards for the Web.
* WAE (WAP Application Environment) — An environment containing components that developers use to develop applications for WAP devices. It consists of the WML, WMLScript and Wireless Telephony Application Interface (WTAI) specifications. See also WML and WTAI.
* WAG (wireless application gateway) — Server-based software products that interface between wireless applications and the established application infrastructure. They separate the data from the presentation layer and avoid redundant development efforts. From a technical standpoint, leading WAGs provide secure access to any data source and the ability to render the data (or content) to any device (for example, PDA, wireless telephone, pager or desktop). WAGs are progressively being superseded by multichannel access gateways, which support service delivery to wireless and fixed devices.
* WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) — An open, global specification that enables users of wireless devices to access and interact with wireless information services and applications. WAP specifications are based on Internet standards, with extensions to reflect the wireless device environment. Specifications in WAP architecture are arranged in a protocol stack consisting of application, session, transaction, security and transport layers. The application layer includes WML and WMLScript for content and WTAI for telephony service capabilities.
* WAP browser — A microbrowser used to locate and display information on WAP-enabled devices. WAP browsers perform the client-side functions required to render Web content to a WAP device. See Microbrowser.
* WAP Forum — Founded in June 1997 by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Openwave, the WAP Forum was responsible for publishing and developing WAP specifications and was subsequently folded into the OMA.
* WASP (wireless application service provider) — A vendor that provides hosted wireless applications so that companies do not have to build their own sophisticated wireless infrastructure.
* WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) — A UMTS standard for 3G digital mobile networks, using CDMA technology. It is the evolution path for GSM and EDGE to UMTS and offers increased voice capacity and theoretical peak data speed of up to 2 Mbps. The 3GPP task group continues to work on the evolution of WCDMA toward 4G and has defined a series of evolutionary steps:
o R.99 (Release 99) — The specifications (completed in 1999) for the original version of WCDMA, a 3GPP standards project to define the requirements and basic framework for UMTS 3G mobile networks. R.99 defined the UTRA and the basic features of this early 3G development.
o R.4 (Release 4) — The specifications (released in 2004) for the next evolution beyond R99. R4 was the first step toward an all-IP core network, adding separation of the control channel from the connection in the circuit-switched core network and basic VoIP routing.
o R.5 (Release 5) — The specifications (released in 2005) for the next evolution beyond R4. R5 extends WCDMA to include HSDPA and HSUPA for high-speed packet data services and IMS for multimedia and converged IP network support. It also adds IP transport in the UTRAN.
o R.6 (Release 6) — The specifications (completed in 2006) for the next evolution beyond R5. R6 extends WCDMA to include MBMS for mobile TV services, PoC and EUDCH for enhanced uplink speeds, and system capacity. It adds IMS Phase 2 and UMTS/WLAN interworking. It is not expected to be commercially available until at least 2009.
o R.7 (Release 7) — Also known as LTE, the specifications (planned for completion in June 2007) for the next evolution beyond R6. It will add radio enhancements, MIMO, end-to-end IP telephony and evolved EDGE. See also LTE.
o R.8 (Release 8) — Further extension of LTE and SAE capabilities prior to the advent of 4G. It is likely to add OFDMA for the downlink and SC-FDMA for the uplink in the UTRAN. As of March 2007, there is no target date for release of this specification. See also LTE and SAE.
* WDP (Wireless Datagram Protocol) — This allows WAP to be bearer-independent by adapting the transport layer of the underlying bearer service and presenting a consistent data format to the higher layer of the WAP protocol stack.
* Wearable computer — Wearables are devices that can be carried or worn on the human body and can be used by an individual for networked computing. Wearable computer form factors include handheld devices, badges, personal clothing and jewelry.
* Web phone — A cellular or mobile phone equipped with a microbrowser and network data capability through WAP and other Web site integration technologies. These devices differ from smartphones in that the latter are more data-centric, offering network-independent (offline) applications, such as contact management and expense reporting. See basic phone, enhanced phone, mobile terminal, PDA and smartphone.
* WECA (Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance) — Now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance. See Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Alliance.
* WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) — A feature used to encrypt and decrypt data signals transmitted between WLAN devices. An optional IEEE 802.11 feature, WEP provides data confidentiality equivalent to a wired LAN that does not employ advanced cryptographic techniques to enhance privacy. WEP makes WLAN links as secure as wired links. See also WPA.
* Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) — The certification mark issued by the Wi-Fi Alliance to certify that a product conforms to the 802.11b, g and a standards for WLANs.
* Wi-Fi Alliance — The Wi-Fi Alliance is a nonprofit international association formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of WLAN products based on IEEE 802.11 specification. See also WECA.
* Wi-Fi mesh — A mesh topology network based on Wi-Fi standards but typically linked together by proprietary extensions. The Wi-Fi Alliance Task Group 802.11s is currently developing an IEEE standard for Wi-Fi mesh. See also Mesh Network.
* WiBro (wireless broadband) — A mobile, wireless broadband service for handsets and laptops that was offered commercially in South Korea starting June 2006. WiBro was originally intended as a South Korean standard, but it has now been harmonized with and accepted by IEEE as part of the 802.16-2005 mobile WiMAX standard. WiBro was successfully demonstrated at the Asia/Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in November 2005 and at the Torino Winter Olympics in February 2006. WiBro emerged from a South Korean Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) sponsored project to develop a standard for high-speed portable Internet (HPi). MIC hoped HPi would lead to new global opportunities for South Korean industry, similar to those arising from its early adoption of CDMA. Consortium members included South Korea's Electronics and Technology Research Institute (ETRI), Samsung Electronics and the four operators of telecom services.
* WIM (WAP identity module) — Used in Wireless Transport Layer Security and application-level security functions. A WIM can be used to process and store user identification and authorization information. It can also be used to store encryption and authentication keys and to perform encryption and digital signature functions on the module. A WIM can be a hardware device, such as a smart card or SIM.
* WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) — Refers to both the standards body known as the WiMAX Forum (see and to the broadband wireless technology based on IEEE 802.16 standard. See also 802.16.
* Windows CE — Microsoft's version of its Windows operating system for mobile devices, such as PDAs and smartphones. Windows CE supports a number of hardware profiles aligned to various categories of devices, such as handhelds and remote controls. The most popular profile currently is Windows Mobile for handheld devices. See also Windows Mobile.
* Windows Messenger — An enterprise IM service operating via Microsoft Exchange servers but compatible with MSN IM.
* Windows Mobile 6 — Windows Mobile 6 runs on top of the Windows CE 5 operating system and will replace Windows Mobile 5. Windows Mobile 6 is not a major upgrade — that is, users may not immediately notice significant differences from devices with the latest version of Windows Mobile 5. The next major upgrade of Windows Mobile, code-named Photon, probably will not ship before 2009. The main thrust of Windows Mobile 6 is to provide a level of compatibility between Windows Mobile and Exchange Server 2007, Windows Vista and Office 2007, and the upcoming Office Communicator Server and Windows Live — see "Windows Mobile 6.0 Features Notable Enhancements." Three versions of Windows Mobile 6 have been defined:
o Professional (previously known as Pocket PC Phone Edition) supports data-centric devices with touch-screen displays used in a two-handed operation. Generally speaking, this version offers the largest number of third-party software titles and the largest number of Windows Mobile devices in use.
o Standard (previously Windows Mobile for Smartphones) supports voice-centric devices designed for one-handed operation (no touch screens), typically in a candy-bar-shaped form factor.
o Classic (previously Pocket PC) supports devices that lack cellular connectivity; sales of this category are rapidly declining.
* WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention system) — Wireless IPSs operate at the Layer 2 (data link layer) level of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. WIPSs can detect the presence of rogue or misconfigured devices and can prevent them from operating on enterprise wireless networks by scanning the network's radio frequencies for denial of service and other forms of attack.
* Wireless Data Communication — A form of communication that uses the radio spectrum rather than a physical medium. It may carry analog or digital signals and may be used on LANs or WANs in one- or two-way networks.
* Wireless IM (wireless instant messaging) — IM available from a wireless device. This is an evolution of two-way SMS and of paging technologies. IM not only offers Internet compatibility but also its concept of "buddy lists" and permits autodiscovery of addressable recipients. These improvements should lure many committed SMS and paging users to move to a new level of functionality, especially as standardized PTT services become commonly available. Wide-area wireless IM is rapidly becoming available on cell phones and PDAs with wide-area technology. LAN wireless IM requires enterprises to make the decision to install the equipment, with a more problematic justification.
* WISP (wireless Internet service provider) — At minimum, a provider of wireless gateway services that connect the wired Internet to one or more wireless bearer services.
* WLAN (wireless local-area network) — A LAN communication technology in which radio, microwave or infrared links take the place of physical cables. The 802.11 family of standards issued by the IEEE provides various specifications covering transmission speeds from 1 Mbps to 54 Mbps. The four main physical-layer standards are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. See also Wi-Fi, WLAN.
* WLL (wireless local loop) — A wireless connection of a telephone to a fixed telephone network. See Mobile wireless local loop.
* WML (Wireless Markup Language) — WML is the markup language defined as part of the WAP for rendering WAP content on a mobile device.
* WMLScript — Similar to JavaScript, WMLScript is a scripting language based on WAP's WML programming language. See Wireless Markup Language.
* WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) — A security solution developed as a migration step toward 802.11i. Wi-Fi vendors introduced WPA in late-2002, before 802.11i was ratified. WPA formalized the choice for encryption but left open the choice of authentication. WPA was used as an improvement over the vulnerable WEP but has now been superseded by WPA2.
* WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) — The final version of WPA agreed on by the Wi-Fi Alliance that implements all aspects of the ratified 802.11i security standard and is now mandatory in the Wi-Fi certification process. It is backward-compatible with WPA and can be implemented in two versions — WPA2-Personal and WPA2-Enterprise. See also 802.11i.
* WPKI (wireless public-key infrastructure) — A proposed method for handling public and private keys and digital certificates on the client (handset) side. The standards for WPKI and WTLS are complementary. See also WTLS.
* WPP (Wireless Performance Prediction) — See 802.11t.
* WSP (Wireless Session Protocol) — In the WAP framework, this layer links the WAE to two session services:
o A connection-oriented service operating above the Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP)
o A connectionless service operating above the WDP
* WTAI (Wireless Telephony Application Interface) — This specifies how WAP applications can access mobile-phone functionality (for example, to initiate a call or send an SMS message).
* WTLS (Wireless Transport Layer Security) — Within the WAP framework, WTLS provides security functions similar to those of the secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol used on the Web. Vendors such as Baltimore Technologies, Certicom and Entrust Technologies, have announced software development toolkits to allow application developers to build WTLS support into WAP gateway and cell phone software. The initial focus of WTLS will be the use of digital certificates at the WAP gateway to provide strong authentication to the cell phone showing it is connected to a legitimate server. This will involve cell phones being pre-loaded with root certificates signed by certificate authorities with which the wireless device manufacturer has entered into trust relationships.
* WTP (Wireless Transaction Protocol) — In the WAP framework, WTP runs on top of a datagram service, such as WDP, to provide a simplified protocol suitable for low-bandwidth mobile applications. The protocol offers three classes of transaction service:
o Unreliable one-way request
o Reliable one-way request
o Reliable two-way request/respond
* XHTML Basic (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language Basic) — Supported in WAP 2.0, XHTML Basic is a subset of the XHTML constructs that allow authors to create Web content deliverable to a range of devices (including mobile phones, PDAs, pagers and TV-based Web browsers). The standard is the result of collaboration by a number of participants, including AOL Time Warner, IBM, Microsoft and Sun.
* XML (Extensible Markup Language) — A W3C open standard for describing data using embedded tags. Unlike HTML, XML does not describe how to display elements on the page but rather defines what the elements contain. It has become the standard for business-to-business transactions, electronic data interchange and Web services.
* Yahoo IM — A free public IM service.
* ZigBee — A proprietary initiative based on IEEE 802.15.4 operating in the 2.4GHz band, with data rates less than 220 Kbps over 75 meters. It is designed for "command and control"; therefore, it will not support audio or video but can be used to send text messages and voice. A ZigBee network will be able to control lights, fire and smoke detectors, thermostats, and home-security systems. It could also be used as a cable replacement technology. The ZigBee Alliance consists of Philips Semiconductor, Honeywell and Invensys Metering Systems. It is responsible for developing applications, as well as for a certification process, program, logo and marketing strategy. It is a spin-off of HomeRF.