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How does mobile computing work?

By Techopedia Staff | Last updated: July 2, 2020

Mobile computing is the idea that users can process data or perform digital tasks on mobile devices. This broad category of operations is made possible by several new innovations in information technology over the past decade.

Mobile computing starts with the actual hardware inside a smartphone. A microprocessor powers mobile computing, and memory chips provide for data storage. A radio frequency element handles power sourcing and other proprietary telecom technology sends outgoing signals and receives incoming signals from a 3G or 4G wireless network.

The wireless networks carry the data where it needs to go. Traditionally, data was routed through cell towers in a particular provider’s physical network to another user’s phone. With modern mobile computing, data is also often delivered onto the Internet via the provider’s telecom network. This hybrid system is part of what accommodates mobile computing, where users can access individual Internet sites over their smartphones.

With recent advances in mobile computing, users can now perform mobile computing on their smartphones while completing phone calls. This technology involves parallel processing of different threads for digital voice and data operations. Modern smartphones are a lot like computers, with their own operating systems and sophisticated logical infrastructure, which facilitates more advanced mobile computing and the proliferation of mobile applications or "apps" for a multitude of functions and uses.

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Written by Techopedia Staff

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