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Chapter: Mobile Computing

Mobile Computing vs Wireless Networking

The terms "mobile" and "wireless" are often used interchangeably but in reality, they are two very different concepts applied to modern computing and technology.



The terms "mobile" and "wireless" are often used interchangeably but in reality, they are two very different concepts applied to modern computing and technology.


Mobile is a word that is commonly used to describe portable devices. A mobile device is one that is made to be taken anywhere. Therefore, it needs an internal battery for power, and must be connected to a modern mobile network that can help it to send and receive data without attaching to a hardware infrastructure.


Wireless, on the other hand, does not mean mobile. Traditional computers or other non-mobile devices can access wireless networks. One very common example is the use of a localized browser product in a local area network (LAN), where the router takes what used to be a cabled interaction and makes it wireless. Other kinds of wireless networks called wide area          networks     (WAN) can even  use    components          of 3G or 4G wireless      systems made specifically for mobile devices, but that doesn‘t mean that the devices on these networks are mobile. They may still be plugged in or require proximity to a router or network node.


Mobile and wireless systems really accomplish two very different things. While a wireless system provides a fixed or portable endpoint with access to a distributed network, a mobile system offers all of the resources of that distributed network to something that can go anywhere, barring any issues with local reception or technical area coverage.


For another example of the difference between mobile and wireless, think of businesses that offer Wi-Fi hotspots. A Wi-Fi hotspot is typically a resource for someone who has a relatively fixed device, such as a laptop computer that doesn‘t have its own internal Internet access built in. By contrast, mobile devices already have inherent access to the Internet or other wireless systems through those cell tower networks that ISPs and telecom companies built specifically for them. So mobile devices don‘t need Wi-Fi - they already have their connections.


To some who are used to using both wireless and mobile networks, this distinction may seem very simple. However, the difference between providing mobile and wireless is likely to be something that gets explored more as new technologies continue to develop, and companies continue to offer more different kinds of interfaces to consumers.

Mobile is subgroup from wireless. We have wireless systems that are not mobile and we have technologies which are wireless but not mobile in sense of technologies deployed in mobile operators networks. We have fixed wireless (e.g. fixed WiMAX) and e.g. TETRA which is not technology deployed in mobile (operators) networks.


In communication engineering, wireless communication(both static and dynamic) is communication between Nodes/system without use of direct physical connection rather it is through a non conducting or dielectric media. Where as in mobile communication, communicating nodes moves within specified area and method of communication is wireless communication suitably..e.g.-Mobile Ad-hoc networks (MANETs).


Wireless Communication in itself is a very broad concept that is achieved using various inter-related technologies. Mobile Communication utilizes some of the technologies that are made available / possible by Wireless Communication. Some of the popular wireless technologies employed in Mobile Communication include: GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), LTE (Long Term Evolution), HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and its variants, etc.


Wireless refers to the method of transferring information between a computing device, such as a personal data assistant (PDA), and a data source, such as an agency database server, without a physical connection. However, not all wireless communications technologies are created equally, offer the same uses or are even mobile.


Mobile computing refers to computing devices that are not restricted to a desktop. A mobile device may be a PDA, a smart phone or a web phone, a laptop computer, or any one of numerous other devices that allow the user to complete tasks without being tethered, or connected, to a network. Mobile computing does not necessarily require wireless communication. In fact, it may not require communication between devices at all.


Wireless communication is simply data communication without the use of a landline. This may involve a cellular telephone, a two way radio, a fixed wireless connection, a laser, or satellite communications. Here the computing device is continuously connected to the base network.


Mobile computing essentially refers to a device that is not always connected to a central network. This group of devices includes laptops, newly created smart phones and also PDA's. These products may communicate with a base location, with or without, a wireless connection



1.     List out any ten differences between Mobile Computing and Wireless Networking.


2.     Define the term ―Wireless Networking‖.


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