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The State of Wireless Communication in Jamaica

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This study examined the use of wireless communication in Jamaica and the various health and

safety issues that affect the utilization of these technologies by individuals and organizations.

From the extensive scientific research materials examined both locally and overseas it is quite

obvious that there is no convincing evidence that the use of wireless communication can be

extremely harmful to humans as it relates to the formation of brain tumors, cancer or other

illnesses in humans.

The State of Wireless Communication in Jamaica

Jamaica's daily existence depends heavily on wireless communications. Most Jamaicans enjoy listening to the radio in the mornings, which provides the time, news, sports and entertainment. Remote controls are being used with most electronic equipment on television sets, cable box, VCR and even fans. As it pertains to communicating while commuting the cell phones and PDAs are a blessing to all walks of life. Other wireless technology include GPS units, garage door openers, keyboards and wireless computer mice.

Wireless communication is the transmission of information signals without the use of electrical conductors or wires, through technologies such as cordless phones, cellular phones, bluetooth, microwaves and computers. In Jamaica the use of cellular phones is the most popular form of wireless communication. Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited and Digicel Jamaica Limited are the two major companies competitively supplying users with cellular phones. Oceanic Digital operating as Miphone is also another cellular provider in Jamaica.

Cable and Wireless is now offering new advanced mobile data services to business and residential customers island wide. These services include mobile web browsing, e-mail and other wireless multimedia applications and are offered over a network based on GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rate for Global Evolution)-ready technology provided by Nortel Networks. G.P.R.S. is a packet based wireless communication service that provides data rates from 56 to 114 kbps and continuous connection to the internet for mobile phones and computer users. It is a method of enhancing 2G mobile phones to enable them to send and receive data immediately at the same

time when making a voice call, and at higher speeds. (1) G.P.R.S is based on a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication that compliments existing services such as circuit switched cellular phone communication and short message services.

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is currently being used by Oceanic Digital (Miphone). This is the most common and most recent digital cellular technology; it allows users to carry out many conversations over one frequency. It sends all communication in groups of bits mixed altogether, but tags each group belonging to a specific communication. Therefore at the other end, each communication can be rebuilt in the correct order, based on unique codes attached to a certain group of bits. CDMA is compatible with other cellular technologies and allows for nationwide roaming.

The Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is a technology used in digital cellular telephone communication that divides each cellular channel into three slots in order to increase the amount of data that can be carried. Cable and Wireless originally began using the TDMA technology but has now upgraded to GPRS.

(2)Wireless Fidelity (WI FI) is described as the underlying technology of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). It was originally developed to be used for mobile computing devices such as laptops in local area networks, but is now being uses for more services including the internet, gaming and basic connectivity of consumers' electronics such as televisions and DVD player's even digital cameras.

(3) The University of Technology of Jamaica currently uses the Wireless Fidelity Technology. A student with a laptop can get it configured in order to access the Utech domain from outside the information technology lab itself. Wi-Fi is also being used widely by most hotels in Jamaica including the Jamaica Pegasus and the Hilton Kingston Hotel.

(4) Radio Frequency Identification has been around since the early 1920's and is a type of automatic system. The purpose of the RFID system is to enable information to be transmitted by a portable device called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The data transmitted by the tag may provide identification or location information, or specifics about the product tagged such as price, colour and date of purchase just to name a few. These days can be incorporated into a person as well as animal.

Most companies including J. Wray and Nephew Ltd has implemented RFID technology. This type of technology is being used in our security procedure; vehicles owned by the company can enter and exit without interference of security guards.

Places you will find RFID technology being used are

* Security post at work places, proximity or contact less cards

* Supermarkets items are past through a scanner to detect cost

* Clothing department stores

* In our homes the use of remote controls

* Schools - tracking books

(7) Bluetooth is a short range wireless technology that enables devices such as portable computers, cellular phones and handheld devices to connect each other to the internet. Its key features are robustness, low complexity, low power and low cost. When Bluetooth wireless technology connects devices to each other, they become "paired". Device pairings are constantly evolving, simplifying familiar tasks and developing new possibilities. Your wireless headset connects to the mobile phone in your briefcase. Your handheld automatically synchronizes with your personal computer when you walk in the office. Your mobile phone, handheld and personal computer all share the same address book, schedule and to-do-list.

A phenomenon has hit the electronics industry and that phenomenon is called Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology has brought revolutionary changes to Jamaica.



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