Mobile computing is a generic term describing one's ability to use Technology while moving, as opposed to portable computers, which are only practical for use while deployed in a stationary configuration. It is a technology that allows transmission of data via a computer without having to be connected to a fixed physical link . Mobile computing embraces a host of portable Technologies that make internet access on the go not possible but integral to everyday life. 

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Mobile computing is taking a computer and all necessary files and software out into the field. Many types of mobile computers have been produced since the 1990s.

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What is Mobile Computing?

Mobile computing refers to the use of small and portable computing devices in wireless networks that provide wireless connections to the central main server. These devices include laptop, notebook PC, Tablet PC, palmtops (Personal digital assistant (PDA) and other handheld devices). Radio signalling device is installed inside these devices for receiving and transmitting electronic data. Mobile computing has become an indispensable part of life.

Mobile, laptop, notebook and palmtop computers can use one of these type of wireless services when away from home or office :-

Wireless Services

1. Wi-Fi

The most commonly used and least expensive is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi uses radio waves to broadcast an internet signal from a wireless router to the immediate surrounding area. If the wireless network is not encrypted anyone can jump on. Wi-Fi is commonly used in public places like airport terminals, hotel lounges and some specific government public places to create “hotspots”.

2. Cellular Broadband

An alternative to Wi-Fi is cellular broadband. This type of mobile computing Technology utilizes a cellular modem or air card to connect to cell Towers for internet access. The Air Card fits into the physical or express card slot of a notebook or laptop delivering internet access on the go. One needn’t remain stationery to use cellular Broadband as the signal will remain strong everywhere within the range.

Cellular broadband is also used for providing internet access for cell phones and PDAs. Access is usually considered a premium service that either increases the monthly cost of the plan associated with the device or incurs extra fees when used.

3. Cloud Computing

Another service associated with mobile computing is Cloud Computing. The ability to use website services for mobile computers. Cloud Computing provides access to a network-like environment with various application and virtually unlimited resources so that field representatives, for instance can utilise web resources rather than being supplied with weighty, expensive machines packed with the company software and data. Mobile computing also provides access to a company's virtual private network VPN by tunneling through the internet. Staying connected through mobile computing has become completely integrated into the fabric of everyday life in developed countries. From Gmail to Twitter, from Skype to Facebook, from Cloud Computing to VPN it will no longer do without mobile computing any more then we could do without electricity.

Wireless networks use Wi-Fi(Wireless Fidelity)  technology for providing network coverages to offices, public places and other small workplaces. Wireless access point device is used to provide wirefree network coverage in the designated area.

4. WiMAX

WiMAX (Wireless interoperability for microwave access) Technology represents the next generation of Wireless networking and can transmit data of the word distance of 50-90 km. It can provide a maximum network speed of 70 Mbps. It provides much better facilities than Wi-Fi as long distance microwave technology, higher bandwidth and high data security by using enhanced encryption can provide service in both Line Of Sight (LOS) and Non-Line Of Sight (NLOS) locations but range may vary accordingly.

Mobile computing devices can use any of these networks to access the internet or connect to a LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) server. They use networking software for adjusting device settings to suit specific network requirements. Mobile computing has enabled users to remain connected while on the move. High end users can opt for satellite based networking which provides wireless connectivity anywhere in the world. Example of Satellite based networking is StarLink.

Features of Mobile Computing

  • Easy to handle and carry these small devices 
  • Data can be transferred easily between users
  • Collect Simulated data to current zone or your time 
  • Arbitrary network, easily connect with environment and transmit data 
  • Having fast processor speed 
  • Good battery life
  • Huge memory capacity
  • No time constraints 
  • No place constraints
  • Reduced cost and time etc.

Applications of Mobile Computing

  • Traffic control & information
  • Emergency situation 
  • Used in businesses
  • Credit card verification 
  • Replacement of fixed networks
  • Entertainment 
  • Construction
  • Defence
  •  Airlines industry
  •  Banking
  •  Medical
  •  Rural area
  •  News reporting
  •  Healthcare
  •  Education etc

Technical and Other Limitations of Mobile Computing

  • Insufficient bandwidth 
  • Security threats 
  • Battery power 
  • Transmission interferences 
  • Potential health hazards 
  • Small interface devices 
  • Network stability 

Final Word

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