IMPACT OF WIRELESS NETWORKS
Just start to think about the mid 1970s, Imagine the first time when somebody used a remote control to operate his TV set or any other devices. Well, Technology has grown by leaps and bounds since then. Wireless technologies represent a rapidly emerging area of growth and importance for providing access to the networks for students, workplace community, researchers, military etc.
IEEE(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has issued a project named 802 that monitors the changes to the networking issues. It has given the standard that almost all networks follow. This includes the Ethernet LAN (IEEE 802.3) that included the wired LAN which gained much popularity among students in college campuses and business workforce. But, lately with the advent of wireless technology, the wired LANs have lost their shine among the masses. Wireless LANs (IEEE 802.11) are typically restricted in a coverage area of buildings, college campuses, single rooms etc. The global goal of wireless LAN is to replace office cabling and additionally to introduce a higher flexibility for adhoc communication in group meetings, conferences. Apart from wireless LANs, Personal Area Networks (PAN) especially Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15) is designed such that the participating entities are mobiles and require sporadic communicaton with others. Being an omni directional that is, it doesn’t have the line of sight limitation like infra red does, gives it an edge over other wireless technologies. These days every mobile phone is having a feature of Bluetooth wherein any information can be sent or received through mobile phones within a distance of a single room or so. Bluetooth technologyalready plays a partin the rising Voice over IP(VOIP). Bluetooth headsets are being used as wireless extensions to the PC audio systems.
Employees, Clients and customers increasingly want service and network access from various places inside and outside the company. Almost all the businesses have shown tremendous interest in expanding their workplace by setting up mobile computing workplaces for their employees and also for other functions like- suppliers, distributors and service providers. Recent progress shows how the industry has adopted to the standards of wireless technology and tried to provide cost effective solutions. The best part of using wireless technologies is to provide the employees with a networking environment where physical wires are not the barrier and wireless technology can help to allow remote monitoring and data possession, to provide management and security.
From being used to the traditional fixed telephone networks which are virtually static having fixed RF bandwidth, we have a come a long way to wireless cellular networks that are dynamic and can be rearranged every time the subscriber moves into the coverage area of different base station. Our lives have changed drastically from using cabled telephones to wireless mobile phones and now the smartphones, so as our wireless networks have evolved from first generation(1G) cordless telephone like AMPs, CDPD, NMT that was based on analog technology and ranged only a few metres, to the second generation (2G) using GSM/TDMA standards , to the third generation(3G) based on CDMA standards that offers greater network capacity, faster speed through improved spectral efficiency.But still, it is not possible to implement 3G by completely replacing 2G. Therefore, although having high prices, 3G is preferred for greater speeds.
After using PDAs as the most reliable source of wireless network, the integrated networking in PDAs isn’t giving the variety of choices available. Users can utilize third-party tools, and manufacturers don’t have to offer many models to gain more popularity. Instead, the expansion ports lets the people choose from a fast-growing field of accessories. Adding these peripherals is costly and the outcome is scrupulous. Personal area networks in close immediacy to an individual let you transfer personal data among devices. For example, if you connect your PDA and digital phone with cables or by wireless signals, you’ve set up a PAN. Cables were used most commonly, followed by infrared, but more lately Bluetooth has become a major connection method. A best solution involves cheap, low-power, user-friendly component. We can use serial cables, infrared data modems in cellular phones. None of these solutions are easy, and cheap. One of the greatest roadblock to the wireless dream is the providers of networks and carriers, always charge more than you use. Maintaining continuous and dependable coverage is also a big problem. Carriers continue to build out their networks, and are ignoring the actual problem of augmented bandwidth, while balancing the continued delays of third-generation cell phone networks.
In spite of having numerous advantages of Bluetooth still it cannot replace wireless LAN. Another wieless technology that has emerged specially in college campuses and of course, office campuses is Wi-Fi(Wireless Fidelity), suitable perennial data transfer and can replace LAN. In the early millennia, Wi-fi/802.11 became widely used and within a short time, all the laptops and other handheld devices came with a built in Wi-fi. These days all the college and office campuses come with a built in wi-fi so as to provide their student and employees with fast internet access on the move without any physical media. Apart from having so many pros it cannot be adopted by midsized to small size business due to its high cost and difficulty in maintaining security among the devices in the netwok.
But, communication remains by far the most popular application of the wireless technology. Communication which mainly includes mobile email and instant messaging. With smart phones paving the way for apps like whats app and wechat, wireless instant messaging has left the traditional sms far behind. Another important wireless technology developed by OnStar Communications, will provide drivers voice access to the Internet. The OnStar service provides airbag deployment notification, remote door unlocking, location services, stolen-vehicle tracking, and remote diagnostics”. A question might arise as to why this technology is sought after, authorities will arrive on the scene faster, thieves will be detoured, and locking one’s keys in the car wont incorporate the vandalistic approach once used. Also, it is figured that 80% of all cellular phone calls are made from vehicles, with this new technology voice activated technology, users can expect to have both hands free while talking. With these upcoming services, drivers will set up profiles from their desktop PC or laptop which are kept on servers in OnStar’s service centers. With a hands free, voice-activated interface, OnStar subscribers will use voice prompts, such as “Read my E-mail” or “give directions from source to destination” to receive information via the Internet. The OnStar service will match the drivers speech as required Internet text to search on world wide web. The most appropriate choice will again be converted to speech and thus the information will be read accordingly over the internet.
Out of all the advantages provided by the wireless networks, the main concern that might become its greatest disadvantage is the user authentication and the privacy that users in a group might need. Various research institutes have poured in big bucks to ensure data security and non repudiation among the users while sending data on a wireless networks. For this purpose, various protocols have been issued by various organization like X.509, a protocol required for the using data over internet by almost every website.
Since, we are increasingly becoming dependent on the technology and are rather changing our lifestyle, our standard of living and even ourselves, it is quite exciting to adopt it as our career. It is a suitable option for those who are looking for a change in their monotonous life. A career in wireless network will surely serve this purpose and at the same time will let our human race to evolve not only technologically but socially as well as economically.