Electronic Design

Smart Phone & Next Generation Mobile Computing

By Pei Zheng and Lionel M. NiISBN: 0120885603

This book is something else. It is not often that you see a book that is as up to date as this one while also covering a broad swath of wireless technology. As an author of many books myself, I could say that this is one I wish I had written. But looking at the scope of the book, it probably would have taken me a few years, during which time the technology would have changed again and again. That's the big problem with books like this: they go out of date pretty fast. Yet some segments stay pretty stable from year to year giving hope to authors who are willing to tackle something like this. I am glad they did. Anyway, if you are looking for a book that will give you an overall view of the latest cell phone and wireless technology, this one will do it.

Chatper 1 covers some definitions, such as an accurate description of a smart phone. It then goes on to summarize the cellular networks and gives an overview of some of the newer technologies like wireless mesh, WiMAX, and RFID. Even location-based services are mentioned.

Chapter 2 covers PDAs. Since smart phones are essentially a cell phone combined with a PDA, this was a necessary chapter. You rarely see PDAs covered at all. Most of the coverage is related to integrating PDA functionality into cell phones.

Chapter 3 is a huge chapter covering most of the key wireless technologies today. There is heavy emphasis on cell phone spectrum, modulation, and access techniques. GSM and CDMA systems are covered. The chapter goes on with some details about the 802.11 WLAN series, Bluetooth, Ultra Wideband (UWB), RFID, WiMAX, and wireless sensor networks. Lots of details. This is a pretty good chapter, but I wished there had been more on the 3G WCDMA which we are seeing more and more these days.

Chapter 4 delves into the smart phone innards. It looks at the most popular processors used and the operating systems they run. Processors are compared, memory issues are discussed, and display technology is summarized. Symbian, Palm OS, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Linux, Java, and BREW are all mentioned. There are not too many places where you see this coverage.

Chapter 5 concentrates on the details of wireless TCP/IP and IPv6. It then goes on to discuss the integration of WLANs and cell phones. Putting VoIP on a WLAN into a cell phone is a current trend and this book discusses the issues and problems. This chapter also covers mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), something you may not have heard about. There has been lots of research but not may real or visible applications. They can be of great value in disaster and rescue operations, military battlefield situations, remote monitoring and surveillance, and inter vehicular communications. The chapter wraps up with a discussion of QoS in mobile computing.

Chapter 6 is one I really appreciated. Mobile security and privacy are always sited as one of the main deterrents to greater wireless adoption and usage. As it turns out, wireless is more secure than you think. After you read this chapter, you will probably feel better about it yourself. The chapter is a good primer on security including encryption, authentication, and protocols. Then security related to cell phones, 802.11 WLAN systems, Bluetooth, and wireless sensor security are discussed.

The book wraps up with some interesting wireless applications in Chapter 7. Location technology was well covered as was mobile messaging and multimedia streaming. M-commerce and telematics are also covered.

I could nit pick this book for not giving more detail or for missing some of the more recent developments in wireless. But I keep up with all this stuff daily and most authors do not. And even if they did, when you write a book you have to cut it off somewhere to get it published. And the minute it is published it is dated. That's just the way it is. Nevertheless, this book is very much up to date and a good reference to all the most current wireless technologies. Better to get it now before it gets out of date.

If you're interested in mobile computing, you might also like these books:

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.