Mobile Computing Networks

Using mobile computers when in transit implies mobile computing. This is effectuated by using wireless technologies such as LAN, WAN, Wi-Fi, GPRS, etc.

LAN refers to Local Area Networking. This is not a very mobile technology, as it restricts the area of its reach. LAN refers to the connectivity of two or more fixed or mobile computing devices within a particular area. This connection can be done physically by cables (in which case it would not be an example of mobile computing) or other connections such as infrared rays and wireless connections. LAN enables computers within its reach to share and compute data. It is primarily an intranet network.

WAN is Wide Area Networking. It is wider in its outreach. WAN refers to the connection of two locations. These locations may be connected internally through LAN networks. WAN essentially uses wireless connections between its locations.

MAN is another kind of network used in mobile computing. It stands for Metropolitan Area Networking and it connects mobile computing devices within a particular city or metropolitan area. Devices such as mobile phones and car computers can be hooked up onto MAN to keep them interconnected. MAN provides speeds of 128 kbps or 256 kbps. Cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas and about 15 major airports in America are currently connected by MAN.

Cell phones are currently the most commonly used mobile computing devices on the planet. They use wireless technologies such as GSM, CDMA, WLL, GPRS, EDGE, 3G etc. for their connectivity. Currently, GPRS or General Packet Radio Service is considered a fast-growing technology. GPRS networks coupled with EDGE or Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution provide fast Internet connection on cell phones. They can provide data transfer speeds of about 384 kbps, which are much higher than GSM and CDMA technologies.

Besides these popular services, there are also some lesser-known networks that have been introduced lately. One such network, the Metricom, was available in 12 cities and 15 airports. However, it is no longer available due to the company’s financial constraints. ArrayComm and SWIFTComm are relatively new networks that promise speeds of up to 1 Mbps to the mobile computer user.

Electronic Evidence Discovery May Shift To The Mobile Computer Forensic Specialist

As the computing world advances and especially as the world of the wireless computing advances, there are certainly going to be instances where the services of a mobile computer specialist will be required.

The mobile arena now includes hand-held devices with comprehensive capability, in fact there are many more wireless units than desktops.The complexities of today`s wireless units such as iPods, iPads, Smartphones and tablet computers now have the same computing power of PC`s that were manufactured within the last decade. With cutting-edge technology such as infrared and bluetooth now integrated in to mobile computers, the advances in mobile computing are rapidly surpassing those of the desktop computer.

The hand-held device now includes a wide variety of units and can include video cameras, iPods,digital recorders or any hand held units.Mobiles may differ from the desktop computer in the way that they operate. The mobile computer forensic field now shifts from hard drive recovery to electronic evidence discovery of hand held units.

The mobile operating systems and hardware standards may change more frequently as new advances are introduced. New versions may be introduced several times within the product year, whereas computer software, may be revised annually or bi-annually. There are many different platforms in the wireless computing arena which makes the job of the mobile computer forensic specialist even more challenging and additionally, there may be variations within each communication technology. There are several variations of the 802.11 which is the standard used by all wireless networks. Shorter range wireless communication involves the use of Bluetooth, while within even shorter ranges, communication is handled by the infrared light waves.

Mobile computer forensics does not only involve mobile phones and the approach is not yet standardized due to the rapid advances and multiple operating platforms. The main reason for the state of affairs is that many manufacturers are pushing different standards in hardware, interfaces, operating systems and protocols. As a result, mobile forensics cannot be treated in the same way as static computer forensics, even though the concepts, may appear to be similar. The mobile forensic specialist job may rely less on technology and more on skills, procedures and problem-solving ability and the approach can be different.

Perhaps the most important forensic component of the mobile phone would be the Subscriber Identity Module card which is used to authenticate the user and verify the services. Alternatively, this information can be embedded in the phone. Forensic information may also be available in external Secure Digital cards that can be used by most mobile devices.

The mobile forensic field is primarily concerned with the acquisition of mobile phone data and there are tools, both hardware and software. Another challenge for the mobile forensic specialist is to keep up with the avalanche of changes in the mobile computing industry. Mobile forensic software may behind the curve with regard to the new mobile technologies and you should be aware of the various tools both forensic and non forensic that can be used.

The new burgeoning field of mobile arena is sure to offer satisfying available opportunities and challenges for the mobile computer forensic specialist.

The mobile computer segment that includes notebooks, netbooks, tablets and other hand held devices, now easily surpasses the desktop PC market in market size.

Mobile Computing Solutions

There are several companies that provide mobile computing solutions especially for commercial purposes. Mobile computing includes connecting several computing devices by means of wireless networking to make them accessible with each other. Hence, a person can be communicable with the office even though not physically present. This greatly improves communication and enables staff to take faster decisions, which translate into more business.

There are two main parts to company provided mobile computing equipment – the handheld equipment and the network connection. The handheld devices used in mobile computing solutions are basically laptop computers. These laptops are connected by means of a wireless network, usually wireless LAN. Cell phones can also be integrated into the network using wireless technologies such as GSM, CDMA, WLL, GPRS, EDGE, etc.

Mobile computing solutions can be provided for specific purposes. A good example is the mail tracking system provided to the US postal department. This system can pick up, sort and route mail and then notify airport malls for their reception. This tracker can also determine late postages and apply relevant penalties on the same. Today, there are custom designed mobile computing solutions for a wide array of commercial fields such as education, business, healthcare, pharmaceutical, supply chain management, etc.

Providing mobile computing solutions does not mean just providing the equipment and the connectivity. Most mobile computing solution providers also conduct seminars in which they train users how to handle the equipment. This is highly necessary as mobile computing is still a developing field. There are also consulting services and hotline numbers provided in case of emergencies and breakdowns. In short, mobile computing does not entail just equipment; it also extends to service and management.

The cost of a mobile computing solution system depends from company to company. Some solution providers may charge for the equipment as well as the server through which the devices would be connected. This would be a bulk quote. Some providers, however, charge a bit more for the equipment and do not charge for the servers. Usually these solution providers use their servers for a host of other customers. Equipment is charged on the basis of the number of users.