Basic Mobile Device Network Connectivity | CompTIA A+ 220-1001 | 1.6

In this video you will learn about basic mobile device network connectivity & application support such as:  Wireless/cellular data networking for mobile devices, Bluetooth, corporate & ISP email configuration, integrated commercial provider email configuration, PRI updates/PRL updates/baseband updates, radio firmware, IMEI vs. IMSI, and VPN.

Wireless/Cellular Data Network for Mobile Devices

Hotspot

WiFi hotspots are internet access points that allow you to connect to a WiFi network using your computer, smartphone or another device while away from your home or office network.  A hotspot is a blend of software, hardware & network data services that combine to transform a phone into the equivalent of a broadband modem and router.  To rephrase, a mobile hotspot can distribute internet connectivity to nearby systems via a WiFi signal.  The mobile device can generate a default password (which can be changed) so that other devices looking to connect can get access to the network to access the internet.

Caution:  If you turn your mobile device into a hotpot or use the device for tethering, be mindful that some cellular providers may charge additional fees.  Also, understand that the data usage of every device connected can be counted towards your total data allocation which could result in you paying extra fees for overage use. So be sure to check with your provider for details.

Setting Up a Hotspot

Tethering

As mentioned in the previous post…

Tethering, or phone-as-modem (PAM), is the sharing of a mobile device’s internet connection with other connected computers.  Connection of a mobile device with other devices can be done over wireless LAN (WiFi), over Bluetooth or by physical connection using a cable.  Most smartphones on the market are capable of sharing cellular data connections by way of tethering.  Wired tethering requires connecting the phone to a laptop via a connection cable.  When tethering is done wirelessly, the phone becomes what is known as a hotspot.

Caution:  Just like a hotspot, tethering could possibly add some additional charges to your mobile device bill.

Tethering

Airplane Mode

Airplane mode is a setting available on smartphones and other portable devices.  When activated, this mode suspends the device’s radio-frequency (RF) signal transmission technologies (Bluetooth, telephony, WiFi), effectively disabling all voice, text and phone services.  GPS may or may not be disabled, because it does not involve transmitting radio waves.  Some airlines offer in-flight internet access. To enable that access while in flight, you may need to turn your mobile device’s airplane mode on and then activate its WiFi.  In addition, you may also need to activate the Bluetooth for your headset.

Airplane Mode

Bluetooth

As mentioned in the previous post…

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances using short-wavelength UHF (ultra high frequency) radio waves from 2.402 GHZ to 2.480 GHz. Bluetooth began as a technology mainly designed to operate in peer-to-peer (or ad hoc) mode between PCs and other devices.  When Bluetooth devices are connected to each other they form a personal area network (PAN). Some systems and devices have Bluetooth adapters already integrated while others need a Bluetooth module connected via a USB port to enable Bluetooth networking. Most Bluetooth devices have a range of 10m. Bluetooth runs within in the same 2.4GHz frequency used by IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless networks but uses a spread-spectrum frequency-hopping signaling method to help minimize interference. Before a Bluetooth device can work with your computer or mobile device, it must be paired with the device. To connect a Bluetooth device to a mobile device, Bluetooth needs to be enabled. Then the Bluetooth device needs to be synchronized (paired or linked) to the mobile device.  Sometimes the synchronization process requires a PIN code.  Once synchronized, the device can be connected. Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart) is used with very low-power applications such as sensors.  Bluetooth 4.1 can perform multiple roles at the same time and work better with LTE cellular devices.  Bluetooth 4.2 adds features to support IoT (Internet of Things).

Turning on Bluetooth in Smartphone

Corporate and ISP Email

Smartphones & tablets have the ability to send and receive email.  This section we’re going to discuss how to configure email on both Android and iOS devices. There are 2 different types of email services that corporations & ISPs utilize:  POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) and IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol v4).  You may need to configure your device to receive either or both types of email services.

Configuring Email for POP3

To configure a POP3 email account, you need to know the connecting server, the port you need to use, and whether security is being employed. The following steps will connect a typical Android smartphone to a POP3 email account:

  1. Go to the Home screen and tap the Menu button.  Select All Apps.
  2. Scroll until you see the email app.
  3. Select POP3.  If the device already has email accounts set up on it, you might need to open Settings and then tap the Add account button.
  4. Type the email address and the password of the account and then tap Next.
  5. If prompted, configure the incoming settings.  Change the username (optional) to something different from the email address and then type the POP3 server name.  This is usually the domain name portion of the email address.  Select SSL or TLS if security is being used.  Type the port number 110 (default for POP3).  Tap Next. (Contact your network administrator if you need relevant information.)
  6. Configure the outgoing settings.  Type the SMTP server.  Organizations tend to use the same server name as the POP3 server.  Small office/home office (SOHO) users might have to use their ISP’s SMTP server.  Select SSL or TLS if security is being used.  Type the port number 25 (for SMTP).  Tap Next.
  7. Configure the account options, such as how often to check for mail and whether to notify you when it arrives.  Tap Next.  At this point, new email should start downloading.
  8. Finally, rename your account (optional) and then tap Done.

Configuring an iOS device to a POP3 account:

  1. Go to the Home screen and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add Account.
  4. Tap Other at the bottom of the list.
  5. Tap Add Mail Account.
  6. Type the name, email address, and password (and an optional description) and tap Next.
  7. Tap POP.  Under Incoming Mail Server, type the POP3 server name and the username.  Under Outgoing Mail Server, type the SMTP server.  Tap Save.
  8. The system will then verify the address and password.  If successful, the process is finished.

Connecting to IMAP or Exchange Servers

To connect to an IMAP account, enter the IMAP server (for receiving mail) which uses port 143 by default and the outgoing SMTP server (for sending mail).  Connecting to a Microsoft Exchange mail server, the server name often takes care of both receiving and sending email which may require you to know the domain the Exchange server is a member.  Secure email sessions require the use of SSL or TLS on port 443.  Check with the network administrator for the appropriate protocol.  APOP is a secure version of POP3. It uses a challenge/response protocol in conjunction with a hashing function to prevent replay attacks during an email session.  This protocol is available on the Android platform as well as the Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail platform.

Using Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) will encrypt your email for security and authentication.  To enable encryption support, turn on the Sign All Outgoing Emails option and create public key encryption keys for your email accounts.

Integrated Commercial Provider Email Configuration

Web-based services such as Apple’s iCloud, Google/Inbox (Gmail), Microsoft’s Outlook or Exchange Online, and Yahoo! Mail, can easily be set up by installing the appropriate app from your device’s app store. Connecting to these services works similarly to using a desktop or laptop computer.  Simply choose your email provider, enter a username (the email address) and password and the user will have access to web-based email.

PRI Updates/PRL Updates/Baseband Updates

Smartphones and cellular-equipped tablets update PRLs (preferred roaming list) and baseband every time a system update is made available.  A PRL is a database residing in a wireless device that contains information used during the system selection and acquisition process. The PRL indicates which bands, sub bands, and service provider identifiers will be scanned and in what order. Without a PRL, a mobile device may not be able to roam outside of its home service area, or a customer could experience not having any service at all. Primary rate interface (PRI) updates are used to control the speed of data being sent from a mobile device to a cell tower.  PRI updates are sent automatically to help ensure that the cell tower receives data at an acceptable rate.

Resetting the PRL can help if you are experiencing issues connecting to the cell towers.  To reset the connection, go the phone’s dialer and enter the appropriate code.  On an Android, type ##72786#; on an iOS device, type ##873283#.  Different carriers may have different requirements for phones.

Radio Firmware

Firmware updates are sent whenever a manufacturer sends out an operating system update.  Firmware updates update the radio modem that manages connections for cellular, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC.  These updates help improve reliability.  Firmware updates help keep the phone’s operating system in sync with the cellular modem to prevent the device from becoming unreliable.

IMEI vs. IMSI

Two international standards are used to identify cell phones and other devices with cellular service:

  • IMEI:  International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique number given to each cell phone and it is used to identify phones on the GSM, UMTS, LTE, and iDEN networks.  The IMEI can be used to block access to a stolen phone.  MEID numbers used by CDMA networks (Sprint, Verizon, & US Cellular) work in the same way as IMEI numbers.  Some vendors refer to these numbers as IMEI/MEID numbers.
  • IMSI:  International Mobile Subscriber Identity is used to identify a subscriber using a cell network.  It is usually stored in the phone or tablet’s SIM card.

The owner of a stolen cell phone can contact the cell phone provider and request that the phone’s usage be blocked.  Cell phone providers keep records of IMEI numbers and can block phones from being used even if their SIM card is changed.  Support for cell phone blocking by IMEI number can vary from provider to provider and from country to country. If the owner of a stolen cell phone replaces the phone, the new SIM card can be provisioned with the same IMSI code because the code identifies the user of the phone rather than the phone itself. IMEI /MEID numbers for an Androids can be displayed by typing #06# into the dialer.  The code is displayed immediately.  On an iOS device, go to Settings > About and scroll to the number.  You can copy it from this display if necessary.

iPhone IMEI Number

VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.  A VPN connection requires a VPN server at the remote site and a VPN client at the client site. VPN traffic between client and server is encrypted and encapsulated into packets suitable for transmission over the network. VPN connections are often referred to as “tunnels” and the process of setting up a VPN as “tunneling”. A VPN connection has several benefits compared with a standard connection:

  • A VPN connection enables insecure public Wi-Fi to provide a secure private connection to a website that supports VPNs.
  • A VPN connection enables the user to bypass blocks on websites in certain areas.  By using a VPN, a user can access social networks or search tools in countries where access is restricted or can use media subscription sites for areas other than where they live, such as a different country’s Netflix or other streaming service.
  • A VPN connection hides activity from the user’s normal ISP because their internet traffic (including P2P torrents) is tunneling through the ISPs connections and is therefore invisible.

VPN connections are also supported by iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile devices. VPN settings vary by the VPN type, so be sure to know the VPN type and settings needed to create a connection from a mobile device:

  • To create a connection to a VPN with an iOS device, open Settings > General > VPN > Add VPN Configuration.
  • To create a connection to a VPN with an Android device, open  Settings > More Connection Settings > VPN and then choose  Basic VPN or Advanced IPsec VPN.
  • To create a connection to a VPN with a Windows 10 Mobile device, open Settings > Network & Internet > VPN > Add a VPN Connection.