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Wireless Tutorials
What is Wireless Technology?
Anybody who has ever used a cordless phone or a wireless keyboard or mouse knows the convenience of wireless devices. Apart from the obvious advantage of them not being tethered to the wall, thereby minimising the nest of wires that clutters your home or office,
Wireless Lan (WiFi)

Wireless Networking based around the 802.11 protocol is one of the fastest growing technologies in computing today. Despite some early security concerns, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) are being installed in all kinds of places. Companies are installing them in

Bluetooth, which takes its name from an 11th Century Viking King who united Norway and Denmark, was developed as a cable replacement technology that could be used to connect a diverse range of devices. Many of the world’s leading technology companies have formed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 1998. The aim was to develop a simple $US 5 chip that could be embedded in almost anything you wanted to share data with, receive commands from or send instructions to.

However, like almost all new technologies the dream has been harder to realize than first expected. When Bluetooth finally arrived in 2001 it cost six times what was originally planned and had a number of connectivity problems. Fortunately, the years since have seen significant reduction in Bluetooth chip prices and a wider range of Bluetooth mobile phones, PDAs and computers.

The basic premise is that paired devices will automatically synchronise with each other and act as best buddies as soon as they come within range. One of most common uses for Bluetooth is in the area of cordless headsets and hands free car kits for mobile phones.

In fact, there is a seemingly endless number of uses for it: wireless keyboards and mice; cable-free connections between PC, PDA, mobile phone, notebook, projector and printer; Bluetooth connections between camera and mobile phone that allow instant transmission of pictures by email or between camera and PC or camera and printer.

To avoid random connections, Bluetooth devices must go through a series of steps before they can commence a ‘conversation'. First they must be set in Discoverable Mode which basically sends out a signal to other Bluetooth devices within range saying ‘I’m here’. Once two devices recognize each other they can be ‘paired’, giving each other a specific password or identity that allows them to start talking. It is at this point that some devices will require special software or hardware to ensure they are both speaking the same language. Bluetooth is a short range (ten metre) wireless network capable of handling both data and voice at a maximum effective transmission rate of 723 kilobits per second (kbps). By comparison, 802.11b has an effective range of 50 metres and is designed as a data system with a maximum transmission rate of 11 megabits per second (mbps). Although voices can be sent as compressed files, 802.11b is best for networking and not a particularly good technology for telephony.

Bluetooth Summary

Bluetooth has a general range of ten metres and a data rate up to 723Kbps.

Bluetooth uses Frequency Hopping technology as opposed the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) as seen in 802.11 networks.

Bluetooth is based in the same 2.4Ghz frequency range as 802.11b/g

Unlike 802.11, which was originally designed as a data network, Bluetooth can handle both voice and data, which makes it ideal for integration into mobile phones and for use in headsets.

The most recent release of Bluetooth (1.2) includes a channel avoidance algorithm that excludes channels were DSSS devices such as 802.11b/g Wireless Access Points are detected from it Frequency Hopping routine. This leads to far less interference between 802.11b/g and Bluetooth and the emergence of many devices that support both protocols.
3G is the third generation of mobile phone standards and technology, superseding 2.5G. 

3G networks enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved
Wireless Glossary

2G An older mobile phone standard that primarily stands for 'second generation' and was mainly used for voice communications. Data services were limited to simple text messages (SMS) and email, but not much else.


2.5G An intermediate standard between 2G and 3G phones. 2G phones are purely digital and can transmit wireless data at about the same rate as a dial-up connection with a fast modem, as found with GPRS. 2.5G is suitable for


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