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Mobile and wireless software is used to program and manage mobile and wireless devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), and global positioning systems (GPS). System administrations and information technology (IT) personnel use mobile and wireless software to manage, monitor, and recover handheld computing devices. Typically, a special inventory scanner is used to record hardware and software details and store this information in a central database for license tracking, reporting, and change control purposes. Mobile and wireless software is also used by sales managers and technical supervisors to send updated price lists and specification sheets to members of a remote workforce.

Selecting mobile and wireless software requires an analysis of capabilities and features. Some products can send short message service (SMS) communications to pagers and mobile phones. Others are designed for mobile messaging with personal information management (PIM) devices such as the Blackberry®, a registered trademark of Research In Motion Limited. Typically, SMS messages are delivered via the simple network paging protocol (SNPP) or the simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP). Redundant outbound connections, message rerouting on failure, and email security are important features to consider. Because many cell phone handsets are equipped with a GPS receiver, specialized mobile and wireless software can be used to turn mobile phones into GPS tracking devices. This allows the direction, location and speed of mobile users to be monitored.

Mobile and wireless software for the management of handheld devices is optimized for low-speed, intermittent connections. Dynamic bandwidth throttling, data compression, checkpoint restarts, and software firewalls are important features. Dynamic bandwidth throttling allows mobile and wireless software to adjust automatically for slower wireless connections. Data compression reduces the total amount of traffic sent over wireless links. Checkpoint restarts help to ensure that interrupted tasks are completed at the next opportunity. Software firewalls for handheld devices provide encryption, intrusion detection, and password authentication features.