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Mobile technology is usage of portable devices such as laptops, netbook computers, smart
phones, PDAs, GPS systems and credit/debit card payment terminals. Mobile devices enable
usage of communications technologies while motion. Virtual networks provide secure access
to private networks within organizations. Software applications used on mobile devices are
office applications, web browsers and other office applications (Allman, Paxon, 1999). Since
hardware components in portable computer are low powered, they need applications which
are not very demanding to provide an ideal experience. Thus, the infrastructure must look for
applications that work well on mobile devices and increase user efficiency even when they
are in motion. (Acharya, Badrinath, 1996).

Developing a new infrastructure to support mobile learning represents a significant challenge.


The requirements include (Badrinath, Fox, Popek, 2000):

o an authentication system

o content management functions

o design system / tools for developers

o mobile web site

The ideal solution is a system that allows access on any device. Developing entire infrastructure
for mobile devices on all platforms is a challenge. However, a supplementary storage
infrastructure (SSI) could be developed. The advantages of SSI are (Allman, Paxon, 1999):

• Uses a simple and robust, standard web server technology


•Optional content management system to simplify use for content developers
•Relatively quick to install and implement
•Allows sharing of content across modules
•Access from any web device (e.g. PC or mobile)
•Supports the trend for open content
This approach provides the opportunity use open content bandwagon. The SSI server is
configured to deliver content to users having a valid user account, allowing materials to be
protected by user authentication. This enables only the authorized employees to view classified
information within the organization (Badrinath, Fox, Popek, 2000).

The infrastructure requires changes in every layer of the system to authenticate users, allow
remote access, view reports on the internal database and other services. The most important
changes required will be:

 Alterations to IP – packets are forwarded by routers using tables which are indexed by
the IP address of the destination devices (H.Wada, 1993). As the devices are low powered,
tables must have manageable size. IP address of same prefix is aggregated on these devices
(H.Wada, 1993).
 The use of Mobile IP updates tables from a single mobile device which shifts location on
the assumption that infrastructure routers will be available nearby. “On Demand” networks
which have dynamically changing topologies, maintenance of routing tables is difficult.
Hence new routing protocols must be developed (Balakrishnan, Amir, Katz, 1995).
 A content-based network can be used. It is a network having content based on wireless
service model. Messages are delivered to host as per the interests declared instead of a
destination address used by the sender. Explicit addresses are not needed in content-based
networks. Each host is associated with a receiver predicate. It is a logical expression on
message content which specifies the messages users wants to receive. Messages are
introduced into the network. As a result, the message is sent to every host which has
explicitly shown interest in the message (Bhattacharya, Das, 1999).
 The wireless mobile network is more dynamic and difficult than the wired Internet and
simple single-hop models add further complexity. Managing requires more functionality than
any wired environment during handoffs and other issues. Few management services for the
infrastructure are:
o adding /removing mobile nodes into a network
o determine status of particular nodes
o probe routing tables and other shared network data structures
o determine link conditions at various points
o ability to filter/trace attack packets
o diagnosis tools for pinpointing network problems
o ability to configure network overlays
o Manage networks as per resource availability at particular nodes (Border, Kojo,
Shelby, 2001)
 Adaptation services such as proxy nodes on boundary twixt wired and wireless network
should be employed. Protocols having adaptive capabilities, single link or gateway services
can be a few breakthrough services. The adaptive infrastructure model requires sophisticated
infrastructure dealing with issues of security, reliability and composition of services
(Carzaniga, Rosenblum, Wolf, 2000).
 Service Discovery - enables computers to find services in an unfamiliar network is an
infrastructure component. The computer should know which applications are available and
how they can be accessed in a dynamic wireless environment (Morash, Clinton, 1998).
2. Costs are involved to set up equipment and train to utilize more of mobile devices. Mobile IT
devices can reveal valuable data to unauthorized people in case proper precautions are not
taken to make sure the devices and accessed data are kept safe. To achieve mobility
performance has to be traded for power and weight (Marsh, Douglis, 1993). To cross
physical boundaries network reconfiguration has to provide consistent network access. To
cross administrative boundaries application reconfiguration has to allow applications to use
local services and maintain security concerns (Alter S., 1999).

The mobile devices need applications such as Information browsing, Personal communications,
Multi-person interaction and Data entry. To run these applications smoothly, mobile devices
have to overcome hardware issues and cross physical and administrative boundaries (Bhatt G.D.,
2000).

Hardware issues

o Performance limitations – limited processor and storage systems result in slower


applications. Limited network bandwidth affects the performance of applications used for
bulk data transfer (Settles C, 2002).

o Availability Limitations – limited battery capacity to maintain the light weight of mobile
devices important problem. Good performance for mobile application is measured by
execution time and amount of power consumed. Age old focus on latency and throughput
leaves very few programs which can consume low power. This makes applications
unavailable for mobile devices. Operating system has to adapt to power management features
in order that programs can be customized according to power considerations (Kalakota,
Robinson, 2001).

Crossing Physical Boundaries

o Host tracking – a mobile host that crosses the network boundary has to notify the service.
To contact any mobile host, the service must be queried about the current location.
Centralized directory service becomes a bottleneck for simultaneous updates from multiple
hosts. Awerbuch and Peleg have devised hierarchical directory service whose
communication overhead is designed based on size and subnets of the network (Awerbuch,
Peleg, 1991).

o Packet routing – requires that routes change to reflect mobile host’s current location.
Presently routing schemes limit .number of hosts supported per physical subnet. The
susceptibility, of current schemes to single-point .failures in computing area. Packet routing
services should be fully operational even for local network accessibility (H.Wada, 1993).

Crossing Administrative Boundaries

o Naming – When mobile device crosses a domain boundary, it must obtain a name that allows
packets to be routed to new domain. Domains include accesses to service provider, computing
platforms and physical networks. When a mobile device enters a new administrative domain,
it must be given a name that allows it to contract for and receive local services, communicate
with it, authenticate it and bill the owner (Keen, Mackintosh, 2001). .

o Security – Mobile host can intercept and generate packets. The network and host has to be
alert for impersonation, denial. of service and tapping. Impersonation may lead to
unauthorized access in the network and incorrect billing to different user. Mobile hosts may
alternatively generate excess load on network that services are denied to local machines
(Keen, Mackintosh, 2001).

o Accounting is an important issue as users must pay for network services, especially when they
enter a new domain. Charges are imposed to limit “guests” from using resources endlessly.
Pay-per-use services include Network access, Information retrieval and Hardware usage
(Parasuraman, Bery, 1985).

o Resource Discovery – Mobile hosts must be able to discover which services are available in
new domains. Mobile devices must b able to detect any new domain where the domain does
not forward packets to other networks. Thus it will ensure the mobile devices are detected and
authorized to use new domain (Parasuraman, Bery, 1985).

Remedial Directives (Birgitta, Makki, Perkins, Pissinou, Reiher, Scheuermann, Viejalainen,


Wolf, Wolfson, 2001):
 Trade increased data processing for reduced network bandwidth requirements through on-line
compression, difference-based updates and filtering.

 Reduce network latency via data prefetching and extensible interprocess communication.

 Reduce power consumption via shift processing, aggressively caching and prefetching data
and exploiting asymmetric network power demands.

 Exploit locality – host directory hierarchies must exploit communication loyalty to limit the
number of packets transferred when a host moves. The user benefit will be networks that scale
effectively because of reduced message traffic and more fault tolerant due to reduced
dependency on global information.
 Account for velocity – data updates should adapt for host velocity. The network should not
route packets to cells that the host has already left and should anticipate the next cell where a
mobile host will enter. This leads to better performance while the host is moving.

 Exploit weakened consistency semantics – For infrequently used routes, updates that provide
sub-optimal delivery for transmission can be accepted. As long as the packets arrive as route
improves to account for computer motion, stale routes can be used. The user benefits by high
performance and increased availability due to lower update traffic and reduced dependence on
global data.

 Allow shopping – Allow mobile hosts to use services if they are ready to pay for better
performance and enhanced service. Support for electronic shopping requires a brokerage
service, an accounting service and rebindable service interfaces.

 Use controlled isolation – total isolation between mobile and stationary hosts prevents access
to local services and data sharing. Authorization mechanisms must be more dynamic to cope
with mobile hosts. /capabilities and access control lists must be incorporated into the system.
Authentication and encryption must be ubiquitous. The encryption systems are not very
common today but with the increasing understanding of networks, they have started
becoming a necessity. Though encryption is currently left to individual applications, it must
be made available at a level appropriate for use by all applications (Segev, 2003).

3. The technology-based mobile workstations encourage people to interact in a different


way to fulfill core business goals. The company has to train employees for new skills to work on
certain processes which work on the mobile technology applications. The mobile workstations
affect the work culture in the teams by promoting team values and behavioral expectations like
collaboration, effective communication, managing over long distances and faith in the
professional teams. The mobile workstations need companies to evaluate and improve current
processes, rules and regulations to govern HR practices, allocation of physical workstations and
technical expertise and usage within the company. Unions of employees and other negotiating
associations bring demands of workforce to forefront and thus their input is needed in the design
and execution phase. These associations should be trained and educated to work in the dynamic
and more collaborative workspaces. The associations and unions have to be trained to support
physically separated teams and be quick to tackle dynamic shifts in workforce trends and
demand of mobile employees as and when necessary (Siegel, Danegger, 2009).

4. Due to dynamic workforce and increasing costs to accommodate the “modern worker”,
organizations have come up with mobile technology. They should change “where” and
“how” workforce operates to reduce real estate costs and operational expenses. Effectively
designing and implementing dynamic workstations improves response rate of changes in cost
effective manner by enabling to:
• Delink physical workplace resources from headcount and thus, improve space utilization
and reduce fixed costs to operate and maintain physical workplace and facilities.
• Align in-flight and planned technology investments with business demands and
workforce patterns to increase efficiency and leverage economies of scale (Siegel,
Danegger, 2009).
Mobile devices link directly in office network when you are working outside the network in
order to access the database or accounting systems. As a result, there is more flexibility at work
which enables working from home or while travelling. The fast growth of cloud computing has
resulted in positive impact on the use of mobile devices. Hence, flexible working services can be
used which give access to network services over internet (Alonso, Ganguly, 1992).

The conceptual framework of the workplace should be as follows (Siegel, Danegger, 2009):
The workforce whom organizations try to attract and retain wants a collaborative and flexible
model which enhances technology usage. At a compensation survey of 1400 CFOs done by
Robert Half International, 46% reported that telecommuting is second best, salary being first, as
a method to attract talent in top positions. Mobile computing provides higher productivity and
flexibility for working parents via reduced commuting time, improved collaboration, knowledge
sharing and morale. The benefits are:

 Improving Returns on Technology Investments - The mobile technologies have


penetrated in such a way that it is transforming old age work environment and helping to
define a new model of workforce communications, stakeholder collaboration and
performance measurement. Use of PDAs, VoIP and Web 2.0 tools like instant .messaging,
social network, social bookmarking, web conferencing and syndication feeds, provides high
levels of teamwork between employees and external stakeholders (H.Wada, 1993). In a
survey by Gartner Research it is estimated that average IT spend per employee has risen from
$7756 in 2000 to $9419 in 2008 (Siegel, Danegger, 2009). Mobile technologies are now
designed and implemented within every discrete business units to tackle to specific business
requirements. This has improved alignment with growing business demands and changing
workforce patterns, further increasing efficiencies, better managing the impact on supportive
infrastructure and using economies of scale (E.Kroll, 1992).

 Achieving Cost Savings by Reducing Physical workspace – with the challenge of ever-
increasing pressure to reduce costs, fewer budgets and increasing business demands the
companies have begun to consider enterprise-wide activities to restructure their cost units
and streamline business practices (H.Wada, 1993). Mobile devices have been seen to
outweigh the increasing cost of outfitting the modern worker with potential for diminished
costs due to optimal usage of real estate and company facilities. It will help improve space
utilization and reduce facility maintenance costs (Mark Weiser, 1991).

The benefits of mobile workstations are distributed between technology and physical
workspace. It is diagrammatically represented as:
With the proliferation of mobile technologies and migration towards shared workspace, the
physical consumption of resources will be disconnected from employee numbers. As a result,
hiring 1000 new employees will not necessarily cost 1000 more workspaces. The facilities-
related cost savings, which is cut out from properly allocating physical resources, can be used as
innovation funding and reducing costs further. On an assumption that 10% of the company’s
employees follow a 5/4/9 reduced work timings, the improved utilization will be about 86%. By
totally removing 14% of physical space, company can save costs upto $8.1M at once (Valiente,
2002).

A roadmap has to be developed for collaborative mobile workplaces using the emerging
development pattern which is based on the following six layers of innovation: (1) Social and
legal aspects; (2) Developments in mobility and work settings; (3) Implications for and
developments in mobile applications; (4) Human interaction with mobile applications; (5)
Mobile service design and service platforms; (6) Mobile access technology will be formed (Hans
Schaffers, 2005). The below table shows such a roadmap for all six layers:

SHORT TERM MEDIUM TERM LONG TERM

Social and The actual high demand Work/life issues come to the Issues of individual choice
legal aspects of work flexibility by forefront. Explicit needs for over mobility and work
employees as well as wide-scale technical locality at the forefront.
organizations requires support. Professional Contractual frameworks
short-term solutions communities merge with where mobile work be
Mobility is referring to communities of knowledge recognized as bringing more
geographic location and communities to host mobile flexibility to employees and
switching between workers and employment employers.
several organizations. contracts.
Mobility and Most collaborative Demand for collaboration More work can be achieved
work settings workspaces only allow among competencies within in transit situations with
for non-mobile access. the mobile workplace. limited workers which is
Communities of Support for secure, ad-hoc supported by communities
knowledge emerge in collaborative workspaces. of knowledge and practice.
order to support Successfully deploy mobile The mobile devices should
connected organizations IT in new application be able to plug & play
and mobile workplace. domains. applications on the network
services of the organization.
Mobile Mobile workers can use On Demand mobile High adaptability of systems
Applications communication and workspaces which support allows users to use
presence services. secure access to applications as per their
Semantic-based information, ERP and multi- specific needs. Moving
information applications media communication have employees should have
are used for stimulating to be extended. Applications authorized access to
the creation of shared should provide assistance knowledge repositories.
vision and for mobile devices. Mobile Mobile multimedia
understanding. The learning and collaborative communication which has
virtual teams should be designs will be preferred good Industrial-strength
given basic life-cycle allows moving workers to
support. share and modify designs.
Human Emergence of UI design Mobile devices that allow Applications having
interaction should be based on moving employees to advance contextual
with mobile business concepts. interact will grow. They will awareness and intelligence
applications Important guidelines on be used for for multi-lingual network
interactive design for virtual/augmented reality interfaces will be developed
mobile applications will world. Ubiquity will be an based on emotion detection
be specified. essential characteristic. and biocentric control.
Mobile Different workplaces Mobile employees need to Community driven
service should be able to form cooperative workspaces will be
design and support individual and workspaces and share developed in which
service collaborative work. services. Standardized independent experts can
platforms Syntactic service interaction between mobile collaborate through multiple
integration and devices and environment wireless devices. Intelligent
customized services which provides control and sensor networks will
should be allowed. secure information become norm that supports
exchange purposes should logistics, performance
be established. monitoring and
maintenance.
Mobile Start of the transition IP connectivity which is Connectivity via all-IP
access towards IP connectivity available everywhere networks that enable
technology which is available anytime will be used. More integration of multimedia,
everywhere anytime. demand for mobile telecommunication, and
Mixture of IP networks computing and connectivity. computing. Flexible
and circuit-switched PDA and phones will turn displays and laser driven
networks will lead to into mobile devices which keyboards for adaptive
aggregated networks work as artifacts. Light and interfaces. Reconfigurable
which enable integration durable power supplies will access technologies with
of mobile telephony and be available for better many wireless technologies.
computing. communication.

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