Wireless Internet Connections and your Cell Phone
The wireless internet is imposing its will on cell phone manufacturers causing an explosion in cell phone features, from phones that user your local wifi, to iPhones that can use Skype to reduce carrier expenses.
Wi-Fi Cell Phones
When within a hotspot range, Wi-Fi enabled cell phones use the 802.11 data connection to transmit VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). The signal is sent to the computer/router/base station by the antenna on the WiFi phone. This signal is then transmitted over the web.
Why is this great for consumers?
- Doesn't use paid cellular package plan minutes
- Dual mode handsets are now common and inexpensive
- Integrate with 3G Network Phones
3G Networks currently provide the premium service for smartphones or purely mobile phones. 3G networks offer wide-area wireless voice, and broadband wireless. In practical terms the major US carriers AT&T, Sprint Mobile, Verizon BroadbandAccess can expect average download speeds in the 700-800 Kbit/second range, and average upload speeds of 400-500 Kbit/second. 3G networks have the potential to transfer up to 3 Mbps.
The Apple iPhone 3G, and the Google Android are 2 prominent examples of 3G cell phones.
3G Network access is convenient, fast, and more expensive. Plans have datacaps that when exceeded can dramatically increase your bill. Advanced smartphones now expand their offerings by leveraging Wi-Fi to increase their range, and lower data transmission costs when in range of a hotspot.