The expansion of global networks, caused by growth and acquisition within the commercial sector, is forcing users to move away from proprietary systems in favor of standards-based, open systems architectures. The same is true in the wireless data communications arena, where operators of proprietary wireless data networks have endeavored to convince users that their particular implementation provides the best service. However, most of the vendors touting these solutions have failed to gain the critical mass that might have lead to their technologies' adoption as a defacto standard, and have been held back by a lack of applications and the high cost of mobile devices. The advent of the cellular digital packet data (CDPD) specification and its support by much of the public cellular service industry has set the stage for the ubiquitous coverage of wireless packet data services across the Unites States. Although CDPD was developed for operation over the advanced mobile phone system (AMPS) cellular network, many of the defined protocols are industry standards that can be applied to the construction of a common infrastructure supporting multiple airlink standards. This approach offers overall cost savings and operation efficiency for service providers, hardware, and software developers and end-users alike, and could be equally advantageous for those service operators using proprietary end system protocols, should they wish to migrate towards an open standard.