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Comparing Wireless Networks That Support Wireless Applications

When looking at the three wireless network groups, developers must compare network standards, service features, and spectrum qualities. The LAN clearly supplies a superior data rate. But the WAN has many more years of development to support conversation and paging. A WAN tower is licensed for enough power to cover the area of 10,000 LAN base stations. But thinking about the cellular concept of subdivision, this means that at any point in time, a WAN tower can service about 400 devices, while the set of 802.11 base stations could connect 2 million devices!

A massive changeover in wireless technology is taking place. Developers making wireless Internet applications are preparing for it. Governments are making way for 3G networks and infrastructure. Businesses are building 802.11 towers. Using new spectrum and new wireless air interfaces, companies are creating a global wireless Internet of immense power. Computer and telecommunications companies are also busy developing multi-mode multi-band devices that operate across WAN, LAN, and PAN. So there will be choices.

By 2005, people will reach the Internet more often with a wireless network than a wired one. An always-on packet-switched broadband spectrum will connect a new breed of wireless devices. Devices that feed the Internet with personal digital content will form user-driven architectures and new applications we're just beginning to understand. To look ahead, it's important to consider the devices and applications themselves.

In my next article, "Building the Four Wireless Application Families of the Wireless Internet," we'll look at the four families of wireless applications. All three wireless networks use voice and data to complete wireless applications involving messaging, browsing, interactivity, and conversation.

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