Mobile Computing: A technology that allows transmission of data, via a computer, without having to be connected to a fixed physical link. A computer which you can take with you all around. You can do all the things which can be done with a desktop computer. You should be able to use same software, which you use on a desktop computer. Mobile voice communication is widely established throughout the world and has had a very rapid increase in the number of subscribers to the various cellular networks over the last few years. An extension of this technology is the ability to send and receive data across these cellular networks. This is the principle of mobile computing. Mobile data communication has become a very important and rapidly evolving technology as it allows users to transmit data from remote locations to other remote or fixed locations. This proves to be the solution to the biggest problem of business people on the move - mobility.

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Many types of mobile computers have been introduced since the 1990s including the: 1. Personal digital assistant/enterprise digital assistant: A PDA with a web browser is an Internet tablet, an Internet appliance in tablet form. It does not have as much computing power as a full tablet computer and its applications suite is limited, and it cannot replace a general purpose computer. Internet tablets typically feature an MP3 and video player, a web browser, a chat application and a picture viewer. 2. Smartphone: A smartphone has a wide range of features and installable applications. 3. Tablet computer: A tablet computer that lacks a keyboard (also known as a nonconvertible tablet) is shaped like a slate or a paper notebook. Instead a physical keyboard it has a touchscreen with some combination of virtual keyboard, stylus and or handwriting recognition software. Tablets may not be best suited for applications requiring a physical keyboard for typing, but are otherwise capable of carrying out most of the tasks of an ordinary laptop. 4. Ultra-Mobile PC: An ultra-mobile PC is a full-featured, PDA-sized computer running a general-purpose operating system 5. Wearable computer: Wearable computers, also known as body-borne computers are miniature electronic devices that are worn by the bearer under, with or on top of clothing. This class of wearable technology has been developed for general or special purpose information technologies and media development. One of the main features of a wearable computer is consistency. There is a constant interaction between the computer and user, i.e. there is no need to turn the deviceon or off. Another feature is the ability to multi-task.

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1. Range & Bandwidth: Mobile Internet access is generally slower than direct cable connections, using technologies such as GPRS and EDGE, and more recently HSDPA and HSUPA 3G and 4G networks. These networks are usually available within range of commercial cell phone towers. Higher speed wireless LANs are inexpensive but have very limited range. 2. Security standards: When working mobile, one is dependent on public networks, requiring careful use of VPN. Security is a major concern while concerning the mobile computing standards on the fleet. One can easily attack the VPN through a huge number of networks interconnected through the line. 3. Power consumption: When a power outlet or portable generator is not available, mobile computers must rely entirely on battery power. Combined with the compact size of many mobile devices, this often means unusually expensive batteries must be used to obtain the necessary battery life. 4. Transmission interferences: Weather, terrain, and the range from the nearest signal point can all interfere with signal reception. Reception in tunnels, some buildings, and rural areas is often poor. 5. Potential health hazards: People who use mobile devices while driving are often distracted from driving and are thus assumed more likely to be involved in traffic accidents.(While this may seem obvious, there is considerable discussion about whether banning mobile device use while driving reduces accidents or not. Cell phones may interfere with sensitive medical devices. Questions concerning mobile phone radiation and health have been raised. 6. Human interface with device: Screens and keyboards tend to be small, which may make them hard to use. Alternate input methods such as speech or handwriting recognition require training.

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Data Communications is the exchange of data using existing communication networks. The term data covers a wide range of applications including File Transfer (FT), interconnection between Wide-Area-Networks (WAN), facsimile (fax), electronic mail, access to the internet and the World Wide Web (WWW).

Mobile Communications Overview Data Communications have been achieved using a variety of networks such as PSTN, leased-lines and more recently ISDN (Integrated Services Data Network) and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)/Frame Relay. These networks are partly or totally analogue or digital using technologies such as circuit - switching, packet - switching etc.

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MOBILE COMPUTING Circuit switching implies that data from one user (sender) to another (receiver) has to follow a prespecified path. If a link to be used is busy, the message cannot be redirected, a property which causes many delays. Packet switching is an attempt to make better utilization of the existing network by splitting the message to be sent into packets. Each packet contains information about the sender, the receiver, the position of the packet in the message as well as part of the actual message. There are many protocols defining the way packets can be send from the sender to the receiver. The most widely used are the Virtual Circuit-Switching system, which implies that packets have to be sent through the same path, and the Datagram system which allows packets to be sent at various paths depending on the network availability. Packet switching requires more equipment at the receiver, where reconstruction of the message will have to be done. Bandwidth:

Wireless   Infrared - 1 Mbps Radio - 2 Mbps Cellular telephony - 9-14 Kbps

Wired 

Ordinary Ethernet - 10 Mbps FDDI - 100 Mbps ATM - 155 Mbps

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The question that always arises when a business is thinking of buying a mobile computer is "Will it be worth it?" In many fields of work, the ability to keep on the move is vital in order to utilize time efficiently. Efficient utilization of resources (i.e.: staff) can mean substantial savings in transportation costs and other non-quantifiable costs such as increased customer attention, impact of on site maintenance and improved intercommunication within the business. The importance of Mobile Computers has been highlighted in many fields of which a few are described below:  Emergency Services  Police Incident Information Screen  In courts  In companies  Stock Information Collation/Control  Credit Card Verification  Taxi/Truck Dispatch  Taxi Dispatch Network  Electronic Mail/Paging

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With the rapid technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence, Integrated Circuitry and increases in Computer Processor speeds, the future of mobile computing looks increasingly exciting. Use of Artificial Intelligence may allow mobile units to be the ultimate in personal secretaries, which can receive emails and paging messages, understand what they are about, and change the individual’s personal schedule according to the message. This can then be checked by the individual to plan his/her day. The working lifestyle will change, with the majority of people working from home, rather than commuting. This may be beneficial to the environment as less transportation will be utilized. This mobility aspect may be carried further in that, even in social spheres, people will interact via mobile stations, eliminating the need to venture outside of the house. Indeed, technologies such as Interactive television and Video Image Compression already imply a certain degree of mobility in the home, i.e. home shopping etc. Using the mobile data communication technologies discussed, this mobility may be pushed to extreme. The future of Mobile Computing is very promising indeed, although technology may go too far, causing detriment to society.

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Mobile computers are something like the opposite of virtual reality, where virtual reality puts people inside a computer-generated world, mobile computing forces the computer to live out here in the world with people. Mobile computing systems have different constraints and hence different solutions. Main challenges are due to Wireless - unreliable. Mobility - dynamism of information. Portability - limited resources

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  Mobile Computing Networks by Dr.Yatindra Nath Singh EE/ACES, IIT Kanpur

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