Term Paper: Wireless Networking Phenomenon Today's World

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[. . .] In addition, the phenomenon of wireless technology will be critically examined in relation to its influence on human communication patterns, and this concept will be supported by evidence from the aforementioned resources in order to provide support to the theory that wireless technology has forever altered life existence in industrialized nations as it increases its presence in many lives.

Rationale of the Study

The importance of a research study and the analysis of existing resources related to wireless technology are critical to the identification of the key components that provide value and convenience for the end user. As wireless technology continues to develop and improve convenience, access, productivity, profitability, and communication for its users, it is important to recognize that manufacturers are taking many risks and challenges in the identification and development of feasible products that are designed to meet future needs and to satisfy anticipated demands. However, it is these risks and challenges assumed by business organizations that will provide continuity and efficacy in a highly profitable and recognizable industry.

Wireless technology has translated into tremendous economic growth in many industries, and as this truth continues to be recognized for its significance and achievement, industrialized nations continue to thrive and prosper in a variety of ways. Consumers also reap enormous benefits from wireless technology that is demonstrated in the increased need for and acquisition of wireless devices that promote convenience and enhancement of daily activities. Finally, placing all economic discussions aside, wireless technology has provide the concept of communication with much-needed simplicity and expediency that until recently, did not exist in an effective manner. It is this fact that is perhaps most significant and will contribute the greatest advantage to this discussion.

Definition of Terms

1. Digital phone: A type of cellular phone that sends signals that are pulsed

2. Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The government body that is responsible for the oversight of radio communications technology

3. Personal Area Network (PAN): A space of small coverage surrounding a person where communications occur, typically involving laptop computers, personal digital assistants, cell phones, headsets, and digital gadgets

4. Personal Network (PN): Extends the range of a PAN by addressing virtual environments that span a variety of infrastructure and ad-hoc networks

5. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): Networks that dominate home networking and implement wireless Internet access points

Overview of the Study

This study will demonstrate the importance of wireless technology in the lives of consumers and structured organizations across the globe. Wireless devices such as cellular phones, laptop computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are user-friendly and relatively inexpensive methods of communication that require little personal effort to operate and that provide significant benefits. A history of wireless technology will be presented that will lead to a discussion of the various advantages involved in using wireless technology for personal and business use. In addition, the effects of wireless technology on worldwide communications will also be discussed in terms of their capability to improve the overall communication process. Finally, conclusions will be drawn and recommendations will be made regarding the continued significance of wireless technology on the consumer and business world.

Chapter 2

Review of Related Literature

Introduction large body of literature and research exists that provides both a detailed background and statistical data regarding the utilization and benefits of various forms of wireless technology. This information demonstrates that since its inception, wireless technology has become increasingly prevalent in the lives of consumers as well as businesses in order to simplify communications and to allow access to necessary information on an unlimited basis. The first step in a detailed discussion of wireless technology must include a brief history of the topic, specifically the first methods of technology designed and their significance to the end user. Secondly, the increased prevalence of wireless technology in daily living is a critical factor for which many sources of information exist. Next, the effects of wireless technology on the communication process has resulted in a variety of articles and periodicals that identify specific reasons for this phenomenon and its importance to the residents of industrialized nations. Finally, an ever-increasing body of knowledge exists regarding the incidence of improved communication channels as a result of wireless technology. Each of these arguments will be presented and supported in this chapter by a variety of reputable and educated experts that possess explicit information and experience regarding the topic in question.

Origin of Wireless Networking Technology

The emergence of wireless technology took place when Marconi developed wireless telegraphy back in the late 1800s. According to Steinbock (2002), "In late 1895, Gugilelmo Marconi transmitted wireless signals across a distance of more than a mile, an event that many historians consider the birth of radio...Marconi initiated the first wireless markets in the maritime sector and naval communications, primarily in the U.S.A. And the developed markets of Western Europe. Driven by the commercial potential of the wireless, he sought sustainable advantages through patents" (p. 29). Upon this discovery, the evolution of wireless technology led to the development of AM wireless communications, designed for use in U.S. police departments. Subsequent developments included the most recent era of cellular technology, starting with analog cellular and concluding with broadband cellular (Steinbock, 2002). The evolution of wireless research and development in the United States began with investigations by Bell Systems and Motorola, and Bell provided the first true concept of cellular systems in 1946. In St. Louis, Missouri, AT&T and Southwestern Bell introduced the first American commercial wireless service for private customers. This concept depended upon the following basic premises (Steinbock, 2002):

narrowband FM channel automatic trunking direct dialing full-duplex service

From this period to the late 1970s, wireless R&D was characterized by central innovation in the home country, and the parent company utilized existing resources to create new technologies, processes, and products (Steinbock, 2002). The innovation process then developed via three primary variations in the wireless industry, where the differences were found in scope of leverage and incentives (Steinbock, 2002):

Bell Labs' development of the cellular concept: This innovation was first exploited across key urban test markets and was eventually utilized nationally

Motorola's research and development efforts: The innovation was leveraged nationally and then internationally, but was subject to the parent's overall electronics strategy. These incentives provided greater risk-taking tolerance as the scope extended beyond the national market

Ericsson's research and development initiatives: These efforts were also leveraged nationally and internationally, but Ericsson did not have the advantage of test marketing in the United States; rather, they had to test the waters in their home country of Sweden

The standardization of the wireless industry began in the 1980s, with the development of 3G systems that identified the need to harmonize frequency spectrum and radio interface standards worldwide (Steinbock, 2002). In addition, the transformation of R&D into a global phenomenon required the development of strategic coalitions that inspired the merger of resources in order to improve overall product development and potential growth in the industry. The concept of the Internet began around this time, based on the following components (Steinbock, 2002):

interconnected communication networks common protocols packet switching routers

In the 1990s, two separate events demonstrated a profound impact on the wireless industry. In 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned a portion of the radio broadcast band to 107 companies that provided personal communications services (PCS). As a result, PCS systems were required to make a large investment to acquire licenses and were also required to serve 37.5% of its assigned geographical market area in the first five years and 75% within ten years, which created intense pressure to extend systems as rapidly as possible (Wikle, 2002). In 1996, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act to promote the development and proliferation of wireless technology, and placed some restrictions on local communities as they attempted to regulate the placement of cellular equipment (Wikle, 2002).

As cellular networks expanded into rural areas in the early 1990s, consumers found that they could increasingly communicate outside of urban areas, where towers were becoming common sightings. As subscriber statistics increased, the proliferation of cellular towers began to explode in rural and urban areas in response to the demand for quality service without interruptions. Since its inception, the wireless industry has experienced significant growth through technological advancements and market fruition. It has been demonstrated that no firm will be able to survive without continuously reinventing itself in a highly competitive market, and this theory holds true in the twenty-first century.

What is Wireless Technology?

Wireless networks provide users with an effective means of communication with a corporate network or a personal user interface in the home that permits access to the Internet through such devices as laptop computers, cellular phones, and personal digital assistants. Following the development of the IEEE 802.11b standard or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity), countless wireless network cards and wireless access points with data rates up to 54 million bits per second have… [END OF PREVIEW]

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