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Wi-Fi, which stands for wireless fidelity, in a play on the older term Hi-Fi, is a wireless

networking technology used across the globe. Wi-Fi refers to any system that uses the
802.11 standard, which was developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE) and released in 1997. The term Wi-Fi, which is alternatively spelled
WiFi, Wi-fi, Wifi, or wifi, was pushed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a trade group that
pioneered commercialization of the technology.

In a Wi-Fi network, computers with wifi network cards connect wirelessly to a wireless
router. The router is connected to the Internet by means of a modem, typically a cable or
DSL modem. Any user within 200 feet or so (about 61 meters) of the access point can
then connect to the Internet, though for good transfer rates, distances of 100 feet (30.5
meters) or less are more common. Retailers also sell wireless signal boosters that extend
the range of a wireless network.

Wifi networks can either be "open", such that anyone can use them, or "closed", in which
case a password is needed. An area blanketed in wireless access is often called a wireless
hotspot. There are efforts underway to turn entire cities, such as San Francisco, Portland,
and Philadelphia, into big wireless hotspots. Many of these plans will offer free, ad-
supported service or ad-free service for a small fee. San Francisco recently chose Google
to supply it with a wireless network.

Wifi technology uses radio for communication, typically operating at a frequency of


2.4GHz. Electronics that are "WiFi Certified" are guaranteed to interoperate with each
other regardless of brand. Wifi is technology designed to cater to the lightweight
computing systems of the future, which are mobile and designed to consume minimal
power. PDAs, laptops, and various accessories are designed to be wifi-compatible. There
are even phones under development that would switch seamlessly from cellular networks
to wifi networks without dropping a call.

New wifi technologies will extend range from 300 feet (91.5 meters) to 600 feet (183
meters) and beyond, while boosting data transfer rates. Most new laptops nowadays come
equipped with internal wireless networking cards.

Reference : http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-wifi.htm
EDGE takes GSM even further. GSM, which stands for Global System for Mobile
communications, reigns as the world’s most widely used cell phone technology.

EDGE, which stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, is a faster version of
GSM. EDGE is a high-speed 3G technology that was built upon the GSM standard.

EDGE networks are designed to deliver multimedia applications such as streaming


television, audio and video to mobile phones at speeds up to 384 Kbps. Such speeds still
pale in comparison, though, to standard DSL and high-speed cable access today.

EDGE delivers a boost of more than three times the capacity and performance over GSM.

The EDGE standard was first launched in the United States in 2003 by Cingular, which is
now AT&T, on top of the GSM standard. AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers Wireless in
Canada all use EDGE networks.

Reference : http://cellphones.about.com/od/phoneglossary/g/edge.htm

Following the evolutionary line of cell phone technology standards that has spanned from
1G, 2G, 2.5G to 3G, 4G describes the entirely brave new world beyond advanced 3G
networks.

4G, which is also known as “beyond 3G” or “fourth-generation” cell phone technology,
refers to the entirely new evolution and a complete 3G replacement in wireless
communications.

Just as data-transmission speeds increased from 2G to 3G, the leap from 3G to 4G again
promises even higher data rates than existed in previous generations. 4G promises voice,
data and high-quality multimedia in real-time (“streamed”) form all the time and
anywhere.

Various standardization and regulatory bodies estimate the launch of 4G networks


commercially between 2012 and 2015.

Reference : http://cellphones.about.com/od/phoneglossary/g/4g.htm
GPRS

The general packet radio service (GPRS) is designed to multiplex the packet transmission
of different concurrent mobile stations over a TDMA channel of the connection-oriented
GSM system. GSM is based on FDM/FDMA/TDM/TDMA/FDD transmission. One
frequency channel offers eight TDMA traffic channels, simultaneously. A number of
traffic channels may be combined in the multi-slot option to provide a higher capacity
TDMA channel for packet multiplexing.
The multiplexing on the DL is done by the downlink scheduler in the base station
that knows all active MSs and the pending DL packets. The uplink is shared between
several MSs transmitting to the BS. Access to the uplink is realized with a slotted
ALOHA based reservation protocol. A packet channel request sent on the packet random
access channel to the base station is answered by a packet uplink assignment message to
the mobile indicating the time position of the radio resources reserved for the MS
(Walke, 2002)

WAP

Consider a wireless application protocol (WAP) architecture as an example of


application-level connectivity. As depicted in Figure 1.5, WAP gateway acts as a
middleman or translator receiving user requests. There are pros and cons in this method
of communication between mobile terminals and the internet. WAP clearly provides a
workable content delivery capability for mobile terminals via a wireless link. On the
other hand, access to the Internet is clearly not seamless and under certain conditions can
be blocked by the gateway. The WAP approach also has serious implications for e-mail.
All e-mail transactions (with the attendant charges). The same is true of e-mail massages
from the internet to the WAP terminal.