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Bit: The smallest amount of digital data, either a 1 or 0.

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a technology designed for the implementation of a Personal Area Network (PAN). Several devices in close proximity can communicate with each other. The most common application is a wireless headset for a cellular phone, though it is useful for printing, synchronizing data, and anything else that involves wireless data transmission. The range is up to about 30 feet (10 meters).


Byte: 8 bits, also called an octet. It is the most basic amount of computer storage.

CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access assigns a code to a transmission, allowing multiple users to use the same channel simultaneously with different codes. The national cellular carriers which use CDMA are Sprint and Verizon.

Cellular Tower: A structure which transmits and receives information from cellular phones and routes it through the landline phone system to the cellular tower closest to the destination. Each tower is either analog or digital, and uses the technology of the carrier which built the tower. (GSM, CDMA, iDEN, etc.) To view a map of towers in Washington, click here. (Hold CTRL while clicking to temporarily disable a pop-up blocker)

EV-DO: EVolution Data Only is a broadband wireless technology being adopted by many CDMA carriers. It is capable of transfer rates around 1 megabit per second.

GPRS: General Packet Radio Service, a GSM technology that improves the transfer rate and control of data transmission. It groups data into packets, which increases the efficiency of available bandwidth.

GSM: Global System for Mobile communication. It is a worldwide technology which phones use to communicate with cellular towers, and is widely accepted around the world. T-Mobile and Cingular are the only two national carriers in the United States to use GSM technology.

iDEN: Integrated Digital Enhanced Network, a technology created by Motorola, Inc. which incorporates two-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data transmission into one network. It is capable of placing more users into smaller bandwidth, utilizing spectrum more efficiently. Nextel is the largest carrier in the United States which uses iDEN technology.

Kilobyte: 1,024 bytes. Typically

LAN: Local Area Network is the connection between several computers in a small geographic area. It can be either wired or wireless, but will typically cover a home, small office building, or a small college campus.

Megabit: 1,000,000 bits.

PAN: Personal Area Network refers to the connection and relationship between devices which are in relatively close proximity to each other, typically several meters.

SIM Card: Subscriber Identity Module cards carry a unique identification number which carriers use to identify their subscribers on the network. Each mobile number is assigned to a single SIM card, and is used in routing incoming calls to the phone. Not every cellular technology utilizes SIM cards, though all have a similar method for identification.

TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access breaks spectrum into time slots which are assigned to different users. It enables multiple users to use the same frequency at the same time.

WAN: Wide Area Network is a general term referring to a grouping of computers that is larger than a LAN. The largest WAN in existence is The Internet, but the term can also refer to much smaller networks as well. Something as small as a large college campus could be considered a WAN.


22803 44th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043  -  425-640-5355

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