The New wave of Rugged PDA – cheaper, smaller, better suited

29 01 2010
Rugged PDA's - Small and Budget Concsious
Rugged PDA’s – Small and Budget Concsious

I’m seeing a trend with Rugged PDA’s as the long tail of marketing starts to show in the sometimes sleepy world of Rugged PDA’s.
In the past we used to have a clear-cut market.  We had consumer devices, well served by HTC and a few other manufacturers and we had the Rugged market that gave business something tough to run their business on.

But there always was and still is a larger number of businesses embarking on their first mobile project and as such it is still very hard to convince them that they need to spend more in order to protect their business investment.  They invariably end up buying a nice cheap HTC device for £300 which breaks 4 or 5 times in 12 months with very little in the way of support.

However the days of weighing up a £300 against an £800 device are gone and the new wave of device we’re now seeing like the GX8010 or gSmart from GaneData are leading the way in not having to compromise in my view.  These start at £500 but they’re IP65 rated with a proper drop spec.  Granted they have to cut some of the latest tech out of them (Even if they have OEM Motorola or Honeywell scanner tech) but essentially your business can now choose a rugged pda that’s supported, road mapped and at the same time great value.  They’re the same small size, they have great battery life and they offer the latest Windows Mobile OS’s.

The Motorola MC35 made an attempt at filling this gap but it’s failing was that it was not actually rugged and it came with a lot of problems indicative of the consumer PDA it actually was under the skin.  Companies like Pidion with the BM-150R, GaneData’s GX8010 and GSmart are really leading the way down the long tail of the Rugged PDA market in my view.

It’ll be interesting to see how well they do in the next 12 months as customer demand for more tightly specified Rugged PDA’s becomes more prevalent.

Dave

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

www.ruggedandmobile.com





Difference between GPRS, Edge, 3G and HSDPA

26 01 2010

GPRS, Edge, 3G and HSDPA what’s the difference?

Thought i’d update this article to include a little bit about 3.75G, see below.  Obviously 4G is taking it’s time!!

24/06/2013 – I’ve written a new article about GPRS, 3G and 4G that’s a little more up to date right here

So Mobile networks are at last here and we use them every day as part of our normal business and personal lives.  However many people I talk to still get confused with the differences between them.  IT’s even more prevalent in the Rugged PDA world because due to the stability of the devices a lot of them tend to lag their “Consumer” equivalents in the GPRS technology they use.  Below is a quick overview of some of the most important things you need to know about GPRS.

And in the beginning…

They made GSM modems.  Does anyone remember the times we used those horrible 56K modems to connect your desktop to the internet by plugging it into your phone line?  Well at first that’s how they did it with mobile phones in a roughly similar way too!  Very low data rates of 10kbps and also the fact that you paid for the time you used the service were the main down points of this.

Then came 2G

However with the take up on mobile phones rapidly increasing we saw the switch to digital networks which allowed for better call quality and the SMS service.  We started to see the potential for data to be sent using them.  2G was born in the form of GPRS.  This allowed data to be sent over a network that was a lot more optimised for data communication.

GPRS was and still is a little bit slow at no more than about 114kbps and unless you have a class 3 device, it can’t support sending data at the same time as a GSM voice call is in session.  However this is more than enough for many people’s needs, even today and to add weight to that, the first iPhone was a GPRS device.

Edge a stop-gap

3G was on the way but we saw one more incremental step before this was rolled out.  Edge, eGPRS or 2.5G was a technology that gave us 3 fold better data rates with typical 400kbps being heralded by Cingular in the USA by using better coding methods than GPRS.  However 120-200kbps is probably more realistic.

Finally 3G Arrives

Finally full 3G was released and it not only gave us more reliable faster data rates of up to 384kbps but it’s based upon a far better platform that allows synchronous voice and data usage.  With 3G browsing the web performing more media intensive data work became a reality and in some cases still rivals some broadband connections we have in out homes.

HSDPA and 3.5G, 3.75, 4G and beyond

Currently HSDPA is the standard for most mobile phones.  Running at 1.3mbps it rivals most broadband connections and networks are being upgraded across the UK to run at speeds of up to 7.2mbps, coined 4G.

We’re now even starting to see our first 4G devices in the HTC 4G MAX, although we’re actually seeing a trend in 3.75G HSUPA devices being released at the moment, which are actually HSDPA devices but with improved upload speeds too.

Added (19/10/11) HSPA is it a spelling mistake!

Well no and HSPA and also evolved HSPA or HSPA+ are all new acronyms in the 3G world.  I’m not going to get technical here, but these protocols are basically the next step in the mobile networks upgrade path.  HSPA (Downlaod) and HSUPA (Upload) are pretty much implemented now and devices taking advantage of this can now theoretically reach speeds of 14MBPs on the downlink and 6MBPS up, some networks in the world have reported even more than this.  HSPA+ further enhances this up to 80 & 22 MBPS which is now surpassing broadband speeds.

With 3.5G, 3.75G, 4G and now HSPA we really now have no excuse to be connected to the Internet where-ever we go and its only a matter of time before the PDA or mobile phone truly becomes the data tool of choice as our lives become ever mobile.

if you still need some help then give us a call at Rugged and Mobile and we’ll only be too happy to help you choose the right device for you.

Dave

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Dolphin 9700 New PDA format Rugged PDA from Honeywell

25 01 2010

Dolphin 9700 New PDA format Rugged PDA from Honeywell

This has been a long time coming but finally Honeywell, formerly HHP, have launched an up to date PDA format Rugged PDA in the shape of the new Dolphin 9700.

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Honeywell’s new rugged PDA is a rugged digital assistant that focuses on multi-functional data collection with ease of use to better serve customers while maximizing worker productivity through optimized user interface, system performance, and ergonomics.
Tasks mobile workers can perform include: email, instant messaging, capture images, video in color, thanks to Adaptus Imaging Technology paired with the camera to easily incorporate data into new/existing business applications- and bar code scans, GPS tracking, and navigation. With multiple high-speed wireless technologies (3.5G GSM/HSDPA, 802.11 a/b/g, Bluetooth, IrDA, and GPS) and functionality under a single device, cost is reduced and keeps companies connected to workers and customers.

Some of the features and benefits:
-Global High-Speed Wireless Technology
-Ultra-Bright 3.7″ VGA Display
-Windows Mobile 6.5; touch-friendly interface, web browser functionality, 3rd party application support
-Ergonomic Scan and Navigation Keys, QWERTY and Numeric Keyboards
-Adaptus Imaging Technology, 2 Mega Pixel Auto Control Camera
-Ultra-Loud Front and Rear Speakers
-Shift-PLUS Power Management; 8 hours or more running real-time wireless and multi-media

Although a very late comer we think this is a welcome product that should do well in a very, very competitive segment of the rugged PDA market.  If the Dolphin 9700 can bring the solid values of its other data capture products in a modern package then it should fair well if the price is set competitively.
The 9700 Rugged PDA should be available Q1 in the UK.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





UK GPRS Settings

22 01 2010

My last post about GPRS Setting showed you how to apply your GPRS settings on your Windows Mobile device an I used O2 as an example.

This post gives you the values you need for all the UK GPRS networks, so whatever network you’re on, just substitute the values in the last post and you’ll be syncing data before you can say….well…. “syncing data!”

UK GPRS Settings

O2 UK (contract)
GPRS APN: – mobile.o2.co.uk
Username: - mobileweb
Password: – password
Gateway IP: – 193.113.200.195

O2 UK (pre-pay)
GPRS APN: - payandgo.o2.co.uk
Username: – payandgo
Password: – password
Gateway IP: – 193.113.200.195

Vodafone (Contract)
GPRS APN: – wap.vodafone.co.uk
Username: – wap
Password: – wap
Gateway IP: – 212.183.137.12

Vodafone (pre-pay)
GPRS APN: – pp.vodafone.co.uk
Username: – wap
Password: – wap
Gateway IP: – 212.183.137.12

Orange UK (all)
GPRS APN: - orangeinternet
Username: – {blank}
Password: – {blank}
Gateway IP: – 192.168.71.35

T-Mobile (all)
GPRS APN: – general.t-mobile.uk
Username: – user
Password: – wap
Gateway IP: – 149.254.1.10

Three
GPRS APN: – three.co.uk
Username: – guest
Password: – guest

BT Mobile
GPRS APN: – btmobile.bt.com
Username: – bt
Password: – bt
Gateway IP: – 212.183.137.12

Tesco Mobile
GPRS APN: – prepay.tesco-mobile.com
Username: - tescowap
Password: – password
Gateway IP: – 193.113.200.195

Virgin Mobile
GPRS APN: – goto.virginmobile.uk
Username: – user
Password: – {blank}
Gateway IP: – 193.30.166.3

Happy browsing!

Dave

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Setting Your GPRS Settings on Windows Mobile 6

21 01 2010

Hi Everyone

This came a few times last week so i’m putting up the steps here for anyone who can’t get their Windows Mobile phone connected to the internet.

1. From the Start Menu, Go to Settings–> Connections Tab–> Connections

2. Select “Add a new modem connection” under My ISP

3. Enter a preferred name for your connection, e.g. “My O2 GPRS

4. Select Cellular Line (GPRS) option under “select a modem” and click “Next”

5. Enter the Access Point Name, for O2 it is “mobile.o2.co.uk ” and click “Next”

6. For Username, for O2 enter “mobileweb

7. For Password, for O2 enter “password

8. Leave the domain blank and click on the “Advanced…” button

9. Make sure option “Use server-assigned IP address” is selected

10. Also make sure that options “Use software compression” and “Use IP header compression” are unselected

11. Click on the “Servers” tab and ensure that “User server assigned addresses” is checked

12. Click “OK” on the top right of the screen and then Click “Finish

An easy way to test if GPRS is connecting is to load up Internet Explorer and browse to “m.google.co.uk”

I’ll write the settings for all the UK GPRS networks in the next post.

Check back soon!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.








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