Wireless telematics


By introducing our wireless telematic univeristy on the net, we aim to give a short introduction to wirelss telematics, the technology used, and a short description of the business potential of applying wirelss telematics in some areas. We hope this will help you in your planning. If you are already a customer, a partner or a competitor the topics included below are areas worth addressing. This page will be continously changed and updated with new information. If you find something missing here, dont hesitate to contact us.


Wireless telematics

Wireless telematics and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) is expected to be of great interest for many applications, and that it will open new possibilities for solution providers, service providers, and for end users. Telematics refer to the broad industry related to using computers in concert with telecommunications systems. This includes dial-up service to the Internet, as well as all types of networks that rely on a telecommunications system to transport data.



The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services.

Many devices like mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones and communicators equiped with a WAP-Browser may use WAP. WAP is designed to work with most wireless networks such as CDPD, CDMA, GSM, PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN, TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, Mobitex and many operating systems are supporting the communication protocol and application environment. It can be built on any operating system including PalmOS, EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, JavaOS etc. It provides service interoperability even between different device families.



The Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based radio-positioning and time-transfer system. GPS provides accurate position, velocity, and time (PVT) information to an unlimited number of suitably equipped ground, sea, air and space users. Passive PVT fixes are available world-wide in all-weathers in a world-wide common grid system. Normally GPS contains features which limit the full accuracy of the service only to authorized users and protection from spoofing (hostile imitation). GPS comprises three major system segments, Space, Control, and User.

The Space Segment consists of a nominal constellation of 24 Navstar satellites. Each satellite broadcasts RF ranging codes and a navigation data message.

The Control Segment consists of a network of monitoring and control facilities which are used to manage the satellite constellation and update the satellite navigation data messages.

The User Segment consists of a variety of radio navigation receivers specifically designed to receive, decode, and process the GPS satellite ranging codes and navigation data messages.


A) Airtime)
Actual time spent talking on the cellular telephone. Most carriers bill customers based on how many minutes of airtime they use each month.

Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) is the term used by AT&T’s Bell Laboratories (prior to the break-up in 1984) to refer to its cellular technology. The AMPS standard has been the foundation for the industry in the United States, although it has been slightly modified in recent years.

A message or other type of readout containing both letters ("alphas") and numbers ("numeric"). In cellular, "alphanumeric memory dial" is a special type of dial-from-memory option that displays both the name of individual and that individuals phone number on the cellular phone handset. The name also can be recalled by using the letters on the phone keypad. By contrast, standard memory dial recalls numbers from number-only locations.

The traditional method of modulating radio signals so that they can carry information. AM (amplitude modulation) and FM (frequency modulation) are the two most common methods of analog modulation. Analog modulation techniques have been around for more than 50 years and offer a proven, known method of transmitting information.

Bluetooth wireless technology is a de facto standard, as well as a specification for small-form factor, low-cost, short range radio links between mobile PCs, mobile phones and other portable devices.

Machine-to-business communication; this is the most common description for this abbreviation.

C) Cell)
The basic geographic unit of a cellular system. Also, the basis for the generic industry term "cellular." A city or county is divided into smaller "cells," each of which is equipped with a low powered radio transmitter/receiver. The cells can vary in size depending upon terrain, capacity demands, etc. By controlling the transmission power, the radio frequencies assigned to one cell can be limited to the boundaries of that cell. When a cellular phone moves from one cell toward another, a computer at the Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) monitors the movement and at the proper time, transfers or hands off the phone call to the new cell and another radio frequency. The hand off is performed so quickly that it's not noticeable to the callers.

Cell Splitting)
A means of increasing the capacity of a cellular system by subdividing or splitting cells into two or more smaller cells.

Code Division Multiple Access. A spread spectrum approach to digital transmission. With CDMA, each conversation is digitized and then tagged with a code. The mobile phone is then instructed to decipher only a particular code to pluck the right conversation off the air. The process can be compared in some ways to an English-speaking person picking out the only person in a room of foreigners who is speaking English (code). The technique is still being researched for cellular application. See also TDMA.

D) Digital Modulation)
A method of encoding information for transmission that is replacing the former standard analog. The information, or in this case, voice conversation, is turned into a series of digital bits - the 0’s and 1’s of computer binary language. At the receiving end, the information is reconverted. Digital transmission offers a cleaner signal, virtually immune to the problems that plague analog modulation such as fading and static. (To understand the difference, compare the fidelity of a standard LP record, complete with background noise caused by dust hiss, with that of one of the new digital compact disks.) See also CDMA and TDMA.
E) ESN) Electronic Serial Number.
Each cellular phone is assigned an ESN, which is automatically transmitted to the base station every time a cellular call is placed. The MTSO checks the ESN to make sure it is valid, that the phone has not been reported stolen, that the user's monthly bill has been paid, etc., before permitting the call to go through.
F) FCC) Federal Communications Commission.
The government agency responsible for regulating telecommunications in the US, located in Washington, DC.

Frequency Reuse)
The ability to use the same frequencies repeatedly within a single system, made possible by the basic design approach for cellular. Since each cell is designed to use radio frequencies only within its boundaries, the same frequencies can be reused in other cells not far away with little potential for interference. The reuse of frequencies is what allows a cellular system to handle a huge number of calls with a limited number of channels.


General Packet Radio Services; General Packet Radio Service is a standard for wireless communications which runs at speeds up to 150 kilobits per second, compared with current GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) systems' 9.6 kilobits.

GPRS, which supports a wide range of bandwidths, is an efficient use of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data, such as e-mail and Web browsing, as well as large volumes of data.

Global Positioning System.

GSM) Groupe Spéciale Mobile.
A cellular standard for the european countries and a couple of more countries. Utilizes digital transmission and the use of SIM-cards that identifies the user. In the earlier analog systems such as NMT, the user was identified by the phone.


The process by which the MTSO passes a cellular phone conversation from one radio frequency in one cell to another radio frequency in another. It is performed so quickly that callers don't notice.

A feature that's included with most of today's car phones. It permits the driver to use his cellular car phone without lifting or holding the handset to his ear.


Machine-to-machine communication; this is the most common description for this abbreviation. In some contexts machine-to-man or man-to-machine are used instead.

Machine-to-business communication; this is the most common description for this abbreviation.

A macrocell is a cell site that can hold 60-120 channels (capacity) and can have either high or low power. Macrocells were initially used as the only resource for coverage. However, with the introduction of microcells and minicells, macrocells are now used primarily to cover large areas that have high traffic.

A microcell is a small LMT that feeds off a host macrocell. The microcell has low power and a low channel count, making it ideal for high traffic city neighborhoods. The drawback with a microcell is that it is linked to the host macrocell by fiber which is expensive to install and has a high recurring monthly cost. Another drawback is that there must be a host macrocell within the region in order to have a microcell commissioned. The plus is that microcells are extremely small, (about large as an antenna) and can be installed in ideal places, (i.e. the side of a building in the middle of a busy intersection).

A smaller version of the macrocell, the minicell can have either a high power and low channel capacity combination or a low power and high channel capacity combination.

Mobile (car phone))
The type of cellular phone that's installed in a car or truck. There are three main types of cellular phones being sold today - mobile, transportable and portable. A mobile is installed in the vehicle and draws power from the vehicle battery, it transmits with 3 watts power. A transportable is a standard 3 watt cellular phone that can be used in the car off the car battery or removed from the car and function with its own battery. A portable is a one piece, self contained cellular phone.

MTSO) Mobile Telephone Switching Office.
The central switch that controls the entire operation of a cellular system. It is a sophisticated computer that monitors all cellular calls, keeps track of the location of all cellular equipped vehicles traveling in the system, arranges hand-offs, keeps track of billing information etc.

N) Non-Wireline cellular carrier,
or "A" carrier) The "A" originally stood for "alternate," i.e. the non-Bell or "B" carrier in a market.) The FCC, in setting up the licensing and regulatory rules for cellular, decided to license two cellular systems in each market. It opened one for the local telephone company, and opened the second system - the A system - to other interested applicants. The distinction between the A carrier and the B carrier is meaningful only during the licensing phase at the FCC. Once a system is constructed, it can be sold to anyone. Thus in some markets today, both the A and B carriers are owned by a telephone company. One happens to be the local phone company, and the other is a phone company that decided to buy a cellular system outside its home territory.

Nordic Mobile Telephony, an analog cellular system that is used in the nordic countries Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, also in Schweiz and Austria. It is now gradually being replaced by the more advanced GSM system.
O) Off-peak)
The periods of time, after the end of the business day, that carriers offer discounted airtime charges.
R) Roam)
Using your cellular phone in a country besides the one in which you live.
S) SIM-Card)
A chip that is used in conjuction with the digital phones that uses cellular net's like GSM and D-AMPS. The card can hold several phone numbers and identifies the user to the net. This way the user is free to change the phone and still be reachable with the same number.

Short Message Service, a service that is offered in the GSM-net. It is similar to a one-way paging service.

Standby Time)
The amount of time you can leave your fully charged cellular portable or transportable phone turned on, without calling or recieving calls.

Talk Time)
The length of time you can talk on your portable or transportable cellular phone without recharging the battery. The battery capacity of a portable or transportable is usually expressed in terms of so many minutes of talk time or so many hours of standby time. When you're talking, the phone draws more power from the battery.

TDMA) Time Division Multiple Access.
The digital technique adopted by the US cellular industry for the next generation of cellular service. The first generation of TDMA will offer a 3-to-1 gain in capacity for cellular systems, with more to follow. The technique involves dividing discreet amounts of time on a radio frequency into parts, then assigning different phone conversations to each part. In other words, each second might be divided into thirds, and portions of three phone conversations transmitted each second. The caller can't notice the gaps because they're so short.

Telematics refers to the broad industry related to using computers in concert with telecommunications systems. This includes dial-up service to the Internet as well as all types of networks that rely on a telecommunications system to transport data.

Wireless Application Protocol, see