1G First-generation wireless; analog cell phones.
2.5G Second-generation (2G) wireless, plus faster data services.
3G Third-generation wireless: digital plus high-speed data and global roaming; known as IMT 2000 by the ITU and implemented in Europe as UMTS and in North America as CDMA2000; goals are high-quality multimedia and advanced global roaming (in-house, cellular, satellite).
802.11 IEEE standards for wireless LANs with specs for 1mbps, 2mbps, 11mbps, and 24mbps.


access point Base station that plugs into Ethernet hub or server; like a cellular phone system cell, users can roam between access points.
AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone Service; the standard for analog cellular telephones; uses a frequency-modulated transmission and frequency spacing to separate user transmission; operates in the 800MHz band.
AMPS modem A wireless modem designed for analog cellular phones.
AP Access point; a base station in a wireless LAN. Access points are typically standalone devices that plug into an Ethernet hub or server. Like a cellular phone system, users can roam around with their mobile devices and be handed off from one access point to the other.
API Application Programming Interface.
ARDIS Advanced National Radio Data Service; established, nationwide packet data system from American Mobile; provides 19.2kbps.


BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Nationwide packet network at 8kbps from BellSouth Wireless Data; formerly RAM Mobile Data.
Bluetooth Wireless personal area network (PAN) standard geared for home and office; uses 2.4GHz band at 720kbps within 30-foot range.
broadband wireless Wireless transmission at high speed. Wireless transmission is slower than wireline speeds; thus, whereas land-based broadband generally starts at T1 rates, wireless might be considered broadband starting at 250kbps.
BSS Base station subsystem.
bytecode Content encoding where the content is typically a set of low-level opcodes and operands for a targeted hardware (or virtual) machine.


CDMA Code Division Multiple Access; Qualcomm's spread-spectrum air-interface method. It codes each conversation and expands it 128 times, which makes it easy to decipher at the receiving end.
CDMA2000 3G CDMA evolution from CDMA One supported by CDMA One operators; now known as the 1X Multi-Carrier mode (1X MC) in an overall standard for 3G CDMA.
CDMA One 2G CDMA (IS 95).
CDPD Cellular Digital Packet Data. A digital wireless transmission system that is deployed as an enhancement to the existing analog cellular network. Based on IBM's CelluPlan II, it provides a packet overlay onto the AMPS network and moves data at 19.2kbps over ever changing unused intervals in the voice channels. If all the channels are used, the data is stored and forwarded when a channel becomes available.

CDPD was developed as a wireless extension to an IP network and uses the four-octet ( address for connections. CDPD networks cover most of the major urban areas in the United States and have been deployed by AT&T, Ameritech, GTE, BellAtlantic Mobile, and other carriers. By the late 1990s, incompatibility issues had been worked out, and roaming agreements and interoperability between carriers is generally nationwide. CDPD modems are available on PC Cards for laptop and handheld computers.

compact HTML (cHTML) Subset of HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, and HTML 4.0 specifications designed for limited hardware information appliances.
CTIA Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
CVSD Continuous Variable Slope Delta Modulation


dispatch radio Two-way radio used for taxis, trucks, and fleets; always on.
dual-mode handset Cell phone that switches from analog to digital or from land-based to satellite or from cordless to cellular.


EDGE Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution; increased data throughput in GSM and TDMA systems to 384kbps.


FCC Federal Communications Commission
FireWire Originally developed by Apple, this is an increasingly popular and very fast external bus for transferring data between devices; also known as IEEE 1394 for the name of the standard it engendered.


Globalstar Second major LEO-based global communications system; initially created for voice, it was launched in late 1999.
GPRS General Packet Radio Service allows packet rather than circuit switch connections on cellular networks. This allows high-speed mobile access and the ability to connect only to the mobile network when Internet access is required.
GPS Global Positioning System. A system of 24 satellites for identifying earth locations, launched by the U.S. Department of Defense. By triangulation of signals from three of the satellites, a receiving unit can pinpoint its current location anywhere on earth to within a few meters.
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications. Digital cell phone system used throughout Europe based on TDMA; introduced SIM card and short messaging (SMS); GSM has a maximum data transfer rate of 9.6kbps.


HDML Handheld Device Markup Language; forerunner of WML.
HLR Home Location Register.
HomeRF Wireless personal area network (PAN) from HomeRF Working Group; uses 2.4GHz band at 1mbps or 2mbps within 150-foot range.
HTML HyperText Markup Language
HTML 1.0 i-Mode-compatible HTML that supports all iMode terminals.
HTML 2.0 i-Mode-compatible HTML that supports only the NTTDoCoMo 502i series terminals.
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol


iDEN Integrated Digital Enhanced Network; wireless system from Motorola that integrates voice, data, short messages, and dispatch radio; used by Nextel and others.
i-Mode Packet-based information service for mobile phones from NTT DoCoMo (Japan); first to provide Web browsing from cell phones.
IMT 2000 International Mobile Telecommunications 2000; 3G wireless from the ITU; also known as third-generation mobile systems.
IP Internet Protocol; the IP part of the TCP/IP communications protocol. IP implements the network layer (layer 3) of the protocol, which contains a network address and is used to route a message to a different network or subnetwork. IP accepts "packets" from the layer 4 transport protocol (TCP or UDP), adds its own header to it, and delivers a "datagram" to the layer 2 data link protocol. It may also break the packet into fragments to support the maximum transmission unit (MTU) of the network.
IrDA Infrared Data Association; based in Walnut Creek, California, a membership organization founded in 1993 and dedicated to developing standards for wireless, infrared transmission systems between computers. With IrDA ports, a laptop or PDA can exchange data with a desktop computer or use a printer without a cable connection. Like a TV remote control, IrDA requires line-of-sight transmission. IrDA products began to appear in 1995. The LaserJet 5P was one of the first printers with a built-in IrDA port.

IrDA is comprised of the IrDA Serial IR physical layer (IrDA-SIR), which provides a half-duplex connection of up to 115.2kbps. This speed allows the use of a low-cost UART chip; however, higher non-UART extensions for 1.15mbps and 4mbps have also been defined. IrDA uses the Infrared Link Access Protocol (IrLAP), an adaptation of HDLC, as its data link protocol. The Infrared Link Management Protocol (IrLMP) is also used to provide a mechanism for handshaking and multiplexing of two or more different data streams simultaneously.

IrDA port A transmitter/receiver for infrared signals.
Iridium First LEO-based global communications system backed by Motorola. Built primarily for voice transmissions, it was launched in 1998 and went into Chapter 11 in 1999.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network.
IVR Interactive Voice Response.


Java An object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems that creates applications that work on multiple operating systems.
JavaScript Programming language used to add dynamic behavior to HTML documents.
JINI Based on Java, this is a Sun system for easily connecting any type of devices, including a Net device, to a network.


LCD Liquid-crystal display, such as the screen found on an i-Mode cellular phone used for reading e-mails and accessing the Internet.
LMP Link Manager Protocol; responsible for link setup between Bluetooth devices, including security issues and controlling power modes of the Bluetooth Radio device.


MDS Multipoint Distribution Service; licensed spectrum in the 2.1GHz band.
microbrowser A Web browser specialized for a smart phone or a PDA and optimized to run in the low-memory and small-screen environment of a handheld device.
MMDS Multipoint Multichannel Distibution Service; licensed spectrum in the 2.5GHz to 2.6GHz band; range is 30 miles or more.
MMM Mobile Media Mode is an icon that identifies Web content optimized for smart phones and handhelds.


NAP Network Access Point.
Nextel Nationwide wireless operator that acquired numerous SMR companies.
NTT DoCoMo Wireless division of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone; a Japanese cellular provider and chief developer of i-Mode.


OpenAir Wireless LAN standard from WLIF; based on Proxim's RangeLAN2 products.


packet A piece of data transmitted over a packet-switching network such as the Internet; a packet includes not just data but also its destination.
PAN Personal Area Network.
PCN Personal Communications Network.
PCS Personal Communications Service; new digital cell phone systems in 2GHz range; mostly GSM.
PDA Personal digital assistant; handheld computer or personal organizer device.
PDC Personal Digital Communications; digital cell phone system in Japan.
PIN Personal identification number.
P- Java Personal Java; Java API and specification for running Java applications on small devices.
Pocket PC A handheld Windows-based computer that runs the Pocket PC operating system (formerly Windows CE). The Pocket PC operating system (version 3.0 of Windows CE) adds a new interface along with greater stability, Pocket Office applications (Internet Explorer, Word, and Excel), handwriting recognition, an e-book reader, wireless Internet access, and longer battery life. The Pocket PC was designed to compete more directly with the popular Palm devices.
POTS Plain old telephone service.


RAM network Earlier name for BellSouth Network.
Ricochet A wireless Internet service from Metricom Incorporated, based in Los Gatos, California. It uses appoximately 100 small "microcell" radio transceivers attached to utility poles within a 20-square-mile cell. Each cell has one wired access point, which is a T1, frame-relay connection to the Internet. Each microcell bounces digital signals from the mobile devices to other microcells and eventually to its wired access point. The transceivers in this MicroCellular Data Network (MCDN) employ 162 frequency-hopping channels in the 902MHz to 928MHz band from user to microcell. The 2.4GHz band is used in the rest of the system, and licensed spectrum in the 2.3GHz band is used for its high-speed service. Rocochet modems attach to laptops and other handhelds via the serial port.

Ricochet 1 provides 28.8kbps service with access primarily to stationary users, while Ricochet 2, introduced in 2000, offers 128kbps for the commuter in transit. First deployed in Washington D.C., Seattle, and Silicon Valley, coverage in more than 40 urban areas is expected by 2002.


short messaging Sending small text messages to cell phones; GSM pioneered Short Message Service (SMS), now used in all digital cell phones.
SIM Subscriber Identity Module.
SIM card Smart card that gives GSM phone its user identity; lets phones be easily rented or borrowed.
SM Short Message.
SMS Short Messaging Service; GSM coined the phrase, but similar text messaging is used in most digital cell phone systems.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
Symphony Wireless LAN geared for the home from Proxim.


TCP/IP Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol. A communications protocol developed under contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to network dissimilar systems. Invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, this de facto Unix standard is the protocol of the Internet and has become the global standard for communications.

TCP provides transport functions, which ensures that the total amount of bytes sent is received correctly at the other end. UDP is an alternate transport that does not guarantee delivery. It is widely used for real-time voice and video transmissions where erroneous packets are not retransmitted.

IP provides the routing mechanism. TCP/IP is a routable protocol, which means that all messages contain not only the address of the destination station, but the address of a destination network. This allows TCP/IP messages to be sent to multiple networks within an organization or around the world, hence its use in the worldwide Internet. Every client and server in a TCP/IP network requires an IP address, which is either permanently assigned or dynamically assigned at startup.

TDD Time Division Duplex.
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access; air interface for digital cell phones that interleaves data in time slots and provides multiple access to a small number of wireless frequencies. It is a component of GSM.
terminal Device providing the user with user agent capabilities; also, a mobile terminal or a mobile station.
trusted device A device that has been authenticated.
two-way paging The ability to receive and send data to the Internet by way of the paging network; also often called interactive paging.


UI User interface.
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; a new-generation technology for rapidly moving data and multimedia over wireless devices.

The European implementation of the 3G wireless phone system, UMTS provides service in the 2GHz band and offers global roaming and personalized features; designed as an evolutionary system for GSM network operators, multimedia data rates up to 2mbps are expected.

URL Uniform resource locator; the address that defines the route to a file on the Web or any other Internet facility. URLs are typed into the browser to access Web pages, and URLs are embedded within the pages themselves to provide the hypertext links to other pages.

The URL contains the protocol prefix, port number, domain name, subdirectory names, and file name. Port addresses are generally defaults and are rarely specified. To access a home page on a Web site, only the protocol and domain name are required.

user Person who interacts with the user agent to view, hear, or use a resource.
UWC-136 3G data rates for TDMA.


W3C World Wide Web Consortium; an international industry consortium founded in 1994 to develop common standards for the World Wide Web. It is hosted in the United States by the Laboratory for Computer Science at M.I.T.
WAP Wireless Application Protocol; determines how wireless devices utilise internet content and other services.
WAP gateway Software that takes raw WML data and compiles it for the microbrowser and vice versa.
WBMP Wireless bitmap; image format used in the Wireless Application Protocol.
WCDMA Wideband CDMA; a 3G technology that increases data transmission rates in GSM systems by using CDMA instead of TDMA. WCDMA has become the Direct Sequence (DS) mode in the ITU's 3G specification, which includes the 1X Multi-Carrier mode (1X MC) and 3X Multi-Carrier mode (3X MC). 1X MC (formerly known as CDMA2000) and 3X MC comprise the 3G upgrade path for carriers already using CDMA (CDMA One).
Web clipping Extracting relevant information from a Web page for display on a smart phone or a PDA.
Web server Network host that acts as an HTTP server; a computer that provides World Wide Web services on the Internet; it includes the hardware, operating system, Web server software, TCP/IP protocols, and the Web site content (Web pages).
Windows CE A streamlined version of Windows from Microsoft for handheld PCs (HPCs) and consumer electronics devices. It runs Pocket versions of popular applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel as well as many applications that are geared specifically for the smaller platform. As of version 3.0, Windows CE was changed substantially and renamed Pocket PC.
wireless modem A modem and antenna that transmits and receives over the air. Wireless modems come in several varieties, including units for CDPD, ARDIS, Mobitex, Ricochet, 802.11, OpenAir, BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Networks, and other proprietary products.
wireless portal A Web site that supports a user with a smart phone or an alphanumeric pager. It may offer a variety of features, including providing a springboard to other (WAP-based) wireless sites, the ability to select content to be pushed to the user's device as well as providing a point of entry for anyone to send the user a message.
WLAN Wireless LAN; a local area network that transmits over the air typically in an unlicensed frequency such as the 2.4GHz band. A wireless LAN does not require lining up devices for line-of-sight transmission like IrDA. Wireless access points (base stations) are connected to an Ethernet hub or server and transmit a radio frequency over an area of several hundred to a thousand feet and can penetrate walls and other nonmetal barriers. Roaming users can be handed off from one access point to another like a cellular phone system. Laptops use wireless modems that plug into an existing Ethernet port or that are self contained on PC cards, while standalone desktops and servers use plug-in cards (ISA, PCI, and so on).
WLIF Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum; a membership group that endorses products that are interoperable with major standards; supports OpenAir and 802.11.
WML Wireless Markup Language; a markup language for devices using WAP. It is based on the Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML); ordinary Web browsers cannot read WML.
WMLS (WMLScript) Wireless Markup Language Script; a subset of JavaScript, used to program mobile devices.
WWW World Wide Web.


XML Extensible Markup Language. An open standard for describing data from the W3C. It is used for defining data elements on a Web page and business-to-business documents. It uses a similar tag structure as HTML; however, whereas HTML defines how elements are displayed, XML defines what those elements contain. HTML uses predefined tags, but XML allows tags to be defined by the developer of the page. Thus, virtually any data items, such as product, sales rep, and amount due, can be identified, allowing Web pages to function like database records. By providing a common method for identifying data, XML supports business-to-business transactions and is expected to become the dominant format for electronic data interchange. (altro glossario online in inglese)