Physical communication media are the physical channels through which information istransmitted between computers in a network. Media may be classiﬁed as
, forexample, wires, cables and optical ﬁbres; or
, for example, ether or airwavesthrough which radio, microwave, infrared and other signals are transmitted.
7.1. Bounded Media
wisted-pair of wires is the main media used in local telephone communication andshort distance (less then 1 km) digital data transmission. Pairs of wires are twisted (seeFigure. 1) together to reduce interference by adjacent wires. Wires are usually made of copper. Tis medium is inexpensive and easy to install and use.
A twisted pair.
Te twisted pair is used for audio telephone communication with speech signalbandwidth of 4 KHz. It, however, has a much higher bandwidth of about 50 KHz. Tetypical speed of digital signal transmission using local telephone lines is 1200 bits persecond (bps) (Also commonly quoted as 1200
). wisted pairs used to connectterminals to a computer may be used up to 9.6 Kbps if the length is less than 100 metres.Noise pick up by twisted wires limit their use. Error rates become high when the linelength goes beyond 100 metres.
oﬀer much higher bandwidths and noise immunity. Tey are widely used in long distance telephone lines and as cables for closed circuit V. Coaxial cablesconsist of central copper wire surrounded by a eﬂon or PVC insulation over which asleeve of copper mesh or extruded aluminium is placed. Te metal sleeve is coveredby an outer shield of thick PVC material (see Figure. 2). Te signal is carried by theinner copper wire. Te signal is electrically shielded by the outer metal sleeve. Coaxialcables have a very high bandwidth. A 3/8 in. television cable has a bandwidth around300 Mega Hz. Te cable can carry digital signals at very high rates of 10 Mega bits persecond.Physically an
consists of a glass core, a plastic or glass cladding and aprotective coating. Te core diameter is between 8 and 200 micrometers. Te refractiveindex of the cladding is less than of the core. If the core has a single refractive index thenthere is an abrupt change in the index between the core and the cladding. Such a ﬁbre
PHYSICAL COMMUNICATION MEDIA