Wireless Communication Networks Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

wireless communication networks and all the mechanisms involved in making them effective. Our investigation explored the history and development vision of mobile networks. We found that there are two ways of providing communications services; through a system of wires, that allow the transmission and reception of information at the fixed points, and through wireless connections, that use electromagnetism to carry information from one place to another.

We also discussed the main characteristics, design issues and provided a description of wireless communication networks. Our investigation discovered that third generation wireless technology is extremely efficient. We found that this technology can reach speeds of 144 kbps, and user speeds between 50 kbps to 70 kbps. Lastly, the research focused on advantages, disadvantages, implementation, and current and future applications/developments. The research suggests that the advantages associated with wireless networks include mobility, ease of use and increased productivity. The disadvantages include widening of the digital divide, security issues and implementation issues. In addition, our research found that the current applications being used are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Our investigation suggests that these technologies may combine some time in the future to create one large network.


In recent years there has been a large emphasis placed upon wireless communications networks (mobile networks) and how they can improve the business environment. The purpose of this discussion is to explore the concept of wireless communication networks and all the mechanisms involved in making them effective. Our investigation will explore the history and development vision of mobile networks. We will also explore the main characteristics, design issues and provide a description of wireless communication networks. In addition the research will focus on advantages, disadvantages, current and future applications/developments.

Historic Notes

The world of telecommunications has changed significantly over the past 20 years and continues to develop at an alarming rate. Wireless communications networks have played a large role in contributing to the development of the telecommunications sector.

A book entitled, Wireless: Strategically Liberalizing the Telecommunications Market, explains the duty of the telecommunications sector and the mediums that are used in the telecommunications sector. The book asserts that the companies and government ministries that provide telecommunications services today offer customers the opportunity to communicate through certain kinds of technology. The technologies are diverse: Telephones, televisions, satellites, computers, electronic mail networks, personal digital assistants, just to name a few, and more are being introduced every day."(Regli)

The book describes telecommunications as the ability to connect people through a medium. A traditional telecommunications company serves as a transmitter that carries signals from one place to another. There are two dominant means of transmitting communications: "through wires, which allow for the transmission and reception of information at the fixed points along the wire, and through wireless, which uses the electromagnetic spectrum to carry information from one place to another." (Regli)

Wireless communication was developed while wired communication was being expanded. Guilermo Marconi was one of the first to experiment with other ways to communicate besides a wired system. According to the book Marconi used Einstein's theory of relativity to create a system of wireless telegraphy. The book goes on to say that the early development of wireless communications was the stepping stone for today's wireless communications networks. (Regli)

In the past wireless networks were unreliable and expensive. The old system was often criticized for not being fast enough and not providing users with the benefits associated with the traditional wired systems. However, today there have been many technological advances that have allowed these networks to become more efficient.

Development Vision

Wireless networks have grown tremendously in recent years. Mobile networks are being used in the business world, institutions of higher learning, and most recently in homes. According to an article in T.H.E. Journal, explains the development vision of wireless networks in business and academics. The article asserts,

Many technology companies are exploring wireless communication with the hope of emulating Europe, which is said to be a leader in wireless innovation and adoption. Lucent Technologies has launched a $10 million global research program to study the business impact of wireless applications on the Internet. Lucent, which provides network infrastructure to many of the world's carriers, hopes this study will urge carriers to invest more resources in third-generation networks. Boston University of Management will receive $5 million; London Business School and the INSEAD Business School, based in Fontainebleau, France will each receive $2.5 million. The focus of that work will be in vertical markets, such as health care. Though wireless LANs are being studied in the mobile workforce, universities have been running campus-wide pilot projects for a number of years. For example, Johns Hopkins University of Public Health in Baltimore, Md. is working on its second full-scale wireless LAN upgrade." (Charp)

The article goes on to explain that wireless laptops are becoming more prevalent on college campuses and they allow an even more convenient route to wireless networks.

The author asserts that the wireless-enabled laptops will be combined with Internet networks to allow students instant access to the Internet, regardless of where they are on campus. For instance, at Wake Forest University students have wireless access at 140 different areas of the campus, including dorms, the library and lounges. (Charp)

Main Characteristics, Design issues and Description wireless network is technically referred to as a wireless local area network (WLAN), and utilizes radio transmissions instead of cables to allow admission to a network. According to The Journal of Accountancy WLAN equipment cost considerably more than regular LAN equipment. (Chamberlain and Stambaugh) One of the main characteristics of mobile networks is the ability to access the network without being tethered to a cable.

An article entitled, "Wireless for the mobile workforce: the range of applications, higher speeds and better security make a solid business case" explains the functions of a WLAN system. The artice explains the speed of the ew generation wireless services. The article contends that, enterprise users are now able to conduct business that was once only available through wireline access. Users connecting to the Internet or e-mail via a third-generation network device can experience a desktop-like experience, with peak speeds of 144 kbps, and average user speeds between 50 kbps to 70 kbps. For example, upon seeing an important e-mail about available property, a real-estate agent can act right away by accessing his client list and making calls instead of waiting to return to the office or hotel to respond." (Bowman)

The article further describes the speed and security options associated with WLAN systems. The author explains that data speeds are essential to inabling users to have a desktop comparable experience. (Bowman) One of the ways that this can be accomplished is through packet-switched data, which is a more efficient way of transferring data than the commonly used circuit switch data. (Bowman)

The traditional circuit-switched data is a network system that allows an entire channel or circuit to be taken up to deliver the data transmission. (Bowman)

This means that when a data session occurs, a circuit is left open during the entire session. (Bowman) In the other hand, packet-switched data, allows a data message to be transmitted in packets and no single circuit is left open during the duration of the session. In addition each packet is prepared in a particular way for transmission that includes the data, control information, detection bits and error correction. (Bowman) The author notes that such speeds are likely to increase as more applications become available in later phases of 3G. (Bowman)

Finally, the article describes the security of a WLAN system.

The author contends that such security is a must for a wireless network that cotains advanced wireless data services. (Bowman)

One of the security precautions that is often utilized involves digital coding technology which allows CDMA transmission technology to deter accidental or intentional eavesdropping. (Bowman) The CDMA technology was first used by the U.S. military technology and works by spliting sounds into small bits that travel on a spread spectrum of frequencies. (Bowman) This means that all the conversation or data that is exchanged over the network contains a digital code that is only known to the CDMA base station and phone. In turn, other devices can not receive the call; there are many codes that can be utilized to prevent eavesdropping. (Bowman)

Advantages (Chamberlain and Stambaugh)

There are several advantages associated with the implementation of a wireless networks. Cisco Systems discusses some of the advantages of a wireless network in a white paper entitled, "2003 Wireless LAN Benefits Study." This study explains that the advantages of a wireless network include; Mobility / freedom, no wires, cost effectiveness, ease of access, convenience, flexibility and ease of installation. (2003 Wireless LAN Benefits Study) Most of these benefits were substantiated by end users and IT professionals alike. However, the study explains that there were some slight differences in the advantages seen by each of these stakeholders. The report explains that Although both end users and IT/MIS staff agree that convenience, flexibility and mobility are the…

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