Introduction to Wireless Communication
There is almost no one in this digitalized world who has not used wireless communication at least once in his lifetime. This is the most used form of communication in the world right now. Communication fields nowadays can’t be thought of without wireless systems or devices.
What is Wireless Communication?
Most people think that wireless communication is something very complex, and it is only the Wi-Fi network that we use. But that is not the case. Here is an example that will make you think about how broad and simple this wireless communication is. Have you ever changed your TV channels with the help of a remote? Have you ever driven a remote control car? If the answer is yes, then you should understand that we have been using wireless communication since the very beginning of our life but never realized it in that way.
Now to answer the question, let’s break the term into two parts. First one is Wireless. Anything without a wire is called wireless. Our mobile phone is wireless. That TV remote is wireless. That means any electronic device that doesn’t have a wire or cable connected to it can be called wireless.
The second word is communication. This simply means sending and receiving meaningful data. We talk to each other, we transfer meaningful data, so it is a communication. This article that you are reading is meaningful. I am the sender here and you are the receiver. This is another form of communication. We are communicating with each other in every second of our life.
So, if we mix these ideas together, we get the definition of Wireless Communication. This is a form of communication which is done by wireless devices. In other words, wireless communication is a form of transferring information or data from one point to another without using any kind of wire or cable.
How does Wireless Communication Work?
Before understanding how wireless communication works, we need to understand how any type of communication works. Every communication system has three basic parts.
1. Sender: The person or the device who sends the data or information or even message is called sender.
2. Medium: The message has to pass through a certain medium. Be that wire, cable or anything else. This is called the medium. Many people also describe it as a channel. But both of the terms refer to the same thing.
3. Receiver: The person or device that receives the message that the sender sent.
This is how a basic communication process works. For wired communication there is a medium which is physical and tangible. That can be touched. The most common types of medium used in wired communication are Optical Fiber cable, Twisted Pair cable, Coaxial cable. These are used to transmit data from one device to another.
Now for wireless communication, one might think that there is no medium used as we cannot see one. But it has to be remembered that no communication is possible without having a medium. In the case of wireless communication, the medium is just not physical or tangible. The information is transmitted through space as electromagnetic signals or waves.
Okay. The medium is space that is understood. But what about the sender and receiver. How do they send or receive these electromagnetic waves? The answer is simple. These sending or receiving devices have antennas. Answer me that did your remote control cars have antennas? Does your router have antennas? Yes! They do. This is how wireless communication works.
What is the Electromagnetic Wave?
Any kind of wave mainly transmits energy from one point to another with it. Electromagnetic waves also do the same. They transfer electromagnetic energy which is formed by any electromagnetic field.
If we break down the word electromagnetic, we will find electric and magnetic. So, electromagnetic consists of both electric and magnetic fields. There are also many deep scientific descriptions about this electromagnetic wave. We will not go to that part as that requires some other scientific knowledge to understand.
Basic Parts of Wireless Communication Network
The basic parts of wireless communication systems are the same as any normal communication system. But the terms are a bit different. The sender is called the transmitter, the medium is referred to as the channel but it is considered as an open space where signals are transmitted and lastly the receiver is still a receiver. There are another two terms that need to be addressed. They are transmission path and reception path. These two need some description.
The Transmission Path
The path from the transmitter to the channel is called the transmission path. It generally consists of four key parts. Those are Encoder, Encryption, Modulation and Multiplexing. These four again have their own particular job. Let’s have a look at those.
· Encoder: The signal or wave is passed through this encoder. The main jib pf encoder is to convert the electromagnetic signal to a suitable and fast signal so that signal processing techniques can be applied.
· Encryption: The signal is encrypted for security purposes and any overlapping or redundant data is removed in the process.
· Modulation: This is done so that the signal can be easily transmitted through an antenna.
· Multiplexing: Here various signals come together. The modulated signal that is made by a modular in the modulation process is now mixed with other signals to provide the best bandwidth.
The Reception Path
The path from the channel to the receiver is called the reception path. This one also consists of four key elements. But these four are completely opposite of the previous four mentioned in the transmission path. Those are De-multiplexing, Demodulation, Decryption, Decoding. Their jobs are also the opposite as their names. Let’s have a look at it.
· De-multiplexing: While this receives a signal it is generally mixed with other signals. As multiplexing is mainly mixing various signals. Now de-multiplexing finds the main signal and then separates it from others and passes it for demodulation.
· Demodulation: It inverses what was done in the modulation sector
· Decryption: It eases the security stuffs and then passes it to the decoder
· Decoder: Here the signal gets decoded. The decoder makes sure that the main signal is returned so that it can be received by the receiver.
Thus the signal is processed through one point to another. In other words, the signal reaches to the receiver from the transmitter by following the process stated above.
Types of Wireless Communication
Wireless communication is divided into 3 parts depending on the presence or control of sender or receiver. Those are Simplex, Half-duplex, Full-duplex.
In this type of communication, the way of data transferring is one way. That means the sender can only send data and the receiver can only receive it. Receiver can never send back the data. An example of this kind of wireless communication can be radio or television. Where the sender is radio or television and the receiver is the audience. The audience can never communicate with the radio. Some live question and answering sessions are not countable.
In this case, the sender and receiver both can send data or information. But not at the same time. That is why it is called the ‘Half’ duplex. A common example of half duplex is walkie-talkie. A walkie-talkie sender can send a message but the receiver can’t reply to that at the same moment. He has to wait for the sender to finish the message and only then he can send a message to the sender.
If half-duplex doesn’t give us the opportunity to send a message at the same time, what should full-duplex do? Yes.’ It allows us to send and receive messages or data at the same time. A phone call can be a perfect example of this kind of wireless communication. In a phone call, the sender and receiver both can talk to each other or exchange data at the same time. This is becoming the most popular form of wireless communication.
Why Wireless Communication?
Now let’s focus on what is the exclusivity of using wireless communication. I mean all the things we do by wireless communication can be done by wired communication. Then why should we use wireless communication? What is that exclusive need to use it? The answer is mobility. This is the top most benefit of using wireless communication. Installing wired communication devices is a bit of hassle. Where wireless devices can be located anywhere without any hassle of installation. Here are some advantages of using wireless communication.
Anyone can use a wireless device to communicate with another wireless device. They can move it anytime they want. This is the most important benefit of using wireless communication.
There are no cables to manage or connect. There is no space required. So, installing such wireless devices is quite easy.
As there is no or minimalistic installation process, the cost gets cut hugely here. Maintaining is also easy and almost cost free. So this is another huge advantage
With advantages there also come some disadvantages. Some of them are discussed below:
The security of the data remains in high risk. The signals are transmitted through an open space. That is why it is easy to breach and hack. This is the reason we hear someone’s Wi-Fi got hacked. But never hear someone’s broadband connection got hacked. This is the most dangerous concern of using wireless communication.
The electromagnetic signals are one kind of radiation. If anyone remains in contact with this kind of radiation for a long time like years after years, it may become a major health concern. Diseases like cancer, tumor etc. can be caused by this kind of radiation
The invention of wireless communication can be considered as a revolution in communication. It has made our life so much easier than before. This will be growing day by day. Although there are some disadvantages of it and some of them are really alarming. But they are not yet a solid point to stop the growth of wireless communication. It will continue to make our lives better.