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Reload this page Wireless Phones and Telephony

These notes on wireless technologies are difficult to come by because carriers want to make money by making it as difficult as people to use alternatives. Ever get a phone bill the size of mortgage payments?


Topics this page:

  • Convergence
  • Compatibilities
  • World Phone?
  • Frequencies
  • 3G vs. LTE
  • Transmission Tech
  • IDChips
  • Bandwidth by Protocol
  • Operating Systems
  • Wire Protocols
  • Transports for MMS
  • Carriers
  • Hitachi G1000
  • Windows Mobile
  • Batteries
  • Antennas
  • Printers
  • Headsets
  • Resources
  • Your comments???

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    No cellphone!

    Top of page Convergence

    Top of page Compatibilities

    Top of page World Phones

    Top of page Wireless Frequencies

    Top of page 3G vs. LTE Technology

    Top of page Carrier Transmission Technologies and Speeds

    Top of page Chips

    Top of page Bandwidth by Protocol

      Wi-Fi is short for “Wireless Fidelity”, named by the Wi-Fi Alliance of leading wireless equipment and software providers which tests and certifies 802.11-based products for interoperability.

      WiMax?Subs 15 Mbps
      Base 75 Mbps
      3 miles
      Base 30 miles
      ? Mbps Cost
      802.11bWiFi2.4 GHz11 Mbps
      at 300 ft.
      7-8 Mbps3 channel Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
      Shares spectrum with cordless phone & microwaves. Promoted by the industry group WECA, which includes Cisco, 3Com, Apple, and Lucent.
      802.11aWiFiS5.0 GHz54 Mbps27-30 Mbps8 channel Orthogonal-Frequency Division Multiplexing
      Not backward compatible with 802.11b
      802.11gWiFi 2.4 GHz54 Mbps27-30 Mbps3 channel Orthogonal-Frequency Division Multiplexing
      Backwards compatible with 802.11b
      802.11i 3G 144 Mbps 1XRTT Rijndeal AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
      HomeRF 54 Mbps - Frequency hopping spread spectrum. Promoted by industry group CUBE which includes Intel, Siemens, Motorola, and Compaq. -
      802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi - 433 Mbps - - -

    • On April 16, 2002 AT&T WIRELESS SERVICES launched its mMode ( consumer Internet service for mobile phones in a dozen markets in the U.S. The GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) offering allows data transfers to and from wireless handsets at speeds up to 144Kbps. The service is modeled on the I-mode wireless service popularized by Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo, which owns 16 percent of AT&T Wireless.


    • Among the 150+ WASP providers, Everypath scrapes web pages and translates their content for display on handeld devices.

    • Intel in 2004 partnered with Proxim (PROX) and Alcatel to develop WiMAX reference kit and end-user products.

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    Top of page Operating Systems and Platforms

    Top of page Wire Protocols

      W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) is a technology for wideband digital radio communications in Internet, multimedia, video and other capacity-demanding applications. It provides a data rate of 2Mbps.

      3G mobile technology UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) delivers audio and video to wireless devices anywhere in the world through fixed, wireless and satellite systems.

      WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a secure specification that allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, and PDAs.
      WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a WAP feature used to encrypt and decrypt data signals transmitted between WLAN devices. Microsoft patch only Windows XP (not 2000/Millenium) for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Enabling on Belkin

      tool XML to WAP phone emulator

      Going to a non-WAP site typically results in message 406 No acceptable objects were found

      BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) — 28 GHz in the US (22-42 Ghz elsewhere)— can support the equivalent of 3800 telephone lines.
      LMDS = Local Multipoint Distribution Service (provided by Nextlink) uses cells which each covers 2-3 mile radius.
      LMCS = Local Multipoint Communication Service in Canada
      MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service) cells each covers a 35 mile radius fresnel (line-of-sight) zone using the 2150-2162 MHz and 2500-2960 MHz spectrum bands. So they sit on top of the 1454 foot Sears tower in Chicago.

      Hybrid Networks supplies fixed broadband wireless for Sprint and Worldcom in the US. Alcatel is big in France. Alvarion is from Tel Aviv.

    • MAGNET (Motorola)
    • Qualcomm BREW Developer Program


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    Top of page Transports for MMS

      GSM SMS (Short Messaging Service) enables mobile phone users to "chat" with each other using pure text messages of up to 160 characters. See

      EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service) adds to SMS text formatting such as bold or underline for emphasis.

      MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) "pushes" images, sound/video clips, and other attachments transported over underlying bearers (wireless networks) using the WAP protocol to MMS enabled mobile devices.

      MMS implementations from Nokia and Ericsson use WAP for transporting MMS messages between the MMSC (MMS Control Centre) and mobile devices.

      Note: Microsoft also uses MMS to mean “Microsoft Metadirectory Services”, a tool (formerly Zoomit Via) Microsoft consulting services sells as a bundled solution for inter-forest synchronization (synchronizing different directory services such as Active Directoryanother page on this site, Novell's NDS, and OpenLDAP).

      CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) allows telecommunications companies to transfer data over existing cellular networks to users.

      RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an analog-to-digital conversion technology that uses radio frequency waves to transfer data between a moveable item and a reader to identify, track or locate that item.

      Sprint PCS Vision cameras in Samsung A500 and Samsung N400 PCS phones take (outdoor) photos at 474x357 pixels using 128 colors. The phone transmits (at about twenty seconds per picture) PhoneMail files to a, using technology from LightSurf, a private company founded in 1998 by industry visionary Philippe Kahn (of Borland fame).

      Sending A Wireless Text-Message With Java 4/28/2001


      In 1945, the first public mobile telephone system in the U.S. was inaugurated in St. Louis by what was then Southwestern Bell Telephone (later SBC Communications, and then AT&T, SBC again, and AT&T again in 2005). At 150 MHz, the mobile equipment was not sophisticated enough to prevent interference even when using three (of Six channels allocated by the FCC) spaced 60 kHz apart.

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    Top of page Carriers: Service providers

    • AT&T Wireless M-Mobile Data Developer Program
    • Cingular (formerly GTE, etc.) has a Wireless Developer Program
    • SprintPCS Application Developer Program, which require J2ME, XHTML, Palm and Pocket PC apps to be Handango Mobile Ready certification and content publishing to monitize through Sprint's PCS Content ConnectionSM. coverage area
    • Nextel (806-821 MHz Tx and 851-866 MHz Rx)
    • MCI (formerly Worldcomm)
    • T-Mobile
    • Verizon wireless (formerly Pacific Bell, etc.)

      Hong Kong: Orange and CSL
      Austria: Mobilkom
      Finland: Sonera
      France: Orange
      Germany: Vodafone D2
      Hungary: Westel
      Italy: TIM
      Norway: Telenor Mobile
      Portugal: Vodafone & TMN
      Switzerland: Swisscom
      UK: T-Mobile
      Poland: Era

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    Top of page Hitachi SH-G1000

      My program will interface with these components, services, and objects on the device:

    • Windows Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition OS services (based on Windows XP, but not Windows Mobile 2003)
    • QWERTY Keypad for two thumbs -- not backlit.
    • Scroll dial (scrollwheel)
    • 240x320 pixels and 65,536 colors on the 3-1/2-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) color display and ATI Imageon 3200 graphics chip
    • 640x480 pixels VGA Camera (rotates) and also has 2X and 4X zoom and color adjustment setting (but no flash).
    • 32 MB of SDRAM ( not upgradable & requires moving 300K pics to memory card)
    • 400 MHz Intel XScaleT PXA255 Processor (faster than T-Mobile's Pocket PC)
    • MMC/SD (MultiMediaCard/Secure Digital) expansion slot memory cards (not SDIO-compliant, so no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi add-ons)
    • Dial, Hang up, Switch to speakerphone, Initiate voice dialing, toggle between standard, outdoor, and silent modes etc. on the Sprint PCS digital Wireless network (no analog roaming)
    • GPS E911 chip
    • Standard Windows Mobile applications: (Westtek's ClearVue) Microsoft Pocket Excel, Outlook 2000, Word, Windows Media Player, Inbox -- Address book does not sort alphabetically
    • Microsoft Outlook with ActiveSync 3.7 to use USB Mini-USB Type B and USB 4 pin USB Type A cradle connections Agenda Fusion or Pocket Informant
    • MSN Messenger and AOL AIM (free in UK only)
    • Pocket Internet Explorer (emulates Internet Explorer 3 -- yuck) $50/year Thunderhawk still doesn't store cookies.
    • Handsfree voice dial and Speaker (for up to 10 contacts)
    • IrDA Infrared v1.2 (115 kbps) communications port controls TV sets and X10 remotes


    • Extended life battery
    • Ear bud -- it is not a handheld phone
    • $___ for 128MB SanDisk SD card to hold MP3 files
    • $100 for 64MB internal on-board memory for multi-tasking several programs at once
    • $230 Bluetooth Ear boom with no wires to Bluetooth dongle.
    • $29 NetFront internet browser
    • $10 lens cover from at PO Box 880136 Boca Raton, FL 33488
    • Car vent mount or Arkon PDA holder that mounts on car windshields to easily dial numbers
    • $33 belt case
    • $48 USB car/Travel combo chargers
    • $70 hot sync desk cradle and USB cable that also charges 1,500mAh lithium-ion battery status (3 hours talk time)
    • Pocket Controller controls G1000 on a desktop machine for faster data entry with desktop keyboard.
    • $7.50 screen protectors
    • $10 stereo headphone plug adapter 2.5mm male to more common 3.5mm female

    • ListPro or PhatNotes
    • eWallet for storking passwords, credit card numbers
    • Pocket Player of MP3, WMA, WAV, etc.
    • Pocket TTY for UNIX SSH/Telnet

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    Top of page Microsoft Windows Mobile

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    Top of page Sprint PPC 6700 PDA Phone

      I got one of these Feb. 2005, which Sprint announced on 9/05. I don't think it's worth $500 of improved productivity for me. (Best Buy had it for sale at $399 after the Sprint $150 rebate).

      Both Alltel and Sprint offer this phone. Sprint charges an additional $20 per month (after 2 months) for accessing their EV-DO (400 Kbps T1 speed) 3G data network in major cities

      I had hoped the 2.8" diagonal wide screen (which takes up most of its 4.25" x 2.3" body) would make it usable for displaying Powerpoint speaker notes while I give lectures. But the rather standard 65,000-color 320x240 pixel resolution killed that idea.

      But alas, I'm not able to set a smaller font, so words are misaligned on web pages on the "MSIE 4.01" browser. Even more alarming, the browser does not think of itself as a "handheld" device. in Handheld CSS media type test1 and test2. So even if you hit the rare page that has been coded for smaller handheld device screens, the PPC6700 will still use the full-size screen's CSS code! Plus, it won't recognize WAP pages, either. So the unit is in a "no-man's land".

      Is this a deliberate ploy so that only specific websites, such as the for-fee Active Engine/Info can be read properly? It's the default IE screen much like Microsoft ships Windows with "" as the default IE site.

      The "Powerpoint Mobile" application only a viewer, and does not display speaker notes.

      ActiveSync 4.1 dialog Reminder To download powerpoint files, you cannot paste files to the mobile phone's file section using Windows Explorer. Such files will be ignored by the mobile device. You must paste them into the folder than comes up after you click the "Explore" button in the ActiveSync dialog. This triggers a file format conversion into the mobile format.

      The Adobe Reader for Pocket PC is 13.5MB!

      The unit can connect to WPA and WEP protected Wi-Fi networks. But a known bug (confirmed with Sprint Tech Support at 866.615-6387) is that when the unit goes into "Airplane mode" automatically under low signal conditions (such as actually being in an airplane), the only way to get it working again is to remove the battery, since the on/off button does not turn the unit off completely.

      Although its 416mhz runs fast, the Windows Mobile 5.0 user experience is not as user friendly as a Blackberry or Treo 6xx:

      • Mobile Outlook's Tasks list is too simplistic: It doesn't sort by Category like Outlook 2003 can (my preferred way to view my task list). Using Mobile Excel requires me to take the extra step of finding and opening a file.
      • download For more fields than what standard Outlook 2003 provides (as part of Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003), download Microsoft's Business Contact Manager Update (250 MB).

      • Number keys on the sliding QWERTY keyboard (designed by HTC -- Taiwan's High Tech Computer -- and produced by UTStarcom) are larger than any other PDA keyboard, making thumb typing easier. But like a regular keyboard, one has to remember what mode the keyboard is set to to avoid typing letters instead.

        The Treo keyboards is far superior for usability.

      • I'm annoyed with the 7 item limitation on the Start menu. Windows reserves the rest of the space to list the most recently used programs.
      Discovery sound
      Disconnected sound
      As for installation: Idea Instead of installing ActiveSync 4.0.4358 from CD that Sprint includes with the phone, download from Microsoft ActiveSync 4.1 (dated 11/18/2005), which offers faster transfer speeds from a new partnership wizard to make it easier to sync photos assigned to contacts from Outlook on the desktop. See Microsoft's ActiveSync FAQ

        Remote PC Sync (via Wifi or LAN) has been removed due to Enterprise customer feedback around security issues. If you are using this feature on a Windows Mobile 2003-based device, please continue using ActiveSync 3.x or earlier.

        Microsoft Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 users with devices running the Messaging and Security Feature Pack features DirectPush Mail, local device wipe, and certificate-based authentication to Exchange Server.

      As for the hardware:

        One nice feature is the miniUSB cable, which also supplies power. So I don't need to carry the cradle around. ActiveSync 4.1 uses ports 5678, 5679, 990, 26675, and 5721. These need to be opened if you have a non-Microsoft firewall software running on your PC.

        Like Scott Moritz, I too found the side buttons far too easy to hit accidentally. I often find the phone inadvertently launching the browser or recording a note.

        I'm glad to get screen protectors at $13 each from Anti-Glare screen protector

        I miss the dedicated buttons for task list, calendar, etc. that Palm PDAs provide. Instead, there are Microsoft-centric buttons for Windows, IE, and Inbox, which makes me take several more actions to get to what I need.

        The 1.3 megapixel camera can take panorama shots at up to 1280x1024 resolution. But the 0.7-second shutter delay is longer than "real" cameras.

        Of the unit's 128MB of RAM, only 49MB is available for actual file storage.

        Idea When you buy a miniSD storage card, make sure to buy one with an adaptor into full-size SD cards.

        The speakerphone is loud compared with other PDAs.

        It uses 3.5 mm connectors for standard Bluetooth headsets.

        I wish (for the price) they would add background-noise cancellation. One has to pay extra for Microsoft's Voice Command voice-dialing software, and that application can't be activated from a Bluetooth

        All this power sucks the life out of the 1350mAh battery within 4 hours of talk time. So I doubt the 8 days of rated standby time. This reviewer reports that "Running a video on a loop for four hours depleted the battery by only 30 percent."

        Unlike this reviewer, I won't rate the 6.1 ounces device "heavy".

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    Top of page Processors - Intel XScale

      Intel's XScale 32-bit processors is the successor to the StrongARM CPU which Intel acquired from DEC.

      They use Intel's StrataFlash low 1.8V (L18) Multi-Level Cell (MLC) device manufacturer using the Intel Stacked Chip Scale Packaging (Stacked-CSP) technology. It's also available in 3v (L30).

      What also makes them fast is dual-mode Read-While-Write/Erase Operation (RWW/E).

      They come with a 32kb data cache and a 32kb instruction cache (otherwise called a 64kb Level 1 cache on other processors). They also all have a 2kb mini-data cache.

      XScale is a RISC-based architecture, but the "Wireless MMX" of the PXA27x (Bulverde) family have 43 new SIMD instructions containing the full MMX instruction set and the integer instructions from Intel's SSE instruction set (along with some instructions unique to the XScale) which boosts speed in decoding and encoding of multimedia and in game playing.

      The XScale microprocessor is used in the Dell Axim X50v, Palm Zire, later Sharp Zaurus models and many PDAs and PVP's (Portable Video Players), and PMC's (Portable Media Centres) such as the Creative Zen Portable Media Player. It is used as the main CPU in the Iyonix desktop computer running RISC OS

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    Top of page Intel Mobile Laptop PC Processors

      Processor Family Number
      Pentium M processor** 7xx 90 nm, 2MB L2, 1.50 GHz clock, 400 - 533 MHz Front Side bus
      Pentium 4 processor (including the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting Hyper-Threading Technology and Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology) 5xx 90 nm, 1MB L2, 3.06 GHz clock speed, 533 Mhz Front Side bus
      Celeron M processor 3xx 90 or 130 nm, 512KB or 1MB L2, 900 MHz - 1.3 GHz, 400 Mhz Front Side bus

      Dell found that (using the Bapco MobileMark 2002 Battery Benchmark) its InspironTM 6000:

        6-cell Lithium Ion battery (53 WHr):
          Up to 3 hours with Celeron processor
          Up to 4 hours 20 minutes with Pentium M processor
        9-cell Lithium Ion battery (80Whr):
          Up to 3 hours 50 minutes with Celeron processor
          Up to 5 hours 20 minutes with Pentium M processor

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    Top of page Batteries

      Batteries are the lifeblood of wireless devices. A good FAQ is available from Battery and (Pacific time)

      Batteries lose their charge gradually even when not used. After 6 months, NiCd batteries can only hold a 50% charge. So recharge them once a month, or completely drain and fully recharge them 4 times.
      Keeping batteries in a refrigerator slows this effect. But warm them to room temperature before recharging.

      Alkaline disposable batteries (even the over-hyped "high capacity" Super Titanium E3) drain quickly, especially with LCDs on digital devices. Not only that, their ingredients are toxic in land fills.

      Ni-Cad/NiCd (Nickel-Cadmium) rechargeable batteries have "memory". So they should be completely discharged before being recharged again. A few "smart" chargers take care of this automatically.

    • Remove external NiCd batteries promptly from the charger to prevent overcharging.
    • Ni-MH (Metal Hydrad) batteries now go up to power/stamina of 2500mAh (milliamp hours). These also have a "memory effect", so they need to be drained and recharged 3-5 times before they can maintain a full charge.

      Li-Ion (Lithium-Ion) laptop batteries are the most advanced. They have System Management Bus (SMBus) circuits that monitors the battery for remaining capacity, output voltage, and temperature. The "smart battery" can also communicate its cell protection information with the laptop. Also, unlike Ni-Cd and Mi-Mh batteries which have a "memory effect", Li-Ion batteries do not, so they can be continuously charged. This also means Li-Ion batteries have long shelf life.

    • Dave Etchells' Battery Shootout article highly rate Energizer & Powerex batteries and Maha chargers.

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    Top of page Antennas

      Cellphones transmit at a standard 0.6 watts of power. Digital phones dynamically adjust their power depending on it's proximity to a base station tower.

      External antennas and power boosters:

      • reduce disconnects, drop outs, and noise by boosting signals of individual phones 10 times (up to 50 miles).
      • eliminates microwave radiation near human heads by having it eminate from an antenna 15.5 inches or more away.

      Most antennas for cellular phones make use of a flat metal surface (such as the roof of a car, rooft, or a file cabinet) to provide a ground plane to bounce signals off.

      Select the level of gain:

      • 0 dBd gain antennas radiate more energy higher in the vertical plane to reach radio communication sites that are located in higher places — in mountainous and metropolitan areas with tall buildings. (although no boosting will help between large desolate hills or mountains).
      • 5 dBd gain antennas radiate more energy horizontally toward the horizon to reach radio communication sites that are further apart in open deserts, plains, flatlands, and farm areas.
      • 3 dBd gain antennas is the all-around compromise for suburban settings.

      For each connector and for each foot of cable between the antenna and analog device, about 0.10db gain is lost. About 0.15db gain is lost from digital devices.

      Tinted glass and defroster wires block signals, so won't accomodate glass mounted antennas.

      I have a wilson 301103 antenna hooked to a Wilson Amplifier / Repeater sold through alternative wireless or antenna warehouse can serve several phones in a building or vehicle, unlike $270 Jim Wilson in-vehicle direct connection or $645 JDTECK in-home booster for individual 1900 MHz phones.

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    Top of page Satellite Phones

    Top of page Portable Printers

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    Top of page Headsets

      Bluetooth Jabra BT250 & A210 BT-250 & A-210 Bluetooth Set 8581

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    Top of page Resources


      Aspecto software - Freeware developers and software consultants specializing in WiFi, GPS and mobile devices

      Who's using your wi-fi network? Find out with Rogue Scanner.

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