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Table of Contents
1. Introduction …………………………………………………………………………….3
2. Literature Review ………………………………………………………………………5
0.1 Protocols in a University environment …………………………………………6
0.2 The existing standards …………………………………………………………7
1. Mobile Networks for the fictitious University ………………………………………….8
0.1 Services to be used ………………………………………………………………8
0.2 Possible use of Bluetooth ……………………………………………………….8
0.3 Possible use of cellular networks to internetwork three different campuses ……9
0.4 Security risks and possible solutions …………………………………………..10
0.4.1 “Parking Lot” attacks …………………………………………………..11
0.4.2 Flaw of shared key authentication ……………………………………11
0.5 The investment in mobile and wireless technology for this study ……………..12
1. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………13
2. Bibliographies …………………………………………………………………………..14
Evaluating the Implementation of Mobile and Wireless Technology at a University
According to Ting et al (2007), the advent of the mobile information society has led to a revolutionized manner of working, communicating, as well as, socializing. Ting, et al. (2007) further claims that mobile phones, free communications that are wireless in nature and the associated technologies which includes WiFi, LANs, WANs. PANs, Bluetooth, SMS, 3G and Cellular networks among other technologies have been perceived as the driving force of the contemporary advanced society. The modern day world`s explosion in mobile and wireless technology`s roots can be traced back to the deregulation of AT&T in the United States and in the United Kingdom considering the British Telecom an the Post Office. Also, the roots can be traced back to the Nokia`s groundbreaking approach to both the design, as well as, the marketing of the mobile phone. Today, mobile and wireless technologies are used in almost every sphere in airports, education institutions, hotels and other public buildings. In addition to this, installation of wireless networks is being done in a rapidly increasing manner in both commercial buildings and private homes. However, despite the almost ambiguous ownership of mobile devices by learners, uses of mobile and wireless technologies are not widespread. Owing to this, the practice that evolves around the utilization of such technologies may still be acknowledged as “innovative”. In addition to this, it can be assumed as not yet established regardless of whether the pedagogies that emerge around them will be different from those currently being established around learning in general.
Since the transmission of the very first radio signals in the nineteenth century, mobile, as well as, wireless technologies have evolved beyond recognition. Perhaps, the advent of mobile and wireless technology was marked with the launch of communication satellites in 1960s. However, these satellites were limited in that they could only handle about 240 voice circuits. Right after this, advent of wireless technology became vibrant. Several devices in which satellite communication was applied in were invented. Foremost were telephones where telephone networks relayed telephone calls from landline telephones to an earth station where they were then transmitted to a geostationary satellite. Another device in which satellite communication was applied was in televisions. As they became the essential markets across populations, the television demands for the simultaneous delivery of relatively few signals of a large bandwidth to a significant number of receivers being a more precise match considering the capabilities of the first satellite. Radio became the third device in which communications satellite was applied. Satellite radio was used to offer audio services in countries. The satellite radio broadcasted using the first communication satellite and thus covered a wider geographical region. As the world began taking its modernity shape, wireless technology was introduced. This occurred between 1970 and 2000 and involved new forms of satellite communications, wireless networking, as well as, cellular technology.
Between 1970 and 1980, the first generation wireless systems were introduced. Abbreviated as 1-G, first generation wireless systems were the very first wireless telephone technologies and wireless communications. They have been described by researchers as the analog communication standards introduced between this period. They were launched in Japan by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 1979 and operated only within Tokyo. However, in five years time, they were expanded the whole Japanese population. By the end of 1989, the 1G network had expanded and was now present in almost every region in the world. At the beginning of 1980, this network was replaced by the Second Generation wireless system (2G). These networks were launched in 1991 by Radiolinja in Finland. These networks were superior to 1G network in that there was a digital encryption of phone conversation, they were more efficient on the spectrum thus allowing for greater penetration levels of mobile phones and they introduced data services to the mobile, which included SMS, as well as, text messages. At the onset of 2000, the third generation of mobile telecommunications technology was introduced in the world scene. These particular networks provided a faster information transfer rate and have since set a platform for the development of newer and improved networks.
Many higher education facilities have identified the need for implementing mobile and wireless technology. This is a great step towards perfection of service offerings and improvement of quality of education offered. Given the wide range of mobile and wireless technologies already available in the world, implementing each and every one of them might not be a sound idea. This is particularly because not each is applicable in the education sphere. Researchers have do an exemplarily job in conducting research to identify the most appropriate technologies and protocols relevant to the education spheres thus providing a guiding framework in implementation of the same. Kim and Garrison (2009) identifies Wireless Local Area Network Technology as among the most essential mobile and wireless networks necessary in a higher education facility. In his research study, Kennedy (2004)describes Wireless LAN Technology as a data communications network that connects terminals, computers, as well as, printers within either a particular building or other geographically limited areas.
In their research, Hart and Hannan(2004) identified that High-speed LAN technologieshas the capacity to deliver broadband capabilities to the entire University community. Australian Institute of Criminology (2006) further claims that Cisco solutions usually integrate broadband into any wired environment. Owing to this, there is no need of a university expending time, expense or even rewiring efforts in order to attain tremendous bandwidth. On requirements for high speed LANSs, Geier (2008)acknowledges that it is the principle means through which the needed broadband applications for universities and colleges are delivered. However, there are precise steps that ought to be taken in order to ensure that maximum performance of the LAN is achieved. In another research conducted by Santos and Block (2012), the researchers identify the most essential protocols that can be used for a University. Among those identified includes 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. In his explanation, Joo (2003)states that 802.11b operates at lower speeds of up to 11 Megabytes per second but is reliable especially at longer distances characterized by obstructing objects located within the environment. This type is effective considering that a University environment has several obstructions in form of buildings. However, given that promptness is required in a university, this protocol is somehow not compatible. 802.11g is more applicable since it operates up to Megabytes per second over longer distances. On its part, 802.11n, which is the most recent, is capable of operating at speeds of Megabytes per second over longer distances, more than any other protocol can. Therefore, Stern and Iadarola (2010)recommend802.11g and 802.11n to be integrated as LAN
Protocols in a University environment
Another type of wireless technology suitable for a University as identified by Agrawal and Sreenan (1999) is Wireless Wide Area Networks. These can be identified as networks that span significantly large geographical environments including states, nations and continents. Bhargava, Wu, Lu and Wang (2004) define this particular form of a network as created through the use of signals from mobile phones typically provided and at the same time maintained by a specific mobile phone service provider. In their research, Varshney and Vetter (2000) mentions WAN as useful in higher education facilities where he identifies that a university may need to provide internet access to buildings within the campus environment. Therefore, WWAN technology is an effective choice of a wireless technology.
The existing standards
802.11 is the eeliest form of IEEE standard. However, this only supported only 2Mbps network bandwidth. It was extremely slow for a significant number of applications. Then came the 802.11b, which supported a bandwidth of 11 Mbps. The cost for installing this standard was low and the signal range was not only good but not easily obstructed. However, the speed was slow and the home appliances usually interfered on the unregulated frequency band. Then came the 802.11a. This was an extension of the very first standard and this supported a maximum of 54 Mbps bandwidth, as well as, signals in a regulated frequency spectrum of around 5GHz. After this the 802.11g standard was developed.It is indicated by Bellavista, Cai and Magedanz (2011) that in 2002 and 2003, WLAN products that tended to support a newer standard acknowledged as 802.11g emerged. This particular standard attempted to combine the best features of standards such as 802.11a and 802.11b. This particular standard supports a bandwidth of up to 54 Megabytes per Second. In addition to this, the standard usually uses a frequency of 2.4 Ghz for a greater range.
According to Kumar, Sivalingam and Kumar (2013), 802.11n is the most recent IEEE standard. It was solely designed with an aim of improving on the 802.11g standard with regard to the amount of bandwidth supported. This was by way of utilizing multiple wireless signals, as well as, antennas instead of only one. When it is finally finalized, the standard`s connections should be able to support data ranges of at least 100 Mbps. In addition to this, the standard offers superior range over the earlier standards owing to its increased integrity of the signal.
Mobile Networks for the fictitious University
Services to be used
Before setting up the wireless network in the university, it is worthwhile to determine the services that will use these particular networks. The wireless networks that will be set up will enable services such as communication between departments and faculties, library and academic associated operations and support services including printing and scanning among others.
Possible use of Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a short range radio technology that is usually intended to simply communications especially among electronic devices. There re several applications of this wireless network. However, in a university, it could be used in a University resource center. As such, rather than filling the center with wires to connect the computer to the printers and other peripheral devices, Bluetooth networking technology can be used. Bluetooth wireless network is integral in this regard in that it can enable communication with the personal computer input, as well as, output devices such as mouse, keyboard and printers. With this, not only is the room kept tidy but efficiency is enhanced.
Figure 1:WL-BTD202 Bluetooth Dongle: the simple choice for convenient, wire-free, short-range communication between devices (ASUS 2013)
Possible use of cellular networks to internetwork three different campuses
Commonly referred to as mobile network, cellular network is defined as a radio network that has been distributed over land areas acknowledged as cells, with each cell served by at least one fixed location trans-receiver called the base station or the cell cite. Such a wireless network can be used to interconnect at least two campuses. Suppose a university has two other campuses located in different geographic regions. In most cases, during when the students are graduating, it is necessary that the names and the scores achieved by each graduating student be submitted to the main campus so that one list of the graduating students can be made rather than have different lists. Owing to the fact that the cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area, cellular network can be of great help in this case. As such, rather than travelling all the way to the main campus to submit the list and the score, cellular network interconnectivity can be used and thereby, the two campuses can relay the needed information to the main campus.
Figure 2:Introduction to the GSM standard (Glamour Hangouts 2013)
Security risks and possible solutions
According to Gow and Smith (2006), the low costs of deploying information usually make mobile and wireless networks particularly attractive to the users. While this is so, cases have been evidenced where the easy availability of inexpensive equipment involved renders attackers with the tools necessary to launch attacks on the adopted wireless network. In addition, the design flaws that have been associated with the security mechanisms of the 802.11 IEEE standard are also said to give rise to a significant number of potential attacks, not only passive but also active attacks. Usually, such attacks allow intruders to either eavesdrop on or tamper with the adopted wireless networks.
“Parking Lot” attacks
As Gerla (2011) puts it, access points usually emit radio signals in a circular pattern. Further, these signals always extend beyond the physical boundaries of the areas that are intended to be covered. As such, signals are subject to interceptions outside buildings among other places thus resulting to attackers implementing what Powell and Shim (2009) acknowledges as “Parking Lot” attacks, where they ground on a parking lot of an organization and attempt to access internal hosts through the adopted wireless network. If in anyway an organization`s wireless is compromised, it follows that the attacker will have achieved a high level penetration into the wireless network. As a result, through firewall, they will have had the same level of network access as the employees of an organization.
To prevent this form of a security risk, the most appropriate strategy is applying shielding in the form of specialized wall paint that attenuates the RF signals and this does not only improve the wireless security but is also improves its performance.
Flaw of shared key authentication
According to Prasad (2011), the shared key authentication is subject to exploitation by way of a passive attack through eavesdropping on not only the challenge but also through the response between the access point and the authentication client. According to Bellavista, Cai and Magedanz (2011), such form of an attack is mostly as a result of an attacker capturing the cipher and the plaintext. In his book, Gerla(2011) identifies that a stream cipher usually work through generating a key stream. This key-stream can be used by a hacker with an aim of encrypting any subsequent challenge text that has been generated by the access point in order to produce a valid authentication response. Such an attacker does this by XORring together the two values and as a result, the hacker is authenticated to the access point.
While there are several solutions to this, the widely exercised is using the 802.1x in authenticating each and every device. This particular protocol provides a means for strongly authenticating devices before they are assigned to IP addresses.
The investment in mobile and wireless technology for this study
This is a pilot project and considering that the scope or the coverage of the wireless technology to be set up and the materials and equipment necessary, a huge financial outlay will be necessitated. The university will have to provide such thing as wireless routers and hotspots, mobile broadband, wireless adapters, wireless cards and desk top computers among other equipment. In addition, the university will have the settle the administration costs of setting up the wireless technology and this will include the wiring charges, the salary or the wages of the wiring specialist, the IT consultant fee and any other charges or salaries associated. These are just the visible charges. However, there are a series of invisible charges, which are of great significance owing to the fact that they add up to the total cost. Therefore, this particular study requires the university I invest heavily.
From this analysis, it has been identified that the presence of wireless networks has been in shape since the onset of 1960s after the launch of the fist communication satellites. This evolved until recently the 3G networks, which has been beneficial in that information sharing has been rendered efficient. Further, it has been identified that to sett up a wireless network in a university campus, Wireless LAN and Wireless WAN are the most recommendable. This is particularly due to their signal strengths, scope of coverage and the networking speed. In addition to this, it has been established that 802.11g and 802 networking protocols, also acknowledged as IEEE standards are the most suitable and applicable in a campuswireless networking. Besides the WLAN and the WWAN, support wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Cellular networkingshould be installed. When it has been set up and put into operation, the wireless network is subjected to several security threats such as “Parking Lot” and Flaw of shared key authentication attacks. However, with countermeasures devised and implemented, such threats can be mitigated or entirely eliminated. As such, to prevent “Parking Lot” attacks, shielding in the form of specialized wall paint can be applied. On the other hand, Flaw of shared key authentication can be mitigated by using the 802.1x protocol.
Agrawal, P. &Sreenan, C.J 1999, “Get Wireless: A Mobile Technology Spectrum,” IT Professional Magazine, Vol. 1 no. 4, pp. 18-23.
ASUS 2013, WL-BTD202 Bluetooth Dongle: the simple choice for convenient, wire-free, short-range communication between devices, digital image, accessed 27 April 2013,
Australian Institute of Criminology 2006, Mobile and wireless technologies: security and risk factors, 22 November, viewed 27 April 2013,
Bellavista, P., Cai, Y. &Magedanz, T 2011, “Recent Advances in Mobile Middleware for Wireless Systems and Services,” Mobile Networks and Applications, Vol. 16 no. 3, 267-269.
Bhargava, B., Wu, X., Lu, Y. & Wang, W 2004, “Integrating Heterogeneous Wireless Technologies: A Cellular Aided Mobile Ad Hoc Network (CAMA),” Mobile Networks and Applications, suppl. Integration of Heterogeneous Wireless Technologies, Vol. 9 no. 4, pp. 393-408.
Geier, J 2008, How to: Prevent Parking Lot Attacks, weblog, 14 August, viewed 27 April 2013,
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Glamour Hangouts 2013, Introduction to the GSM standard, digital image, accessed 27 April 2013,
Gow, G.A. & Smith, R.K 2006, Mobile and Wireless Communications: An Introduction, McGraw-Hill International, London, UK.
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Kim, S. & Garrison, G 2009, “Investigating mobile wireless technology adoption: An extension of the technology acceptance model,” Information Systems Frontiers, Vol. 11 no. 3, pp. 323-333.
Kumar, A.K., Sivalingam, K.M. & Kumar, A 2013, “On reducing delay in mobile data collection based wireless sensor networks,” Wireless Networks, Vol. 19 no. 3, pp. 285-299.
Powell, S. & Shim, J.P 2009, Wireless Technology: Applications, Management, and Security, Springer, London, UK.
Prasad, R 2011, Globalisation of Mobile and Wireless Communications: Today and in 2020, Springer, London, UK.
Santos, R. A. & Block, A.E 2012, Embedded Systems and Wireless Technology, CRC Press, New York, NY.
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Evaluating the Implementation of Mobile and Wireless Technology at a University By Student`s Name
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