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What is Wireless Internet Service?

Broadband internet service is a form of high speed internet access. In fact, the name "broadband" has come to be synonymous with high speed internet use in general. Since speed is measured by bit rate, the number of bits processed per unit of time, broadband internet service is defined as being 256 kbit/s (kilobits per second) or faster. Broadband typically downloads at a much faster speed than that, however. As a result, broadband internet service is categorized into two different connection groups: Tier 1 (T1) broadband connections range from 1.544 Mbit/s to 2.048 Mbit/s, and Tier 3 (T3) broadband connections range from 44.736 Mbit/s to 159.2 Gbit/s. With these rates of data transmission, broadband represents an evolution from the original high speed internet service, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and is by far a significant improvement upon the original internet service, dial-up.

The latest development in broadband internet service is the incorporation of wireless capabilities. Wireless broadband internet service is exactly what the name implies: it is your high speed internet access without cables or wires. The versatility of wireless internet, and its potential for increasing productivity by users, has consumers demanding the service at an increasing rate. They want it in their home, at their office, even at their local coffee shop or bistro. Hence the development of wireless broadband internet service: it is a packaged internet service deal that provides the ability to access the internet wirelessly from any location within the service's coverage area.

Wireless Broadband Network

A term you may recognize in association with wireless broadband internet service includes wireless network. A wireless network is a single broadband internet arrangement established for your home or office. It requires several pieces of equipment that are all one-time cost items: a wireless transceiver, such as a wireless card or antenna, and a wireless router. In addition, you will have to purchase the broadband service, which is a continual expense. You cannot utilize your wireless broadband tools without an ongoing broadband service. Together, the wireless devices and the broadband internet service make up your wireless broadband network. When employed, the network will send data to your broadband internet connection via these wireless tools that utilize a special wireless technology (known as Wi-Fi). As a result you will be able to access the internet from anywhere inside the coverage area, as determined by the location of your wireless router.

Wireless Broadband Service

Wireless broadband internet service is growing in popularity for locations outside the home or office as well. When considering broadband, another term you may recognize is wireless internet service. Although often used interchangeably with wireless network, the two do not mean the same thing. Wireless broadband internet service generally refers to a package deal that combines both the wireless technology and broadband service, and to which you can subscribe to. It differs from the wireless network in two ways: 1) it includes both technology and service, whereas having a wireless network necessitates your having to buy both, and 2) it is generally used in larger locations outside the home or office, such as the downtown area of a city or a college campus.

Areas that provide wireless broadband internet service are known as hotspots. Starbucks Coffee and Borders Books are two common retailers that feature internet hotspots. Downtown areas in larger cities and major airports are two common public areas that also feature internet hotspots. They all provide wireless broadband internet service. The service is mostly utilized by laptop computers and handheld devices that are “wireless ready”, meaning they are capable of connecting to the internet via internal or external wireless devices or cards. However, they require a paid subscription to the broadband service intended especially for this wireless use.

Wireless Broadband Mobile

Wireless internet connectivity in cell phones is growing in popularity as well. Cell phones, and other devices featuring windows mobile applications, are now all being designed with advanced wireless technology. This allows them the ability to connect to a wireless broadband internet service, or to the internet via their own cellular phone network. EDGE and EVDO are two of the more popular next-generation mobile system technologies utilized by cellular phone developers.

EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) was introduced into the North American via GSM (Global Systems Mobile) networks in 2003 and is now available worldwide. EDGE increases data transmission rates and improves transmission reliability in mobile devices that use it. More importantly, it allows the mobile device to connect to the Internet wirelessly, but its download speed is significantly slower than other mobile wireless technologies. EDGE transmits data at approximately 236.8 kbit/s, which is below the standard for a broadband connection. However, its theoretical maximum speed is 473.6 kbit/s, so it still considered a wireless broadband technology.

EVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) is significantly faster than EDGE. It transmits data via radio signals, and for this reason is classified as a wireless broadband technology. It is employed in mobile devices around the world via CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) networks: cellular networks that achieve high data transmission speeds and support a vast number of users.

WiMAX is an emerging wireless broadband technology whose download speeds are approximately 10 mbit/s. It is expected to be within the 40 mbit/s range by next year. There is currently only one major WiMAX provider due to the fact that it must be run on it own network: it cannot utilize GSM or CDMA networks as EDGE and EVDO do. However there are plans for widespread WiMax commercial deployment by 2010, and will be marketed as a significantly advanced wireless alternative to Cable and DSL internet services.

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