It has been just
a few short years since the development of the Internet system (which
some insist was invented by a former high ranking administration official
of a recent administration). The Internet has provided its users with
the ability to access sources of information and to communicate at
high speeds in ways never before considered. Instant communications
between companies, organizations and individuals are now as commonplace
through the use of the Internet as walking. The ability to transmit
large files containing photos, research, legal research and almost
every conceivable type of information has now come within our grasp.
However with the growth of the mass numbers of entrances to the Internet
and the rapid growth of the numbers of computers in service for Internet
access purposes, the resulting overcrowding was inevitable. All users
have experienced delays in accessing the Internet, loss of log-on
difficulties, loss of transmitted information, and a myriad of other
annoying problems, occurring at the "wrong time"
A number of alternate systems have been developed offering higher
speeds, direct movement of files (FTP) use of Cable TV equipment,
and DSL (digital subscriber line) systems all of which have assisted
in alleviating the overcrowding problems and adding to the expense
of Internet access. It was inevitable that the use of broadband wireless
communications systems would eventually be applied to Internet access.
USE OF THE WIRELESS
With connection speeds up to 50 times faster than the traditional
dial up access, wireless access allows all systems to move faster.
Large photo files, graphics, accounting spreadsheets, law enforcement
information, legal document information, and literally all file movement
is faster than previously experienced. The excruciatingly long wait
for a large download information upgrade file from Netscape, Adobe
etc., need not be experienced again.
Wireless broadband systems are always connected to the Internet. The
user need not log on or wait. Simply clicking on the appropriate Icon
will enter the Internet or e-mail system of choice. Since no phone
line is involved, the expense of a dedicated line or the blocking
of an existing line ends and the phone may be used for conventional
purposes, such as calling ones mother - in - law.
Using wireless access to the Internet provides the user with extreme
flexibility. As more and more providers enter the supply side, the
computer becomes a traveling communications station, providing Internet
and communications access from almost anywhere in the world. For the
journalist and photo journalist, this means complete freedom from
the necessity of tying to existing hard line communications systems
and columns, articles and photos can easily be sent at high speed
to meet today's deadlines.
As we read, companies like Starbucks and others are beginning to provide
specialized wireless Internet and 'e' mail hook-ups for the traveler
who is not already on a wireless access system. The user can also
obtain a 802.11b wireless card for access at hotels, airports, restaurants
and other public places.
In addition wireless networks can be developed for businesses in a
similar fashion to that used through phone lines.
Some hand held captured system devices have been developed which are
in limited use such as OmniSky. These devices allow the user to access
the Internet or 'e' mail from a variety of popular handhelds, however
memory and capabilities are limited on hand held, palm sized units.
SELECTING A WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER
Because of the infancy of the wireless Internet access industry many
users have spent considerable time and money obtaining a system only
to find their new provider in bankruptcy because of poor planning,
engineering and underfinancing. Any potential subscriber to a wireless
Internet provider must ascertain the following.
1. Financial position of the provider.
2. User history
3. Cost comparisons between providers (it appears there is a wide
variance in costs between providers at this time)
4. Engineering specifications of hardware and software
5. Cost of the hardware (also a wide variance between providers)
6. Ascertain security of the system being provided.
The systems are generally set up for notebook use and the users equipment
must be reviewed prior to entering any agreement with a wireless service
provider to make certain the users equipment meets the needs of the
provider. Unit set up is quite simple. A small transmitting device
is hooked to the computer through the sideband port and the transmitter
sends the signal from the computer to a relay station in range in
a similar manner to the way police and other radio relay systems operate.
Accessing the Internet the potential subscriber can review talk groups
to review comments from users. Bear in mind that as in all chat situations
much of the information there must be taken lightly as the writers
are NOT professionals in the field.
Next month, Radio Corner will review many of the suppliers in the
present marketplace with user recommendations.
Radioman can be reached at Radioman@pressroom.com
to answer any inquires technical and otherwise about this or previous