What Online Searchers Should Know about Wireless Data Communications

By Bell, Steven J. | Online, January 1994 | Go to article overview

What Online Searchers Should Know about Wireless Data Communications


Bell, Steven J., Online


The idea of performing cummunications tasks without being wired to a phone jack is hardly futuristic. What? You still don't own a cellular phone?! Well, don't get too anxious. The wireless data communications (WDC) revolution has begun, but progress is slow. How slow? A recent article in PC Magazine on wireless communications was featured on the front cover. The headline's subtitle was, "How Much Longer Before It All Works" [1].

As ubiguitous wireless data networks take shape, wireless telecommunications functions, like online searching or electonic mail, will be more common and affordable within two to three years. Confusion over with of several competing technologies will best serve the needs of online searchers persists. Some existing technologies may be inappropriate, and other emerging technologies may hold unkown potential. This artEcle will profile the major WDC systems, provide an overview of how they work, and compartively examine their communication features. Gaining an understanding of wireless data systems, those available now and those on the planning board, will help online searchers prepare for the eventuality of wireless data communications.

THE MARKET FOR WIRELESS DATA

At the dawn of the wireless era, marked by the introduction of cellular phone service, AT&T market researchers projected about 900,000 mobile phones would be in use in the United States by the year 2000 [2]. Now there are over 12 million cellular phone users, most of whom use only voice services. Only six to ten precent of that marekt makes use of the cellular system for data communications. Companies such as AT&T, Motorola, McCaw Cellular Communiations, Ericssion, and a host of other communications and computer firms are working frevently to construct wireless data systems in hopes of greatly expanding the market for data communications. The vision behind the effort, as described by George Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of Motorola, is simply to "enable people and machines to access and commuication information seamlessly, anywhere, anytime and at their convenience." There is also tremendous revenue potential in meeting the data communication needs of the approximately 40 percent of the workforce that is mobile [3].

There is wide speculation about the potential market for wireless data communications. Depending on what source is consulted any of the following predictions may be found:

* By 1996, WDC will be as commonplace as wired data communication is today.

* The Current WDC market is 600,000 users and will grow to five million by 1997.

* The WDC market for two-way mobile data will reach 9.6 million subscribers by 1997, and generate $2 billion in revnune.

Uncertainly about the market potential is based on the relative infancy of the wireless data communications industry. Experts readily admit they lack definitive answers to questions about which of the competing systems will dominate the market. To place the current WDC environment in perspective, consider that it is frequently compared to the personal computer industry of the mid-1970s.

APPLICATIONS FOR WIRELESS DATA COMMUNICATIONS

Ask WDC industlry representatives to profile a potential user of wireless technology. They will likely describe an executive who transfers vital data to an back from the office while relaxing on the beach in a remote vacation spot. Online searchers rarely are envisioned as target users of wireless communications systems although online searching is an application that can already be accomplished wirelessly. Today most applications for WDC fall outside of traditional communications tasks of information professionals.

Among the more common applications for wireless data communications are:

* Sales force data transfers: The insurance industry is a major user als local agents perform data tansfers to home offices from mobile field sites. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

What Online Searchers Should Know about Wireless Data Communications
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.