The speed with which innovation in the tech world moves is both thrilling and dizzying.
A Guide To Mobile Technology
Mobile technology consists of any two-way computing device that is intended for portable use, as well as the communication networks that connect these devices.
Mobile technology is a category consisting of a wide range of devices, with new two-way technology being created each day with unique uses. Regardless of form factor, all of these are linked by their capability to send and receive signals by communicating with other devices on networks.
Mobile Device Examples
Mobile devices are everywhere and they're not just limited to the phones in our pockets. Whether it's distributing a stronger WiFi signal or enabling a user to access phone calls from their wrist, mobile devices come in all shapes, sizes, and functionalities. Some of the most popular forms of mobile technology include:
- Smartphones – most people have access to a smartphone today but any cell phone can be considered mobile technology.
- Laptops – An evolution from the notebook computers of the past, modern laptops come in a variety of sizes but nearly all contain two-way network connectivity capabilities and can be used in a variety of environments.
- Tablets – Often operating on the same systems as smartphones but with more powerful components, tablets offer even more portability than laptops with much of the same functionality.
- Smartwatches – These devices are designed to sync with other devices, like smartphones or laptops, and utilize cloud capabilities to display notifications and applications on a smaller, wearable screen.
- Hotspots – Devices require an internet connection of some kind to access the internet and hotspots provide a solution when a connection would be otherwise unattainable. Often running via cellular networks, hotspots host private WiFi networks that users can connect to in unorthodox environments.
- Mobile gaming consoles – Gaming consoles have long existed in portable forms but recent generations possess the power to rival home consoles and feature two-way connectivity for accessing downloadable content, playing games with others over a network, and sending messages.
- IoT Devices – Many, but not all, IoT devices can be considered mobile technology, such as sensors and smartwatches. These devices represent a broad category and react to their environment to communicate specific signals when an event is triggered.
In order for a mobile tech device to connect to other devices or utilize the internet, it must have access to a network that will allow it to transmit a signal. Though mobile technology is often exemplified by physical devices, networks and their infrastructure can also be considered mobile technology. Each network is unique in its functionality.
- Cellular Networks – Celular networks operate through radio networks distributed via cell towers, which allows mobile devices to automatically switch frequencies to their nearest geographical tower without interruption. Cellular networks have the capability to service mass amounts of users at a single time and is currently in a transitionary period between its fourth and fifth generation of service.
- 4G – Referring to the fourth generation of cellular service, 4G operates on packet switching technology and organizes data into smaller groupings for fast transmission before reassembling at the destination.
- 5G – The incoming fifth generation of network service requires the rollout of new infrastructure for widespread adoption and operates at higher frequencies in aggregated bands. This allows networks to access more bandwidth and increase transmission speed. 5G is reported to be 20x faster at sending and receiving signals than 4G.
- WiFi – WiFi utilizes radio wave technology to connect devices to localized hotspot routers. Internet providers allow users to connect to their network but will not automatically pass signal to a device without a WiFi connection. Users will often have the ability to make their WiFi network available for public or private use.
- Bluetooth – Rather than connect devices to the internet, Bluetooth networks connect devices to other devices via short-wavelength radio waves.
While mobile technology offers many benefits for those using it in everyday life, it also opens up many possibilities for businesses operating with an agile and forward-thinking mindset. Through the use of mobile tech combined with SaaS platforms and Cloud-based infrastructure for remote data access, these enterprises are able to streamline several processes while reducing costs and maintaining productivity across the entire workforce.
Capabilities of enterprise mobile technology include:
- Scalability – Enterprise mobile technology reduces the costs associated with the constant device and infrastructure replacement cycle while also allowing powerful devices to be utilized in a portable fashion. This eliminates the need for employees to access multiple workstations and centralizes all data and communications to a single device.
- Onboarding – Mobile technology can significantly improve the onboarding process for both employees and companies by centralizing all data and information to a single device. This gives new employees the ability to access everything they’ll need to become a productive part of the team while also allowing them to utilize their choice of technology. Mobile technology also makes onboarding customers simpler for similar reasons and takes much of the frustration out of the process.
- Cloud-based development – A workforce that operates through the cloud and mobile technology means development can take place anywhere. This opens the door for forming a diverse workforce of employees all around the world, each bringing unique viewpoints and work schedules to businesses so growth can continue uninterrupted.
- Reuse – Powerful computing devices are expensive, especially when it comes to ensuring the entire enterprise has the tools it needs to operate properly. Mobile technology devices make it easier to clear data and pass outgoing equipment onto incoming employees. This also streamlines the device management process and maintains security across the organization.
- Edge computing – Edge computing allows mobile devices and IoT technologies to process data from within or through a local server, boosting productivity through a distributed IT infrastructure.
Necessary Features for Mobile Device Management
- Device visibility
- Application security
- Data security
- Identity recognition tools
- Malware & Anti-virus protection
Mobile devices open up many opportunities for business development but also pose new challenges and carry risks if not managed properly. The line between personal and business data can become blurred when migrating to a mobile-first enterprise, especially when devices are employee-owned or travel between home and the office. This creates the potential for data breaches and compromises the intellectual property of both the individual and the business. However, security challenges can often be overcome by utilizing Enterprise Mobility Management techniques and platforms.
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) combines Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management tools into a single platform, providing IT and network professionals with complete visibility over the security of the entire enterprise. EMM platforms are designed to keep security as the top priority and often feature alerting and reporting capabilities to locate and mitigate security threats promptly.
What to look for in Enterprise Mobility Management software:
- Supports multiple forms of mobile devices and operating systems
- Provides real-time insights on device inventory
- Integrates with existing applications
- Able to define roles and responsibilities
- Always-on connectivity and the ability to recognize device tampering
In 1993, The Simon Personal Communicator, marketed by IBM and BellSouth, was the first mobile phone to add extra features.