About this book
The demand for wireless access to network services is growing in virtually all communications and computing applications. Once accustomed to unteathered opera tion, users resent being tied to a desk or a fixed location, but will endure it when there is some substantial benefit, such as higher resolution or bandwidth. Recent technolog ical advances, however, such as the scaling of VLSI, the development of low-power circuit design techniques and architectures, increasing battery energy capacity, and advanced displays, are rapidly improving the capabilities of wireless devices. Many of the technological advances contributing to this revolution pertain to the wireless medium itself. There are two viable media: radio and optical. In radio, spread-spectrum techniques allow different users and services to coexist in the same bandwidth, and new microwave frequencies with plentiful bandwidth become viable as the speed of the supporting low-cost electronics increases. Radio has the advantage of being available ubiquitously indoors and outdoors, with the possibility of a seam less system infrastructure that allows users to move between the two. There are unan swered (but likely to be benign) biological effects of microwave radiation at higher power densities. Optical communications is enhanced by advances in photonic devices, such as semiconductor lasers and detectors. Optical is primarily an indoor technology - where it need not compete with sunlight - and offers advantages such as the immediate availability of a broad bandwidth without the need for regulatory approval.
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