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Understanding the Three Wireless Network Groups of the Internet

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Programmers looking to develop Internet applications for wireless networks will find that three wireless network groups surround the mobile user in a radio frequency bubble. Find out about WAN, LAN, and PAN, and prepare for what's next in wireless networks.
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Wireless networks are the means to connect wireless devices with Internet servers. Computer and telecom vendors offer specialized wireless networks that support specific wireless devices and services. There are three major wireless Internet network families: Wide Area Network (WAN) for long-range public access, wireless Local Area Network (LAN) for building-wide private access, and Personal Area Network (PAN) for room-wide personal access. These setups connect various devices and offer differing services that have a bearing on the kinds of applications that are possible. This article takes a close-up look at these networks, discussing what to expect from them as well as the emerging wireless networks as the Internet goes wireless.


The shock of digital capacity is upon us. Within five years, the ordinary consumer wireless device connection will exceed today's professional wired device connections. Today's wired business may get a T1 speed at 1.54 Mbps. The current North American cellular WAN tests at 2.54 Mbps. Meanwhile, an 802.11a wireless LAN runs at 54 Mbps. Ultra wideband wireless is tested to transmit at 1 gigabit per second. With Software Defined Radio (SDR), we may be able to travel worldwide and tune into any wireless network at any standard speed. While computer and telecommunication network vendors promote their product lines, it's necessary to give developers a realistic view of the entire wireless network system and discuss how they work to understand their qualities.

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