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Technology? Overview
Mobile computing allows people to use IT without being tied to a single location. Any business with staff that works away from the office can benefit from using it. Whether you are travelling to meetings, out on sales calls, working from a client's site or from home, mobile devices can help you keep in touch and make the most productive use of your time. You can use a range of devices to stay in touch including laptops, notebooks, personal digital assistants and 'third generation' (3G) smart phones. Mobile IT devices can also change the way you do business. New technologies lead to new ways of working and new products and services that can be offered to your customers. Mobile technology is exactly what the name implies - technology that is portable.

The growth and development of mobile technology has had positive effects on society. There are many advantages that are experienced from the implementation and use of mobile technology. Some of the advantages that mobile technology brings are discussed below: Mobile technology is set to take over as the driving force of global commerce. This is because in recent times, mobile technology has blossomed to such an extent that you are able to access all of the market data you require using your mobile phone. With the introduction of 3G technology, mobile technology and smart phones with capabilities of handling video calls, browsing the internet and sharing large files, mobile technology has made it more efficient to conduct business. Mobile technology enables you to get breaking news as and when it happens. By bringing you real time information, mobile technology enables you to make speedy and informed decisions. Mobile technology has played a great role in the education sector by enabling people to access the Internet, even in remote locations using mobile broadband. This enables students and researchers in these far flung areas to carry out research using this feature of mobile technology. Technology has made it possible for the development of m-commerce. With the number of people using mobile technology growing each day, businesses are adopting the use of m-commerce to reach a wider pool of potential clients. By doing so, businesses are able to increase their revenues and client base. In addition, institutions like banks are adopting mobile technology to conduct mobile banking. This not only brings convenience in terms of transferring money but also saves a lot of time.

Mobile computing can improve the service you offer your customers. For example, when meeting with customers you could access your customer relationship management system - over the internet - allowing you to update customer details whilst away from the office. Alternatively, you can enable customers to pay for services or goods without having to go to the till. For example, by using a wireless payment terminal, diners can pay for their meal without leaving their table. More powerful solutions can link you directly into the office network while working off site, for instance to access your database or accounting systems. For example, you could: set up a new customer's account check prices and stock availability place an order online. This leads to great flexibility in working - for example, enabling home working, or working while travelling. Increasingly, networking 'hot spots' are being provided in public areas that allow connection back to the office network or the internet. The growth of cloud computing has also impacted positively on the use of mobile devices, supporting more flexible working practices by providing services over the internet. For more information see our guide on cloud computing.

Examples of mobile IT devices include:
   Laptop and net book computers
   Palmtop computers or personal digital assistants
   Mobile phones and 'smart phones'
   Global positioning system (GPS) devices
   Wireless debit/credit card payment terminals
         Mobile devices can be enabled to use a variety of communications technologies such as:
   Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) - a type of wireless local area network technology
   Bluetooth - connects mobile devices wirelessly
   'Third generation' (3G), global system for mobile communications (GSM) and
   General packet radio service (GPRS) data services - data networking services for mobile phones
   Dial-up services - data networking services using modems and telephone lines
   Virtual private networks - secure access to a private network