ECE 4570 Wireless Networks and Mobile Systems | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Multidisciplinary, project-oriented design course that considers aspects of wireless and mobile systems. Including wireless networks and link protocols, mobile networking including support for the Internet Protocol suite, mobile middleware, and mobile applications. Students complete multiple experiments and design projects.

Why take this course?

This course provides three related contributions to the curricula in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science: (i) an integrated course in the rapidly growing field of wireless networks and mobile computing; (ii) a “hands-on,” project-oriented design course that considers core network protocols; and (iii) an additional choice of a technical elective in networking for undergraduate students. The proposed course provides coverage of wireless networks and mobile computing that is both comprehensive and accessible to upper-division undergraduate students. Students will gain hands-on exposure to key networking techniques and technologies, including wireless local area networks, the Internet Protocol (IP) suite, and mobile applications. It should be noted that industry partners see a growing need for courses that integrate wireless, networking, and mobile applications. As evidence of the course’s relevance and importance to industry, Intel has awarded Virginia Tech a grant of equipment and cash to support the development of this course.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the characteristics and operation of contemporary wireless network technologies such as the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network and Bluetooth wireless personal area network;
  • Describe the operation of the TCP/IP protocol suite in a mobile environment, including the operation of Mobile IP and a mobile ad hoc routing protocol;
  • Modify an existing implementation of a protocol to alter functionality or performance;
  • Use middleware application program interfaces (APIs) to realize mobile applications;
  • Design, implement, and test a prototype mobile application;
  • Measure and characterize the performance of a wireless local area network, mobile routing protocol, and mobile application; and
  • Monitor the operation of mobile network protocols and applications using standard tools.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

Fundamental technologies of wireless networks and mobile computing 8%
Wireless environment and networking issues 8%
Role of mobile computing middleware 8%
Client-server computing in mobile systems 8%
Peer-to-peer and ad hoc computing in mobile systems 8%
Local and personal area wireless networks 8%
Mobility in wireless local area networks 8%
Addressing and routing in mobile ad hoc networks 8%
Mobility support for the Internet Protocol 6%
Nomadic support for the Internet Protocol 6%
End-to-end performance in mobile wireless systems 8%
Mobile applications: database services 8%
Mobile applications: location and context-aware pervasive computing 8%