Wireless IP Appliances
There has been quite a stir about broadband connectivity during the past
year, and DSL and cable have been especially emphasized as convenient,
reasonably priced mechanisms to deliver broadband to the residential and
SOHO markets. But wireless delivery of packetized information is slowly
making a statement. From the Palm and PDA devices that are gaining
prominence as they entrench themselves in the data networking market, to the
new breed of cellular phones that can deliver e-mail, personalized
information, and Internet access -- wireless technology is staking a claim
as a viable solution for broadband access.
It only makes sense that the same devices that deliver analog voice over
wireless networks will be able to handle packetized voice, and while
wireless VoIP is not yet prevalent, the technology to enable converged voice
communications is well underway. The following appliances, services, and
technologies all have one common goal: Delivery of data over existing and
emerging wireless networks. So perhaps you're searching for a mobile
appliance that will enable unified communications, or maybe you're a
developer with an amazing idea for delivering services to a wireless device.
No matter which end of the spectrum you're coming from, wireless appliances
offer a broad promise for convergence -- anywhere, at any time.
-- Laura Guevin
Wireless IP Appliances List
EndWave Corporation (formerly Endgate)
321 Soquel Way
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
- The AllegrA line of millimeterwave transceivers is geared toward
broadband wireless Internet access. The product suite offers a
frequency-independent architecture, enabling development of the next
generation of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radios. The three
AllegrA products feature a complete millimeterwave deck, broadband IF
Input/Output, power detection, and variable power output.
- The decks come in 23 GHz, 26 GHz, and 38 GHz varieties, and are
designed to meet FCC and ETSI requirements. Other features include
provisions for an LO filter, low spurious and transmit mute features,
and a single configuration for 21 to 40 GHz.
Mainbrace wireless web pad
1136 West Evelyn Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
- Part of the Mainbrace family of SmartBuild products, the wireless web
pad runs Windows CE and offers a receiver that communicates with a
companion 2.4 GHz receiver, which can be connected to a desktop PC. The
device may be used for Web access, or as a remote terminal for the PC.
- The product is based on Toshiba's TMPR3922 32-bit MIPS RISC
single-chip solution, and offers an 800x600, 16-bit color TFT display
and touch screen for navigation and data input. It also features 32 MB
of flash ROM and 16 MB of SDRAM, and comes with a rechargeable NiMH
battery as well as a backup battery.
655 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
- SiteMorfer leverages existing e-business infrastructures to facilitate
mobile commerce delivery to wireless phones and appliances. The
technology sources directly from the back-end databases and applications
used for e-business, and works well for online service providers, on
corporate intranets, and for business-to-business and
business-to-consumer e-commerce sites.
- The product supports XML, HTTP, RDBMS, and application and transaction
servers, and also enables a combination of data elements from various
sources into integrated pages. Data is formatted for delivery to various
devices, and the SiteMorfer Designers allow developers to map new data
sources and design displays.
BreezeACCESS for MMDS
5858 Edison Place
Carlsbad, CA 92008
- BreezeACCESS for Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Services (MMDS)
offers service providers a flexible, scalable system for IP-based
broadband wireless access to voice and data. Operating in the 2.5 to 2.7
GHz frequency bands, the product uses wireless, packet-switched data
technology to support Internet access, virtual LANs, and a variety of
- Featuring an integrated, plug-and-play indoor radio system,
BreezeACCESS for MMDS offers quick deployment without antennas or
intrusive equipment to deal with. Other features include a high burst
rate, with up- and down-links of three Mbps, and a cell radius of up to
five miles. BreezeACCESS also features radius billing, interference-free
operation, and SNMP management.
Kyocera International, Inc.
8611 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92123-1580
- The smartphone offers CDMA digital wireless technology and includes an
electronic organizer, all in one convenient handheld tool. The phone's
tap 'n dial feature also allows users to place calls directly from their
address books, to access the Internet, and to send and receive e-mail.
Organizer features include the ability to run applications compatible
with the Palm computing platform.
- Phone features include clear voice quality, fewer dropped calls,
reduced interference and static, and enhanced call privacy and security.
The smartphone also features personal information management
applications and a Hotsync feature for accessing information from a PC.
Wireless Location Services suite
1495 Canyon Blvd.
Boulder, CO 80302
- This wireless product suite provides mission critical software that
resides on the operator's network. The products may be scaled across
various wireless networks, using a variety of standards. The local info
service offers personalized, real-time information to mobile users in
conjunction with their calling locations. Location sensitive billing
features zone-based pricing, and integrates with existing billing and
customer care systems.
- Other products include Wireless 911/112 services, which route callers
to emergency services. A tracking service tracks assets, people, and
vehicles through a secure network with support for cellular calling. The
products are driven by a location manager, which is the core operating
system that interfaces with location determination technologies and
wireless location services through a single interface. The suite also
offers MAPS, an integrated provisioning system for location-based
eConvergence Server Solutions
72 Eagle Rock Ave., 1st Floor
East Hanover, NJ 07936
- This product family is a ready-to-deploy solution suite based on the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and led by the SIP Application Server
1.0 product. The suite offers developers scalable tools for developing
and deploying enhanced services like Internet telephony -- combined with
other session-based services. The suite links call control, routing
management, subscriber management, and accounting/billing components.
- The SIP Application Server features an open architecture for
incorporating key APIs. It can work seamlessly with the eConvergence SIP
Proxy Server 3.1, which provides essential routing functions and traffic
load balancing. The SIP Location Server 2.0 offers subscriber
registration and location, and works with the Proxy Server to create
SIP-based networks. The SIP User Agent 4.0 offers management of basic
session connection and can work with PCs, IP-PBXs, soft phones,
gateways, and other network elements.
Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition
Sun MicroSystems, Inc.
901 San Antonio Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
- The Micro Edition of Sun's Java 2 Platform is aimed directly at the
wireless market -- specifically for small devices limited in memory,
processing power, and display capabilities. The platform allows software
applications to run locally on a client device, so that new applications
and software upgrades may be added at will. Client-generated graphics
are also vector-driven for detailed viewing, as well as reduced network
- The platform offers the connected limited device configuration (CLDC),
which is composed of the K Virtual Machine and core class libraries for
use in cell phones, pagers, PDAs, and retail smart-card readers. The
Mobile Information Device profile features APIs for user interfaces,
storage, security, and messaging for cellular phones and pagers.
17311 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 110
Dallas, TX 75248
- The Speechmarks voice navigation technology enables speech-driven
marking of Web sites using WAP. It offers an open architecture and works
with off-the-shelf hardware for cost effectiveness and quick deployment
of speech-driven applications. It is one of the many customized,
speech-driven applications offered by wirenix.com.
- The company also provides applications for wireless networks, Web
sites, and ISPs like voice-enabled phone dialing, dictation,
location-based information and directions, personalized information
management, and e-mail and messaging. The company partners with Alliance
Systems for hardware, Nuance Communications for its speech recognition
engine, and Lernout & Hauspie for its text-to-speech engine.
Nextel Communications, Inc.
2001 Edmund Halley Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
- This wireless Internet service is being offered in more than 750 U.S.
cities as a wireless business communication tool. The service integrates
the Nextel wireless "plus" series phones (manufactured by
Motorola) with Internet service, the Nextel Direct Connect digital
two-way radio service, digital cellular service, and text/numeric
- The company has also partnered with Phone.com for use of its UP.Link
Server and UP.Browser microbrowser for packetized voice and data service
and unlimited access to online content and commerce. Customers may also
create their own Web portals, and may synchronize their phone lists,
private IDs, and group lists from any PC or their phone, using the List
DMC Stratex Networks
170 Rose Orchard Way
San Jose, CA 95134
- This line of broadband radios is geared toward wireless access
networks, and offers up to 155 Mbps (OC-3/STM-1) of connectivity for
fiber-level transport capacity -- using only 28 MHz of bandwidth. The
radios meet North American and international standards, and are
available in frequency bands of six to 38 GHz. They are suitable for all
types of networks, and are geared toward high density networks that
allow extension through synchronous broadband radio.
- The products are offered for SDH broadband applications, as well as
PDH trunking applications. The PDH solution offers improved spectrum
efficiency and software upgradeable system capacity. The whole family of
radios may be easily upgraded to an SDH/SONET architecture, and they are
also compatible with DMC's network management system. The suite features
network alarm and performance management features, as well as built-in
isolation and diagnostics.
504 Lavaca St., Ste. 1150
Austin, TX 78701
- A software product geared toward business professionals, MessageASAP
uses an existing PC for integrating e-mail, faxes, and voice-mail
messages into one central location for accessing messages from any PC
with an Internet connection. The software features an alerting
mechanism, so users can be notified by pager or cellular phone when a
message has arrived.
- Features include the ability to retrieve all messages at the same
time, and to forward fax messages to another fax number via phone. Users
can also consolidate several e-mail accounts to reduce the number of
mailboxes that need to be checked. Co-workers may also share messages
through the software.
iDini Wireless Data System
1346 Ridder Park Dr.
San Jose, CA 95131
- This service allows wireless operators to enter the data services
market and offer users enhanced services from a desktop PC as well as
entertainment and enterprise applications. The Mobile Desktop Service
lets users view, edit, fax, and e-mail files in Word, Excel, PostScript,
PowerPoint, HTML, PDF, and text formats.
- The system enables applications like paging, fax, e-mail, and
messaging, as well as games and multimedia applications. Other features
include multi-platform support for mobile phones, PDAs, and other
wireless devices, and a patented service routing technology that scales
to handle millions of users.
Symbol Technologies, Inc.
One Symbol Plaza
Holtsville, NY 11742-1300
- The NetVision Phone allows voice communication to be added to Symbol's
Spectrum24 wireless LAN installations for voice and data transport over
one wireless backbone. The phone offers on-site wireless voice
communication, as well as integration with an existing phone system
through a gateway for internal and external voice communication.
- The phone is based on the H.323 standard for VoIP, and converts analog
signals to compressed digital packets that are sent over data networks
via the TCP/IP protocol. The phone features a number of methods for
dialing and receiving calls, and users may conduct two concurrent
conversations with the hold feature. It also features an intercom mode,
and has a range of more than 1,000 feet.
600 Mountain Ave.
Murray Hill, NJ 07974
- This high-speed wireless Internet access and networking system is
built on Lucent's WaveLAN wireless LAN system, and is geared toward home
networking products and high-speed, secure Internet access in public
locations like universities, offices, and airports. Systems use an
ORINOCO PC radio card, which provides wireless networking capability.
The system also uses access points that act as base stations for
wireless users, and offer high-speed Internet connectivity.
- The system is based on the IEEE 802.11 standard, and offers speeds of
up to 11 Mbps over the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum, over ranges up to
1,200 feet. The PC card can fit into nearly any laptop or mobile
computing device, and works with three kinds of access points based on
users' needs. The RG-1000 Residential Gateway access point is geared
towards homes and offices, and offers wireless Internet access. The
WavePOINT II access point is a fit for enterprises and campuses, and
offers security and roaming features. The AS-1000 public area access
server offers secure high-speed Internet access, as well as full
authentication and billing capabilities.
WLAN Access Point A3
Ericsson Wireless LAN Distribution
Stockholm, Sweden SE-16481
- This compact unit may be installed on a ceiling or wall, and acts as
the transparent heart of the wireless LAN. It covers a range of up to
600 meters in open space, and up to three Mbps in the air. When combined
in a coverage area, several units can handle data transfer rates of up
to 17 Mbps.
- The unit does not require an operational license, as it uses the
unregulated 2.4 GHz ISM band and can coexist with other wireless
networks, while providing reliable interference avoidance. It is also
IEEE 802.11 compliant, and works with the WLAN Guard and the Card C3 for
a flexible security solution.
3025 S. Parker Rd. #1000
Aurora, CO 80014
- This service allows subscribers to access e-mail through AT&T's
PocketNet phone (the Mitsubishi MobileAccess T250 handset), extending
the reach of MobileLogic's Wireless VPN. Users can also access their
primary Microsoft Exchange inboxes, and they may send and receive
messages, as well as delete online messages.
- The MobileLogic.Phone interface is meant to complement MobileLogic's
technology on a notebook, and requires Microsoft Exchange Version 5.x or
any other IMAP4-based e-mail server. Although the technology is designed
to be used with PocketNet, any Phone.com-compatible handset may be used.
2480 N. First St., Ste. 200
San Jose, CA 95131-1014
- This personal broadband access system enables high-speed wireless
Internet connectivity for laptops, PDAs, and other Internet appliances.
It offers more than one Mbps of wireless bandwidth per user, and as much
as 40 Mbps total at a single location. The system allows any service or
application provider to develop personalized services.
- i-BURST is based on ArrayComm's IntelliCell adaptive smart antenna
spatial processing technology. It uses as little as 5 MHz of unpaired
spectrum, and is designed to outperform cellular solutions by more than
400 times. A 10 MHz deployment should deliver 40 Mbps of data throughput
77 South Bedford St.
Burlington, MA 01803
- This unified communications suite enables wireless providers and
telcos to rapidly offer end-user services in the mobile Internet space.
The hosted solution allows fast deployment of secure messaging services,
and is based on the iPulse product developed by OZ.COM and Ericsson. It
also enables VoIP services, a global directory, integrated billing, and
commerce services over the Internet, as well as fixed and mobile
- The suite lets end users manage and maximize their accessibility to
other users through intelligent routing across telco and data networks.
It also lets users participate in secure communications through PCs,
PDAs, pagers, mobile phones, and telephones.
1120 Finch Ave. West, 8th Fl.
Toronto, ON Canada M3J3H7
- This integrated voice and data delivery system is made up of the
VoiceGenie Telephony Server, which includes the VoiceGenie engine, the
VoiceGenie content server, which hosts applications, and the VoiceGenie
Browser. Applications like customer care, self provisioning, and
electronic billing may be accessed from any wireline or wireless
- The system features voice activated dialing (VAD+) for access to a
personal assistant directory through Web-enabled hot sync. It enables
voice accessible e-commerce and V-Commerce transaction services (from
Nuance). The Voice Portal+, based on VoiceXML, lets subscribers use any
phone to access Web sites and navigate via voice. Service providers may
also create new access channels to their own Web content using the
WaveRider Communications, Inc.
255 Consumers Rd., Ste. 500
Toronto, ON Canada M2J1R4
- This system solution is a layer 3 end user modem that offers wireless
ISPs high-speed throughput and high availability as well as subscriber
and equipment management, enhanced security, and billing support. The
solution is geared toward medium and large businesses that need medium
to high-speed throughput, and also features advanced billing support and
maintenance features like real-time alarms.
- The solution also lets network operators verify operation and
configuration of network modules on a scheduled or on-demand basis, and
features automatic redundant failover of key components for maximum
system availability. It also features environmentally hardened cabinets
to house key components. The system features may be rolled out from a
central location in a controlled manner. It operates in the 2.4 to 2.485
license-exempt frequency band, and can process data at 11 Mbps with
access at speeds of up to seven Mbps.
DPC Data Connection Kit
Socket Communications, Inc.
37400 Central Court
Newark, CA 94560
- The Digital Phone Card (DPC) Data Connection Kit allows any
Windows-based mobile computer to use a mobile phone for instant Web
browsing, wireless e-mail, remote networking, and group scheduling --
through an easy plug-and-play format. The kit offers a CompactFlash-size
plug-in card, a PC card adapter, a cable for connecting a mobile phone,
and setup software and bonus utilities.
- The DPC will operate at the same speed as the wireless network used by
the phone handset, and can go faster without any hardware modifications,
as faster wireless networks are created. The card can also be used in
the CompactFlash slot of any Windows-based PDA, notebook, or pen tablet.
The kit also includes an adapter that enables the card to be used in the
PC card slot of any handheld PC or notebook, as well as the Apple
1303 E. Algonquin Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60196
- This digital technology gives users access to full-duplex phone
conversations, data transmission, short message service, and dispatch
radio over one network, using one access device. It divides a channel
into different slots, each of which carries one voice or data
transmission. This allows service providers to increase their capacity
as much as six times over their current analog SMR network using time
division multiple access (TDMA).
- The technology also uses vector sum excited linear prediction (VSELP)
to digitally code and compress voice signals, and quad amplitude
modulation (QAM) to achieve data rates of 64 Kbps over a 25 KHz channel.
With the iDEN technology, a 25 KHz channel may be divided up to six
times, offering dispatch, data, interconnect phone, and text messaging
in one communications package.
Financial Services Platform
724 Solutions, Inc.
4101 Yonge St., Ste. 702
Toronto, ON Canada M2P1N6
- Using an open architecture and industry standards, the Financial
Services Platform enables financial institutions to offer personal and
secure online banking, brokerage, and e-commerce services through
various Internet-enabled wireless and consumer electronic devices. The
platform is also extendable across an array of protocols, networks, and
operating systems to enable personalized transactions, services, and
- The platform is made up of a network and device gateway for access to
a variety of Internet devices and networks. The services infrastructure
enables consumer applications like e-commerce and online banking, and a
transaction and content gateway connects to the financial institution's
existing infrastructure through a server using the Open Financial
Exchange (OFX) or Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards. And a
security layer, compatible with existing security technology, offers a
secure communication and payment process for consumers.
to the July 2000 table of contents ]
13 Easy Steps To Wireless Communications Knowledge
BY EVAN KOBLENTZ, TMC LABS
Part of our jobs as TMC Labs' staff is to keep up with the latest
e-technologies, from CRM to TAPI, processor chips to ZIP drives. Following
our intuition about what will be the next big thing, we carved a niche as
the resident experts on all things small office/home office (SOHO), which
has evolved into all things mobile. So, when the INTERNET TELEPHONY�
editors came to the lab seeking a sidebar article to demystify wireless
jargon, we volunteered faster than you can beam a Chinese take-out menu over
infrared. Regardless of your job function, if you learn the 13 definitions
below, you'll be a hit at the CEO's next cocktail party. (Please note that
these technologies, terms, and organizations are listed in a logical order
of construction, as opposed to the arbitrary alphabetical method.)
1. Connected Devices: The buzzword referring to the next
generation of network nodes. Today, a connected device can be a PC or laptop
PC, a Web-enabled mobile telephone, a Palm VII, the GPS system in your
rental car, or an Internet appliance (like the ones I've gathered here).
Tomorrow, a connected device might be your refrigerator, car, home
entertainment system, copy machine, oven, ATM kiosk, or eyeglasses.
According to companies like Microsoft, many of these devices will have
operating systems and local storage; but according to Larry Ellison and
Oracle, they'll all be function-specific clients to the Internet. It seems
obvious to us that the paradigms will coexist for the immediate future.
2, 3, 4. CDMA, TDMA, GSM: These are the "Big Three"
competing protocols for direct wireless Internet access. CDMA stands for
Code Division Multiple Access -- it uses a "spread-spectrum"
method, where each channel uses the whole spectrum, and individual
conversations are encoded. TDMA stands for Time Division Multiple Access --
it works by dividing a radio frequency into time slots and then allocating
slots to multiple calls. Meanwhile, GSM stands for Global System for Mobile
Communications -- in Europe and Asia, it is the leading digital cellular
technology, and it uses a narrowband version of TDMA. CDMA is the current
American standard, but GSM is the superior technology, and most experts
believe that it will soon become the worldwide standard.
5. W3C: W3C is the official
nickname of the World Wide Web Consortium. Tim Berners-Lee, the British
physicist who invented the Web, founded the W3C in late 1994. The group
works with other groups, like the ITU, to develop new Web standards and to
encourage interoperability, and they oversee the evolution of the massive
Standard Generalized Markup Language, from which all other markup languages
are born. Interestingly, the W3C is currently doing some telephony-related
work, such as the Mobile Access project, the Voice Browser project, and the
Web Accessibility Initiative. The W3C's American home is at MIT's Laboratory
for Computer Science.
6. XML: With a <p> and </p> straddling your message,
browsers can do more than simply spit out text. That's a common problem with
HTML: Despite four major upgrades and support for numerous programming
languages, it's still a product of the SGML that's been too dummied-down to
be successful as the interactive medium beyond Y2K. So, the W3C approved
eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which is a way to create new HTML-like
markup languages -- called "applications" -- that are customized
for the needs of an industry or organization. By authoring more precise
markup languages, fellow developers can better understand your site, and
browser software can take advanced action on its content. Also, XML is
intended to produce browser-generic applications, so the same version of
your site will work on a PC, a connected device, over a telephone, etc. Some
examples of applications made with XML are MathML, for formatting
mathematical explanations; SMIL, for showing online multimedia
presentations; and XHTML, for next-generation Web design. But XML
applications are also being developed for CRM, e-commerce, information
portals, ERP, mobile communications (see WML, below), and even voice! See
the "XML Catalog" link at XML.org
for more information.
7. WAP: Regardless of whether your connected device
uses CDMA, TDMA, GSM, or some other protocol, Wireless Application Protocol
(WAP) will probably be its method of communicating with other software on
the Internet. WAP features a security layer -- Wireless Transport Layer
Security (WTLS), transaction layer -- Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP),
session layer -- Wireless Session Protocol (WSP), and application layer --
Wireless Application Environment (WAE). Of course, other than the occasional
antenna or satellite, the primary physical layer is the atmosphere. There is
also a WAP API called the Wireless Telephony Application (WTA, see the
discussion in the WAP
8. WML: Software for WAP devices (primarily mobile telephones and
PDAs) will be written with an XML application (see above) called the
Wireless Markup Language and its cousin, WMLScript. WML pages are called
"cards," and WML browsers are normally called "minibrowsers"
or "microbrowsers." An excellent non-commercial FAQ is available
9. WAP Forum: As exciting as WAP and WML are, both technologies
are far from becoming a part of the mainstream. The WAP Forum is a trade
organization working toward that goal. They already have several hundred
member companies, plus formal relationships with the W3C, the European
Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI), the Telecommunications
Industry Association (TIA), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and
the European Computer Manufacturers' Association (ECMA). Visit them at www.wapforum.org.
10. HDML: The Handheld Device Markup Language is an interim XML
application that is commonly used until WML becomes more ubiquitous. It was
developed by Phone.com, which was then known as Unwired Planet. Phone.com
lets anybody use HDML royalty-free; both AT&T and Sprint PCS currently
use it for their "Wireless Web" services. Although HDML sites
should provide the simplest possible migration path to WML, a common (but
false) statement is that HDML is simply the old name for WML.
11, 12, 13. Bluetooth, Jini, Universal Plug-and-Play: These are
the leading (and somewhat competing) technologies for next-generation
dynamic networking. Each slightly overlaps the other, and each has unique
advantages for on-the-fly connections from device-to-device and
device-to-network. Bluetooth uses
short-range radio signals. It was co-founded by 3Com, Ericsson, IBM, Lucent,
Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Toshiba. Jini,
pronounced as "genie," comes from Sun and is based on Java
technology. It is embedded into devices to automatically register them with
a network. Because it is network-independent, it can work with Bluetooth,
and it can work on wired networks as well. Universal Plug-and-Play is the
Microsoft answer to both technologies; visit the UPNP
to the July 2000 table of contents ]