802.11 - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standard
for wireless local area network interoperability.
3G - The next generation of wireless technology beyond personal
communications services. The World Administrative Radio Conference assigned
230 megahertz of spectrum at 2 GHz for multimedia 3G networks. These networks
must be able to transmit wireless data at 144 kilobits per second at mobile
user speeds, 384 kbps at pedestrian user speeds and 2 megabits per second
in fixed locations.
ACID - ACID is an acronym and mnemonic device for learning and remembering the four primary attributes ensured to any transaction by a transaction manager (which is also called a transaction monitor). These attributes are: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability.
ActiveX - ActiveX is the name Microsoft has given to a set of "strategic" COM-based object-oriented program technologies and tools.
ADC - Analog-to-digital conversion is an electronic process in which a continuously variable (analog) signal is changed, without altering its essential content, into a multi-level (digital) signal.
ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A technology for transmitting digital information at high bandwidths on existing phone lines to homes and businesses.
Air Interface - The standard operating system of a wireless network; technologies include AMPS, TDMA, CDMA and GSM.
Algorithm - A procedure or formula for solving a problem.
AMPS - Advanced Mobile Phone Service. An analog cellular phone service standard used in the USA and other countries.
API - An API (application program interface) is the specific method prescribed by a computer operating system or by another application program by which a programmer writing an application program can make requests of the operating system or another application.
ASP - An application service provider (ASP) is a company that offers individuals or enterprises access over the Internet to application programs and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own personal or enterprise computers.
ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode. ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) is a dedicated-connection switching technology that organizes digital data into 53-byte cell units and transmits them over a physical medium using digital signal technology.
Auto PC - An in-vehicle combination AM/FM radio, Windows CE-based computer, compact disc and CD-ROM player, wireless phone and navigational system. The units are about the size of a typical car stereo.
AVL - Automatic Vehicle Location. Combining a location-sensing device (such as a GPS receiver) with a wireless communications link to provide a home office or dispatcher with the location of a vehicle or mobile asset (such as a trailer or heavy machinery).
B2B - Business-to-Business, also known as e-biz, is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers.
Bandwidth - Describes the transmission capacity of a medium in terms of a range of frequencies. A greater bandwidth indicates the ability to transmit a greater amount of data over a given period of time.
Baud - Baud was the prevalent measure for data transmission speed until replaced by a more accurate term, bps (bits per second).
BeOS - BeOS is a personal computer operating system that its makers describe as designed for the multimedia applications of the future.
Biometrics - Biometrics is the science and technology of measuring and statistically analyzing biological data.
Blue Screen Of Death - The blue screen of death is a rather terrifying display image containing white text on a blue background that is generated by Windows operating systems when the system has suddenly terminated with an error.
Bluetooth - A new wireless technology being developed by Ericsson Inc., Intel Corp., Nokia Corp. and Toshiba. The technology enables data connections between electronic devices such as desktop computers, wireless phones, electronic organizers and printers in the 2.4 GHz range. Bluetooth would replace cable or infrared connections for such devices.
Broadband - Describes a communications medium capable of transmitting a relatively large amount of data over a given period of time. A communications channel of high bandwidth.
BTA - Basic Trading Area. Usually composed of several contiguous counties. BTAs are a service area designed by Rand McNally and adopted by the FCC. There are 493 BTAs in the United States.
C - C is a structured, procedural programming language that has been widely used both for operating systems and applications and that has had a wide following in the academic community. Many versions of UNIX-based operating systems are written in C.
C++ - C++ is an object-oriented programming language that is viewed by many as the best language for creating large-scale application programs. C++ is a superset of the C language.
Carrier - A company that provides a communications service.
CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access. A spread spectrum air interface technology used in some digital cellular, personal communications services and other wireless networks.
cdma2000 - A third-generation wireless technology proposal submitted to the International Telecommunication Union, which is based on the IS-95, or cdmaOne, standard.
cdmaOne - The IS-95 CDMA standard developed by Qualcomm Inc.; a word coined by the CDMA Development Group.
CDPD - CDPD stands for Cellular Digital Packet Data. It is also referred to as "wireless IP" and is a method of sending and receiving information via mobile devices. CDPD allows information to be sent in "packets" or blocks over the existing analog cellular network. It is best suited for short, periodic bursts of information. CDPD is a wireless transmission method that uses the analog cellular network, also known as Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). CDPD allows information to be transmitted on idle cellular voice channels.
Cell - The area surrounding a cell site. The area in which calls are handled by a particular cell site.
Cell Site - The transmission and reception equipment, including the base station antenna, that connects a cellular phone to the network.
Cellemetry - Uses the cellular network to carry data messaging used for remote services such as utility meter reading, vending machine status and vehicle or trailer tracking.
Certificate - A digital certificate is an electronic "credit card" that establishes your credentials when doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a certification authority (CA).
Certificate Authority - A CA (certificate authority) is an authority in a network that issues and manages security credentials and public keys for message encryption and decryption.
CGI - The common gateway interface (CGI) is a standard way for a Web server to pass a Web user's request to an application program and to receive data back to forward to the user.
CLEC - Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. A new entrant providing local wireline phone service.
Client/Server - Client/server describes the relationship between two computer programs in which one program, the client, makes a service request from another program, the server, which fulfills the request. Although the client/server idea can be used by programs within a single computer, it is a more important idea in a network.
Compiler - A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular programming language and turns them into machine language or "code" that a computer's processor uses.
Control Channel - A logic channel carrying network information rather than the actual voice or data messages transmitted over the network.
CORBA - CORBA is an architecture and specification for creating, distributing, and managing distributed program objects in a network. It allows programs at different locations and developed by different vendors to communicate in a network through an "interface broker."
Cracker - Someone who breaks an encrypted computer code or circuitry.
Crusoe - Crusoe is a family of "smart" microprocessors from Transmeta that combines a relatively simple, low-powered hardware processor with software that makes the hardware processor look like an x86 Intel processor (such as a Pentium III). Because Crusoe requires only one-fourth of the usual number of transistors, the processor has a small power requirement.
CTIA - A trade group representing cellular, PCS and enhanced specialized mobile radio carriers.
Data Warehouse - A data warehouse is a central repository for all or significant parts of the data that an enterprise's various business systems collect.
DCOM - DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) is a set of Microsoft concepts and program interfaces in which client program objects can request services from server program objects on other computers in a network.
Decibel - The decibel (abbreviated as dB) is a common unit of measurement for the relative loudness of a sound or, in electronics, for the relative difference between two power levels.
Digital Loop Carrier - Digital loop carrier (DLC) is equipment that bundles a number of individual phone line signals into a single multiplexed digital signal for local traffic between a telephone company central office and a business complex or other outlying service area.
DLL - In computers, a dynamic link library (DLL) is a collection of small programs, any of which can be called when needed by a larger program that is running in the computer.
Driver - A driver is a program that interacts with a particular device or special (frequently optional) kind of software. The driver contains the special knowledge of the device or special software interface that programs using the driver do not.
DSP - A specialized microprocessor that performs mathematical operations on a data stream in real time to produce a second (modified) data stream.
Dual Band - A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handset to operate using either the 800 MHz cellular or the 1900 MHz PCS frequencies.
Dual Mode - A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handset to operate on both analog and digital networks.
E911 - 911 service becomes E911 when automatic number identification and automatic location information is provided to the 911 operator.
EDGE - EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), a faster version of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless service, is designed to deliver data at rates up to 384 Kbps and enable the delivery of multimedia and other broadband applications to mobile phone and computer users.
Embedded Systems Programming - Embedded systems programming is the development of programs intended to be part of a larger operating system or, in a somewhat different usage, to be incorporated on a microprocessor that can then be included as part of a variety of hardware devices.
Encryption - The process of "scrambling" a message such as a digital phone signal to prevent it from being read by unauthorized parties.
EPOC - EPOC is an operating system designed for small, portable computer-telephones with wireless access to phone and other information services. EPOC is based on an earlier operating system from Psion, the first major manufacturer of personal digital assistants (PDAs).
ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP (enterprise resource planning) is an industry term for the broad set of activities supported by multi-module application software that help a manufacturer or other business manage the important parts of its business, including product planning, parts purchasing, maintaining inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders.
FibreChannel - Fibre Channel is a technology for transmitting data between computer devices at a data rate of up to 1 Gbps (one billion bits per second). (A data rate of 4 Gbps is proposed.) Fibre Channel is especially suited for connecting computer servers to shared storage devices and for interconnecting storage controllers and drives.
Frame Relay - Wideband, packet-based interface used to transmit bursts of data over a wide-area network. Seldom used for voice.
Gateway - Ground-based link to a mobile satellite service network.
Geek - In computers and the Internet, a geek is a person who is inordinately dedicated to and involved with technology to the point of sometimes not appearing to be normal. Being a geek also implies a capability with the technology.
GIS - A GIS (geographic information system) enables you to envision the geographic aspects of a body of data. Basically, it lets you query or analyze a relational database and receive the results in the form of some kind of map.
GPRS - General Packet Radio Service. A packet-based wireless communication service that, when available in 2000, promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users.
GPS - Global Positioning System. A series of 24 geosynchronous satellites that continuously transmit their position. Used in personal tracking, navigation and automatic vehicle location technologies.
GSM - Global System for Mobile communication. A digital mobile telephone system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA).
GUI - Graphical User Interface. An operating environment that displays options on the screen as graphical symbols, icons or photographs.
Hacker - A person or group that gains access to secured computer networks for pleasure or challenge, sometimes to steal information or to sabotage the system.
HDML - Handheld Device Markup Language. Written to allow Internet access from wireless devices such as handheld personal computers and smart phones. Derived from hypertext markup language. One version of HDML is Unwired Planet Inc.'s UP.Link.
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language. The standard markup language used on the World Wide Web.
iDEN - A Motorola Inc. enhanced specialized mobile radio network technology that combines two-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data transmission into one network.
Intelligent Agent - On the Internet, an intelligent agent (or simply an agent) is a program that gathers information or performs some other service without your immediate presence and on some regular schedule.
IP - The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.
IPv6 - The latest level of the Internet Protocol (IP) and is now included as part of IP support in many products including the major computer operating systems.
IrDA - Infrared Data Association. An industry-sponsored organization set up in 1993 to create international standards for the hardware and software used in infrared communication links. In this special form of radio transmission, a focused ray of light in the infrared frequency spectrum, measured in terahertz, or trillions of hertz (cycles per second), is modulated with information and sent from a transmitter to a receiver over a relatively short distance.
IS-136 - The latest generation of the digital standard time division multiple access technology (TDMA).
IS-41 - The network standard that allows all switches to exchange information about subscribers.
IS-54 - The first generation of the digital standard time division multiple access technology (TDMA).
IS-95 - The standard for code division multiple access (CDMA).
ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network. A set of CCITT/ITU standards for digital transmission over ordinary telephone copper wire as well as over other media.
IVR - Interactive Voice Response. A software application that accepts a combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selection and provides appropriate responses in the form of voice, fax, callback, e-mail and perhaps other media.
Java - Java is a programming language expressly designed for use in the distributed environment of the Internet. It was designed to have the "look and feel" of the C++ language, but it is simpler to use than C++ and enforces a completely object-oriented view of programming.
Jini - A new idea that Sun Microsystems calls "spontaneous networking." Using the Jini architecture, users will be able to plug printers, storage devices, speakers, and any kind of device directly into a network and every other computer, device, and user on the network will know that the new device has been added and is available.
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Last Mile Technology - Last-mile technology is any telecommunications technology, such as wireless radio, that carries signals from the broad telecommunication infrastructure along the relatively short distance (hence, the "last mile") to and from the home or business.
Linux - Linux (often pronounced LIH-nuhks with a short "i") is a UNIX-like operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive UNIX systems. Linux has a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system.
LMDS - Local Multipoint Distribution Service. Located in the 28 GHz and 31 GHz bands, LMDS is a broadband radio service designed to provide two-way transmission of voice, high-speed data and video (wireless cable TV). FCC rules prohibit incumbent local exchange carriers and cable TV companies from offering in-region LMDS.
Middleware - Middleware is the "mix-and-match" communications software that acts as a universal translator between diverse radio frequency technologies and protocols. Middleware physically resides on the remote client and on a communications server, located between the client and the applications server. The software eases computing and communicating with corporate information and encourages applications development, making wireless data more attractive to corporate customers.
MSA - Metropolitan Service Area. An area defined by the US government for use in grouping census data and other statistics. MSAs include a city of at least 50,000 people or an urbanized area of at least 100,000 people and the counties that include these areas. Not all areas of the US are in an MSA. The FCC used these area definitions to license cellular telephone service carriers. There are 306 regions of the US designated as MSAs.
MTA - Major Trading Area. An area consisting of two or more Basic Trading Areas as defined by Rand McNally & Co. These large areas are used by the FCC determine service areas for some PCS wireless licenses. The US is divided into 51 MTAs.
MTSO - Mobile Telephone Switching Office. An office housing switches and computers to which all cell sites in an area are connected for the purpose of eventual connection to the PSTN. The MTSO handles the connection, tracking, status and billing of all wireless call activity in an assigned area.
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Object-Oriented Programming - A revolutionary new way of looking at computer programming. Historically, programs have been viewed as procedures (or we may think of these as "verbs") that operate on data. OOP takes the view that programs should start by thinking about the data (or "nouns") first.
ODBC - Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a standard or open application programming interface (API) for accessing a database.
OODBMS - An OODBMS (object-oriented database management system, sometimes shortened to ODBMS for object database management system) is a database management system (DBMS) that supports the modelling and creation of data as objects. This includes some kind of support for classes of objects and the inheritance of class properties and methods by subclasses and their objects.
Packet - A packet is the unit of data that is routed between an origin and a destination on the Internet or any other packet-switched network.
PalmOS - Palm OS is the computer operating system that provides a software platform for the PalmPilot series of handheld personal digital assistants made by Palm Computing. Palm OS was designed from the beginning to fit into a palm-size device of a specific size and with a specific display size.
PC Card - Formerly called a PCMCIA card, a detachable card that can be connected to the mother board inside a personal computer. It is used to link the PC to other devices to carry out a special function.
PCIA - Personal Communications Industry Association. A trade group representing PCS, SMR, private radio and other wireless users and carriers.
PCS - Personal Communications Services. Used to describe a newer class of wireless communications services recently authorized by the FCC. PCS systems use a different radio frequency(the 1.9 GHz band) than cellular phones and generally use all digital technology for transmission and reception.
PDA - Personal Digital Assistant. A portable computing device capable of storing and, optionally, transmitting data.
PGP - Pretty Good Privacy. A popular program used to encrypt and decrypt e-mail over the Internet.
Pocket PC - A PDA running the Windows operating system
POP - Persons of Population. This term is used to designate the number of potential subscribers in a market.
POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service. Another name for traditional wired, land based telephone service.
Push-To-Talk (PTT) - Is a two-way communication service that works like a "walkie talkie". A normal cell phone call is full-duplex, meaning both parties can hear each other at the same time. PTT is half-duplex, meaning communication can only travel in one direction at any given moment. To control which person can speak and be heard, PTT requires the person speaking to press a button while talking and then release it when they are done. The listener then presses their button to respond. This way the system knows which direction the signal should be traveling in. New PTT systems are being introduced that use VoIP technology to provide PTT service over wireless data networks.
PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network. The worldwide voice telephone system, also called the Bell System in the United States.
QoS - On the Internet and in other networks, Quality of Service (QoS) is the idea that transmission rates, error rates, and other characteristics can be measured, improved, and, to some extent, guaranteed in advance.
RAS - Remote access is the ability to get access to a computer or a network from a remote distance.
RBOC - RBOC (regional Bell operating company) is a term describing one of the U.S. regional telephone companies (or their successors) that were created as a result of the breakup of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T, known also as the Bell System or "Ma Bell") by a U.S. Federal Court consent decree on December 31, 1983.
RDBMS - An RDBMS is a program that lets you create, update, and administer a relational database. An RDBMS takes Structured Query Language (SQL) statements entered by a user or contained in an application program and creates, updates, or provides access to the database.
Router - On the Internet, a router is a device or, in some cases, software in a computer, that determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination.
RSA - Rural Service Area. Areas not included in MSAs are divided into RSAs. Generally these are the rural areas of the US. The FCC used RSAs to license cellular carriers in areas not included in MSAs. There are 428 RSAs in the US.
RTOS - A real-time operating system (RTOS) is an operating system that guarantees a certain capability within a specified time constraint.
Signal-To-Noise Ratio - A measure of the power of a signal versus noise. A lower ratio means there is more noise relative to signal.
SIM - Subscriber Identity Module. Synonymous with smart card.
Smart Card - A plastic card containing important data about a person's identity to allow access to a network or premises. Also, a card containing subscriber information, often inserted into GSM phones for roaming to different countries.
SMR - Specialized Mobile Radio. A dispatch radio and interconnect service for businesses. Covers frequencies in the 220 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands.
SMS - Short Message Service. A feature of PCS phones(primarily GSM) that allows users to receive and sometimes transmit short text messages using their wireless phone.
SOAP - SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a way for a program running in one kind of operating system (such as Windows NT) to communicate with a progam in the same or another kind of an operating system (such as Linux) by using the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)and its Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the mechanisms for information exchange.
Soft Handoff - Procedure in which two base stations-one in the cell site where the phone is located and the other in the cell site to which the conversation is being passed- both hold onto the call until the handoff is completed. The first cell site does not cut off the conversation until it receives information that the second is maintaining the call.
Spectrum Allocation - Federal government designation of a range of frequencies for a category of use or uses. For example, the FCC allocated the 1900 MHz band for personal communications services. Allocation, typically accomplished in years-long FCC proceedings, tracks new technology development. However, the FCC can shift existing allocations to accommodate changes in spectrum demand. As an example, some UHF television channels were recently reallocated to public safety.
Spectrum Assignment - Federal government authorization for use of specific frequencies or frequency pairs within a given allocation, usually at stated a geographic location(s). Mobile communications authorizations are typically granted to private users, such as oil companies, or to common carriers, such as cellular and paging operators. Spectrum auctions and/or frequency coordination processes, which consider potential interference to existing users, may apply.
Spread Spectrum - Jamming-resistant and initially devised for military use, this radio transmission technology "spreads" information over greater bandwidth than necessary for interference tolerance and is now a commercial technology.
SQL - A standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database.
SRAM - Static RAM. A memory technology used in pagers and handsets. So named because it requires no refresh cycle, as required by dynamic RAM (DRAM) and therefore consumes less power. SRAM maintains data only while power is applied.
Symbian - The joint venture between Ericsson Inc., Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp. and Psion to develop new operating systems based on Psion's EPOC32 platform for small mobile devices including wireless phones or handheld personal computers.
TDMA - A technology used in digital cellular telephone communication to divide each cellular channel into three time slots in order to increase the amount of data that can be carried.
Telematics - The integration of wireless communications, vehicle monitoring systems and location devices.
UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. Europe's approach to standardization for third-generation cellular systems.
UWCC - Universal Wireless Communications Consortium. An industry group supporting IS-136 time division multiple access and IS-41 wireless intelligent network technology.
VoIP - A term used in IP telephony for a set of facilities for managing the delivery of voice information using the Internet Protocol (IP).
VoxML - Voice Markup Language. A technology from Motorola for creating a voice dialog with a Web site in which a user can call a Web site by phone and interact with it through speech recognition and Web site responses.
WAP - The WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
W-CDMA - Wideband CDMA. The third generation standard offered to the International Telecommunication Union by GSM proponents.
Windows CE - The Microsoft operating system developed for handheld computing devices. Variations of Windows CE also may eventually become a platform for applications used by communications devices such as wireless phones or two-way pagers.
Wireless - Using the radio-frequency spectrum for transmitting and receiving voice, data and video signals for communications.
Wireless IP - The packet data protocol standard for sending wireless data over the Internet.
Wireless LAN - Local area network using wireless transmissions, such as radio or infrared instead of phone lines or fiber-optic cable to connect data devices.
Wireless Local Loop - A fixed service that competes with or substitutes for local wireline phone service.
WML - Wireless Markup Language. Formerly called HDML (Handheld Devices Markup Language), is a language that allows the text portions of Web pages to be presented on cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) via wireless access.
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) The Wi-Fi Alliance put together
WPA as a data encryption method for 802.11 wireless LANs. WPA is an industry-supported,
pre-standard version of 802.11i utilizing the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
(TKIP), which fixes the problems of WEP, including using dynamic keys. WPA
will serve until the 802.11i standard is ratified in the third quarter of
xDSL - Designation for digital subscriber line technology enabling simultaneous two-way transmission of voice and high-speed data over ordinary copper phone lines.
XML - XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets, and elsewhere.
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