April 2004

In Fact:Wireless fidelity

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The growth and development of wireless communication has opened up new avenues of ICT for development. However, with this development also comes plethora of terminologies. You may be regularly following or using different technology standards, devices, networks, etc., but may not know exactly what it means. It may well be necessary to develop a dictionary of ICT terminology. Even though it is not necessary for most users to learn the various jargons, it becomes very useful to understand some of these terms. We invite our readers to share their views on this section, as well as to enquire about terms that baffle them. The editorial term will try to provide you the explanations or definitions in the forthcoming issues. It may be other way also. You might know few terms, which are not listed here. We welcome you to share your valuable knowledge in this area with us and our other readers.

Wi-Fi: Wireless Fidelity. Wi-Fi originally referred to the 802.11b specification for wireless LANs, but it is now used to describe any of the 802.11 wireless networking specifications.

Hot spot: In wireless networking, a hot spot is a specific part of an access point's range in which the general public can walk up and use the network. The service may be available only for a fee, and the hot spot's range is usually short to control the physical proximity of the user. In some parts of the world, it is called a cool spot.

OFDM: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. A wireless transmission technique that splits a signal into smaller signals that are then transmitted at different frequencies simultaneously. It's the method employed for wireless transmissions that use the IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g specifications.

Omnidirectional antenna: This is like a dipole antenna because it radiates its signal 360 degrees horizontally; however, its signal is flatter than a dipole's, allowing for higher gain.

Router: As the name indicates, this piece of hardware routes data from one local-area network to another or to a phone line's long-distance line. Routers also act as traffic cops, allowing only authorized machines to transmit data into the local network so that private information can remain secure. In addition, routers handle errors, keep network usage statistics, and handle security issues.

WAP: Wireless Application Protocol is the de facto worldwide standard for providing Internet communications and advanced telephony services on digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and other wireless terminals. The Wireless Application Protocol is a standard developed by the WAP Forum, a group founded by Nokia, Ericsson, Phone.com (formerly Unwired Planet), and Motorola. WAP defines a communications protocol as well as an application environment. In essence, it is a standardized technology for cross-platform, distributed computing.

(Source: www.perfectxml.com/glossary4.asp)

Warchalking: The unauthorized act of physically marking the locations of wireless access points (APs) that are available for free network access, such as those at a coffee house or an airport

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