Other Systems

1.5 Other Data Transmission Systems

Data transmissions systems are not restricted to physical cables. Other types of data transmission systems are:

  • Wi-Fi: This is becoming the standard for creating wireless network at work and at home and makes the use of radio frequency. Wi-Fi allows computers and other wireless and wired devices to communicate. Wi-Fi can also be used to facilitate public Internet access, e.g. in libraries and in airports.
  • Bluetooth: This technology allows individual devices to communicate with each other and transmit data over short distances, e.g. a mobile phone could be used to transfer a telephone number to another mobile phone. Although, it is possible, Bluetooth is not generally used to create network computers.
  • Infrared: This technology is similar to that found in remote controls for televisions. Infrared data transmission takes place by maintaining a constant line of site between the communicating devices. This type of transmission is more reliable over short distances. The most common usage of this technology is by handheld devices, e.g. Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), to exchange data with a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Cellular: This type of technology is most commonly associated with mobile phones. Each mobile phone communicates with a nearby transmitter which changes as the phone moves around. Laptop computers can be set up to use cell phones as modems in order to provide dial-up access in remote locations.
  • Microwave Systems: Microwave systems send very high frequency signals through the air to communicate. Microwave dishes must be aligned to each other to do this. Microwave systems are expensive but can support thousands of telephone channels and several television channels on the one circuit.
  • Satellites: This is the most expensive means of data transmission with satellites orbiting Earth and communicating with ground stations using specialised dishes, however, they can support tens of thousands of speech channels and many television channels.

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