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What Is the Wireless Industry?

By G. Wiesen
Updated: May 16, 2024

The wireless industry is a collection of businesses involved in the development and use of various electronic devices that can receive and send information wirelessly. While it once primarily included those companies that produced the hardware and software for mobile phones, it has expanded to the use of tablets and similar devices. This does not typically include other wireless devices, such as wireless routers, which require a physical connection and then transmit a wireless signal to other devices. The wireless industry includes hardware manufacturers of devices, which employ engineers and software designers, as well as companies that produce software applications for such devices.

Much like the entertainment industry, the wireless industry does not necessarily refer to a set number of companies with any established business model, but to a group of businesses that produce wireless technology. Mobile telephones primarily led the way in this industry, especially with the development of smart phones that utilized 3G specifications and the increased functionality that those devices provided for users. As the wireless industry has grown, however, it has come to include developers of other devices such as wireless tablets, which combine numerous functions to act as a hybrid between a smart phone and a laptop computer.

The wireless industry does not necessarily include all devices and systems that can utilize a wireless signal, but instead refers to those devices that function on a purely wireless large area network (LAN). This is typically a mobile phone network established by a mobile phone provider. These companies not only provide the network service, but are often involved in the production of wireless hardware. There are also many companies that exclusively develop hardware for the wireless industry, and these manufacturers often employ engineers who design the hardware, as well as software developers who create firmware for the devices.

As the functionality offered by wireless devices has developed and become more sophisticated, more and more software companies have joined the wireless industry. While firmware may be the backbone of many wireless devices, numerous software applications have been introduced and become a standard function for many devices. These applications can be anything from games and calendars that can be downloaded to a device to real time maps and driving directions, lists of restaurants in a certain area with reviews and menus listed, and software used to follow popular websites and entertainment outlets. As technology continues to grow and evolve, new businesses and features may become part of the wireless industry as well such as video game developers and the music industry.

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Discussion Comments
By SZapper — On Jul 16, 2012

I guess I personally love the wireless industry, because I'm glued to my phone and tablet basically all the time. I love being able to surf the Internet while I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, for example. Plus it's really cool to be able to check my email wherever I am.

Also, I think it's neat how many jobs have been opened up by the wireless industry. For example, there are a lot of software applications being written for phones and tablets right now. Before these things came out, those jobs didn't even exist! But now they do.

By betterment — On Jul 16, 2012

@sunnySkys - Interesting point. I don't know if I would consider an ebook reader part of the wireless industry, but that's just me.

That being said, I'm always interested in wireless industry trends. I think tablets are really cool, and I'm wondering what kind of devices they're going to come up with next. Smaller tablets? Bigger tablets? Something completely different that doesn't even have a screen and instead uses projection like a sci-fi movie? The possibilities seem endless.

By sunnySkys — On Jul 15, 2012

I think some e-readers would definitely be part of the wireless industry, although I guess not all of them. Some of them connect to the Internet through a wireless network, but you can buy others that have built in 3G. That means you can connect to the Internet (and buy books) anywhere where there is a 3G signal.

Unlike tablets, you don't have to pay a monthly fee for e-readers that do their wireless communication through 3G. The cost is built into the cost of the device, so you just pay for the machine once. I think this is probably because people with e-readers don't use 3G much, just for shopping. Most e-readers don't exactly have a sophisticated web browser.

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