Page 3 902 Other Operating Systems and Technologies Study Guide for the CompTIA® A+ exam

Mobile Device Networks and Email

You will be expected to install and configure basic network and e-mail settings on a mobile device.

Wireless/cellular data

Mobile devices have become a common link to the rest of the world. You must know how to enable and disable network services, explain how tethering sets up hotspots to share data and connections, and understand airplane mode when traveling.


When enabled on a mobile device, a Bluetooth connection allows you to create your own personal area network having a range of approximately 10 meters. To use Bluetooth, both devices must be within range and must be paired by entering the correct pin code. Understand how to enable Bluetooth, set up pairing, and locate other Bluetooth devices.


You need to understand the difference between a corporate email server using Exchange and an e-mail server provided by a local ISP, as well as how to make basic configurations to connect to each. Review the functions POP3 (port 110) and IMAP (port 143) protocols provide when retrieving email and the use of SSL and S/MIME in providing security.

Integrated Commercial Provider Email

Mobile devices include integration with other email services such as iCloud, Yahoo, or Google. Yahoo mail supports POP3 and IMAP, as does and Google Gmail. Apple iCloud only supports IMAP.


PRI (Product Release Instruction) has the settings for device configurations specific to the cell network to which you are currently connected. PRL (Preferred Roaming List) refers to which cell towers to use while in roaming mode. Both are typically updated when the operating system of the mobile device is updated. Certain carriers support updating the PRL by dialing a certain sequence of numbers. The baseband operating system on a mobile device is needed to communicate with the radio hardware, which is similar to the hardware abstraction layer in Windows occasionally required updating.

Radio Firmware

The baseband operating system is the interface between the mobile phone and the radio and is often referred to as radio firmware.


IMEI is the International Mobile Equipment Identifier, a 15-digit number that uniquely identifies a mobile device, similar to a MAC address on a NIC (Network Interface Card). If a device is lost or stolen, this allows it to be deactivated. IMSI is the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, a 15-digit number that describes the user and the network.


VPN is a Virtual Private Network setup using a public network, providing security on an otherwise insecure network.

Mobile Device Synchronization

Push synchronization automatically syncs data between mobile devices and desktop devices. An example is when entries made on your desktop calendar or contact list are automatically synchronized with your mobile device.

Types of Data to Synchronize

The key to the success of mobile devices is the ability to synchronize data across many varied devices. For example, new contacts added on your tablet device will automatically synchronize with your cell phone, so you are able to communicate with that contact when needed, no matter what device you are using. Similarly, adding a business meeting to your desktop calendar can synchronize with your tablet device, so that, when you are away from your desk, you still can view your schedule for planning. Other popular items to synchronize include the following: programs, e-mail, pictures, music, videos, bookmarks, documents, location data, social media data, and eBooks.

Synchronization Methods

You have the option to synchronize data to the cloud or to your desktop. IOS devices allow you to synchronize to the desktop using Apple iTunes on Windows or MAC OS. Android synchronizes nearly everything online. If you use a Windows Phone, the Windows Phone app can synchronize your media. Lately, most synchronization has been moving to cloud-based systems.

Mutual Authentication for Multiple Services (SSO)

SSO (Single Sign On) is a feature used by Microsoft, Google, and Apple to allow a single login to provide access to all supported services.

Software requirements

Installing the latest version of iTunes on a 64-bit Windows system requires minimum of a 1GHz Intel/AMD CPU supporting SSE2 with 512MB Ram. On a Mac, it requires at least OS/X version 10.7.5.

Connection types

You need to know how to synchronize to the cloud as well as to the desktop. The various connection types you can use between devices include: USB, Bluetooth, WIFI, or utilizing cloud storage as a two-step process. Copy from mobile device to cloud storage, then from cloud to desktop.