Mobile phones have become as commonplace as pocket radios. There is no where you will go without finding someone with the palm tucked close to the ear receiving or making a call.
Mobile services differ greatly from the traditional telephony service in many respects. Here, we try to look at how cellular phones phones operate and how calls are made and received.
The first thing you will have to understand about mobile technology is mobile phones are essentially radios. All communication – to an from the device – travel along radio lines and is bound by radio transmission rules we see in the old Motorola two way radio systems. The only difference is that cellular phones are able to apply computer concepts such as advanced networking and sophiscated programming into their functions and that is how we come by SMS text messages, conferencing, call waiting features and calendar systems.
The second concept is that of cells. There is no single block of network but rather a city may be divided into several cells and a call from one cellular device to the other keeps hoping along the cells till it gets to the destined number. The advantage of the cell system, is that it allows for frequency reuse, meaning several users can use the same small cell and permits the company to use the same frequency over and over again without locking resources to one phone call only. Typically, one cell covers about 26 square kilometers and each one has a base station which is just a tower and some radio equipment to manage the signals.
Of late, cell phone technologies are laden with computer applications. SMS and WAP access are for example typical computer applications that have found their way into cellular functionality. SMS operates like the traditional email system and is controlled by a server just like we have a network server. WAP dwells more on computer programming and is also controlled by a WAP server. When you send a text message, it travels over the cellular network and is stored in a server and delivered to the recipient. The reason why it is purely a computer network facility and independent of the cellular service is that even whilst receiving calls SMS messages can come through.
WAP is purely an internet driven service integrated into cellular networks to enhance experience normally reserved for internet surfers. Examples of these facilities are downloads and information services like flight schedules and weather updates which are obtained from cellular operators via handsets.
As mobile users grow in sophiscation, so does the technology that drives the device. Each new day we shall see what we call convergence technology whereby other fields of communication shall be gradually fused into mobile operations to give customers enhanced experience.