This fourth edition of the Wireless Data Handbook will begin to reach readers in 1999,
the centennial year of Marconi’s first sale of data radio to the British Navy. For the
army of fresh, young people now turning their impressive energy and intellect to this
growing field, it is fitting to have enough historical perspective to understand the work
of their predecessors.
As the title states, this book is devoted to data with only passing reference to
voice-and then only as voice and data impact each other. It is also focused on wide
area, mostly mobile, applications; it does not cover in-building, wireless LANs. By far
the greatest emphasis is on public wide area networks, with a conscious effort to make
fair business comparisons among the many competing alternatives.
While key technology, which includes airtime protocols, must be discussed, this
book is mostly application and business oriented. The necessary technical discussions
tend to deal with practical matters, such as the impact of long message lengths on user
transmission success. The mathematics require no more than high school algebra. This
is not an engineering manual. If you need to calculate path losses, understand turbo
coding, or approximate chi-square probability distributions, this is not your book.
The core of this book is a nuts and bolts examination of realistic wireless
applications and the networks that can serve them in the short term. Considerable
emphasis is placed on deflating unrealistic vendor claims. The time horizon is short,
with the most extended market opportunity projection ending in 2005. This book is
not visionary. You will find no refrigerators scanning milk carton expiration dates in
order to wirelessly place a replenishment order at your local supermarket.