C H A P T E R 2

Data Transmission
Data is the form of facts which can be in the form of voice, picture or plain numerical numbers. In
the world of communications, we differentiate data by the fact that whether it is in the analogous
form or in the discrete form. When data is in the form analogous to some happening continuously,
then we call it analog data. However, when it is in the discrete form represented by the presence or
absence of some fact, then it is called digital data. From the point of communicating the data from
one end of the globe to the other end, we try to use the digital data because it becomes much easier
for us to connect different kinds of software and hardware when they employ the digital data
transmission methods. These two types of data i.e. analog and digital as well as their associated
characteristics are being studied in this Section.
2.1.1 Analog Data
Figure 2.1
A sample of
analog data
Let us take an example to understand the analog data. Suppose you are sitting in a concert hall
where many musical instruments are being played by different players. Say one musician is play-
ing Sitar and the other is playing Tabla. The harmony of sound coming out from these two instru-
ments gives you the pleasure of listening. If there is any mismatch between the timing of the tune
of Sitar and the Tabla, you get the unpleasantness and thus consider it a noise rather than music.
This is an analog data communication. Both Sitar and Tabla are sending sound waves in the same
Data Transmission 11
sequence and there is a rhythm and harmony between the two. So long as it is there, you enjoy
listening to it. The moment, there is some disturbance say noise in the mike system, you feel dis-
turbed. This analog signal in its simplest form may be shown in the form as shown in Figure 1.1.
Old music systems played conveys the songs in the analog form. Casettes on ordinary tape
recorders record music using analog system and play music in analog sound waves.
2.1.2 Digital Data
You would have noticed on the hockey playground, the referee blows a whistle and all the players
in the field understand the message instantaneously. The whistle is blown in short bursts of high
pitched sound like PEE, PE, PE, PE or it may have a long burst PEEEEEEE. Both of these whistle
calls convey different meaning to the players. The first one is an indication to the players to start
the game. The second long whistle is to stop the match immediately. The message conveyed by the
burst of these sound energy in short pulses is very clear
Figure 2.2
A sample of
digital pulses
of sound
blown using
a whistle
to all the players. There is no chance of any confusion even if the distance of a player is large from
the referee. This is an example of Digital Data Transmission. Short burst of sound energy are sent
by the sender to the receiver and the receiver is able to understand it clearly. This may be shown
pictorially as in Figure 2.2.
2.1.3 Different Characteristics of Analog and Digital Data
You would have noticed one drawback of analog signal. It is very sensitive to disturbances. But
the digital data communication is not. For example, referee’s whistle bursts can always convey the
correct meaning to all the players on the hockey playground even when there is noise due to the
spectators in the stadium. But little noise on the mike in the concert hall spoils the entire music
There is another example where both digital and analog sound data is conveyed. On the
Republic Day Parade, the band playing the march past music contains both the pipes music and the
drum beats. The drum beats is giving a digital signal so that the soldiers can keep their steps in
tune and march properly. At the same time, the marshal sound of the band conveys the message
that they have to fight the war and keep their spirits high.
As the PCs work on digital principle and the telephone lines carry analog signal most
efficiently, therefore, we convert the digital pulses to analog form using a modem.
Burst of sound
12 Data Communication
2.1.4 Advantages of Digital Data Transmission over Analog
(a) The voice data, music and images (e.g. television, fax and video) can be interspersed to
make more efficient use of the circuits and equipment.
(b) Much higher data rates are possible using existing telephone lines.
(c) Digital transmission is much cheaper than analog transmission, since it is not necessary to
accurately reproduce an analog waveform after it has passed through potentially hundreds
of amplifiers on a transcontinental call. Being able to correctly distinguish a 0 from a 1 is
(d) Maintenance of a digital system is easier than maintenance of analog one. A transmitted bit
is either received correctly or not, making it simpler to track down problems.
(e) A digital signal can pass through an arbitrary number of regenerators (amplifiers in analog
systems) with no loss in signal and thus travel long distances with no information loss. In
contrast, analog signals always suffer some information loss when amplified, and this loss
is accumulative. Hence digital transmission can be made to have low error rate.
2.2.1 Concept of Modulation
To modulate means to mix data signal onto a carrier and modify the characteristics of the carrier
for transmission in a communication network. A carrier is an electromagnetic wave that vibrates at
a fixed frequency.
Thus, if the input signal is m(t) and a carrier at frequency f
to propagate a signal s(t) whose
band width is centered on f
. Then m(t) will modify the characteristics of f
and the resultant signal
s(t) will be passed on the transmission medium. This change is known as modulation. When the
input signal is analogous, then we call it as analog modulation.
Analog data modulate the carrier by any one of the following methods:
(a) Amplitude modulation (AM)
(b) Frequency modulation (FM)
(c) Phase modulation (PM)
2.2.1 Amplitude Modulation
Amplitude modulation is the simplest form of modulation and is shown in Figure 2.3. Mathemat-
ically, the process is expressed as follows:
Where is the carrier and x(t) is the input signal carrying data. The parameter n
, is
known as the modulation index. Modulation index is the ratio of the amplitude of the input signal
to the amplitude of the carrier signal. Thus the input signal .
s(t ) [1 + n
x(t )] cos2πf
t (2.1)
Cos 2πf
m(t ) n
x(t )
Data Transmission 13
In the signal , the component 1 is the DC (direct current) component
that prevents the loss of information.
Figure 2.3 elaborates the concept of amplitude modulation technique. The carrier signal as
seen in part (a) of this figure has a much higher frequency than the information signal shown in
part (b). By imposing the lower frequency information signal on the carrier, the amplitude of the
resulting compound signal is made to vary in the form of information signal. Part (c) of the figure
shows the resulting modulated signal. Radio Programs transmitted via Akashvani on medium
wave and shortwave frequencies in India are examples of amplitude modulation.
(a) Amplitude modulation is easy to implement.
(b) It can be used both for analog and digital signal.
Figure 2.3
Generation of
(a) It is affected by the noise signal that may add up with the information signal. Electrical
noise causes this problem.
s(t ) [1 + n
x(t )] Cos 2πf
Time, t
Time, t
Time, t
(a) Carrier signal
(b) Information signal
(c) Amplitude modulated resulting signal
AM Signal
14 Data Communication
(b) As the strength of the signal decreases in a channel with distance traveled, it reaches a
minimum level unacceptable for adequate communications. Before signal strength goes
down to this extent, it must be amplified. But amplifiers add noise and adversely effect the
characteristics of the information signal.
Example 2.1
Derive an expression for s(t) when the modulating signal is represented by x(t) and is given by
The resulting s(t) i.e. output amplitude modulated signal when carrier (f
) is being modulated by
the input analog signal x(t) is given by:
Using the trigonometric identity, this is further simplified as:
Here the modulated signal contains the frequencies (f
+ f
) and (f
- f
). It means, the band width
for the modulated signal will be from (f
- f
) to (f
+ f
- f
) is called the lower side band and (f
+ f
) is called the upper band.
Suppose the voice frequency is in the range of 300 Hz and 3000 Hz and it modulates a carrier
of 60 kHz. The resulting signal contains the upper side band of 60.3 to 63 kHz and a lower side
band of 57 to 59.7 kHz.
Power Transmission
The relationship for the power transmission is given by the following relationship:
Where P
is the total transmitted power in s(t) and P
is the transmitted power in the carrier. Also n
is the modulation index and from equation [2.3], it is natural that n
should be large enough for
getting optimum value of P
, which carries the information. However, n
should be less than 1.
In Single Side Band (SSB), only one of the band frequencies is used for transmitting the signal.
The other band as well as the carrier is filtered out. Therefore, less power is required because no
power is used to transmit the carrier or the other side band.
2.2.3 Frequency Modulation
In frequency modulation, the modulated signal s(t) is represented as the following:
Cos 2πf
s(t ) [1 + n
t] Cos 2πf
t (2.2)
s(t ) cos2πf
t +
Cos 2π(f
− f
)t +
Cos 2π(f
+ f
1 +
s(t ) A
t + φ′(t )]
where φ′(t ) n
m(t ) and n
is the frequency modulation index
Data Transmission 15
Figure 2.4 illustrates the principle of Frequency Modulation. An FM signal has a constant
amplitude but varies in frequency over time to convey information. Part (a) and (b) of this figure
show that the carrier has a frequency much higher than the information signal it has to transport.
After imposing the lower frequency information signal of the carrier, the frequency of the result-
ing compound signal varies to match the form of the information signal. Part (c) of this figure
shows the resulting modulated signal.
Figure 2.4
Generation of
Frequency modulated wave is least effected by the noise due to electrical disturbance.
(a) Frequency signal has a wide spectrum of frequencies and therefore needs much higher
band width than amplitude modulation.
(b) The number of FM signals one can transmit over a channel with a fixed total band width is
smaller than the number of AM signals one can transmit through the same medium.
2.2.4 Phase Modulation
In phase modulation, the modulated signal is expressed in the following form:
Time, t
Time, t
Time, t
(a) Carrier signal
(b) Information signal
(c) Frequency modulated resulting signal
s(t ) A
t + φ(t )] (2.4)
where φ(t ) n
m(t ). Heren
is the phase modulation index and A
is the carrier
16 Data Communication
Phase modulation uses at least two analog signals. The first signal is a carrier, and the other
signals modify the carrier signal to convey information. In Phase modulation, the shape of the
carrier’s signal curve is made to change at given points in time. Figure 2.5 shows the process of
phase modulation. Both signals are sine waves that have the same fixed frequency and amplitude.
They are however offset from each other. The two cross the amplitude reference line at different
times are therefore, have different phase.
Figure 2.5
Carrier and
signals 180
degrees dif-
ferent in
The difference in phase between the two sine wave is a phase angle. As seen in the above fig-
ure, the two signals are offset by one-half cycle or 180 degrees out of phase. The resulting com-
pound phase modulated signal is shown in Figure 2.6.
Figure 2.6
Phase modu-
lated signal
Phase modulation provides the signal modulation that allows computers to communicate at higher
data rates through telephone system.
eTime, t
Carrier signal
Time, t
Information signal
eTime, t
Data Transmission 17
Phase modulation requires two signals with a phase difference between them. A reference pattern
and a signal pattern are both required.
This technique is used to convey colour information in colour television broadcasts.
Example 2.2
Derive an expression for s(t) if ϕ(t) is the phase modulating signal Assume A
as 1.
The modulated signal is given as follows:
here A
= 1 and
Substituting these values we get the expression s(t) as:
Digitization is the process of converting any continuously varying source of input, such as the
lines in a drawing or a sound signal, into a series of discrete units represented (in a computer) by
the binary digits 0 and 1. A drawing or photograph, for example, can be digitized by a scanner that
converts lines and shading to combinations of 0’s and 1’s by sensing different intensities of light
and dark. Figure 2.7 shows an analog to digital converter IC chip.
Figure 2.7
Analog to
2.3.1 Digitization Process
The process of digitizing an analog signal starts by dividing the original signal into uniformly
spaced samples as shown in Figure 2.8. The amplitudes of the sample pulses rise and fall with the
amplitude of the original signal. The original signal is separated into individual pulses or samples
each sample having a different amplitude based on the amplitude of the original signal. At the
Cos 2πf
t .
s(t ) A
t + φ(t )]
φ(t ) n
Cos 2πf
s(t ) Cos[2πf
t + n
Cos 2πf
A-D Converter
Analog In
Digital Box
18 Data Communication
receiving end, these samples are used to reconstruct the original signal. The more frequently the
samples are taken, the more accurate is the reconstructed waveform. Note the truth of this state-
ment in Figure 2.8(c).
To determine the minimum number of samples to use to replicate the original waveform is
given by Nyquist theorem . According to this theorem, for a given signal, fs, the minimum sam-
pling rate (Nyquist Sampling Rate Sr) to assure accurate recovery of the signal at the receiving end
is twice the frequency of the highest sine wave element sin(2Πfs) of the original signal, or
Sr = 2[sin(2Πfs)]
Figure 2.8
Original signals are sampled at ranges at or above the minimum sampling rate to assure that
the original signal is accurately replicated. If the sampling rate were less than twice the highest
fundamental sine wave frequency, then a distortion known as aliasing or fold-over occurs.
(a) Sampled Signal
(b) Reconstructed Waveform (So)
(c) Reconstructed Waveform Using Twice as Many Samples
Data Transmission 19
Let us consider sampling the voice signals on the telephone lines, which contain signals from
300 to 3 kHz. Essentially, the sampling process causes mixing, which is similar to that used for
regular amplitude modulation (AM) to result. This process creates the sum and difference fre-
quencies as well as the original signals that were mixed. For a sampling circuit, these are Sr,
sin(2Πfs), Sr-sin(2Πfs), and Sr+sin(2Πfs).
Filters are used to remove all but the difference and original fs signals. If the sampling rate is
higher than 2[sin(2Πfs)], there is a gap between one group and the other. If the sampling rate is
less than this value, then fold-over error occurs. (Refer to Example 2.3.)
Example 2.3
Show the differences between sampling a voice channel (300 Hz to 3 kHz) i.e. fs using sampling
rates at and below 2[sin(2Πfs)].
The minimum sampling rate is twice the highest frequency component of fs, or 2 × 3 kHz = 6 kHz.
Mixing the voice band with 6 kHz and removing the higher-frequency elements produces the
original voice channel (300 Hz to 3kHz) and the difference band 6 kHz - (300 Hz to 3 kHz) = (3 to
5.7 kHz).
Figure 2.9 (c)
These two bands are shown in Figure 2.9. Using 4.5 kHz for Sr as an arbitrary value that is less
than 2[sin(2Πfs)] results in the original voice band and a difference frequency band of 4.5 kHz -
(300 Hz to 3 kHz) = 1.5 kHz to 4.2 kHz). (See part b of the figure) Note that there is a fold-over of
the original band and the difference frequency band from (1.5 to 3 kHz)
Baseband Difference
f(Sr) - f(s)
0 300 3 5.7
freq. (kHz)
(a) Sampling Rate (Sr) = 2 x Signal Rate (s)
(b) Sampling Rate < 2 x Signal Rate
300 3
freq. (kHz)
20 Data Communication
2.3.2 Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)
Pulse Code Modulation abbreviated as PCM is a digitizing process in which an analog or continu-
ous signal is represented in digital or discrete form.
Quantization is the process of approximating sample levels into their closest fixed value. The val-
ues are preselected and since they are fixed, they are easy to encode. The new waveform called the
quantized waveform has either quantum changes in amplitude or no change in amplitude.
Given a signal, fs, with peak voltage point of Vh and Vl, the size (S) of a quantum step is
determined by the following relationship:
S = (Vh - Vl)/n
Here, n is the number of steps between Vh and Vl. Figure 2.10 shows the relationship between fs
and a quantized example. The quantized levels are those fixed levels that are the nearest to fs at the
point the sample is taken.
Figure 2.10
Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM)
The process of sampling and quantizing a signal is a form of pulse amplitude modulation (PAM)
where the samples produce pulses of varying amplitudes.
However, when these amplitudes are restricted to discrete quantized values and assigned spe-
cific binary codes which are to be transmitted, then a technique called pulse coded modulation is
being used.
Step Size
Time of a Step
Quantum Jump
Data Transmission 21
2.3.3 Converting Voice to Ones and Zeros
The varying sounds of human speech must first be transformed into discrete pulses to be sent by
digital means. The device for making this transformation is called a codec (Coder Decoder), a
name derived from its function of coding an analog signal into digital form at the sending end and
then decoding it back to analog form at the receiving end. These are mainly used at exchanges for
routing calls over main trunk lines. A codec accomplishes its tasks in three stages.
Stage 1
In the first stage, codec does the sampling of the amplitude of the analog signal at very short
intervals. See Figure 2.11(a). The voltage of the signal is measured at discrete intervals.
Stage 2
This is the stage of quantizing or assigning decimal values to the amplitude samples. The result is
known as pulse amplitude modulation (PAM). The value of each voltage sample is quantized, or
assigned a specific measurement (bars of varying height in Figure 2.11(a), which is then converted
to a digital number expressed in the 1s and 0s of binary code. The digital numbers can then be
Figure 2.11(a)
Digitizing the
Stage 3
In this stage, known as pulse code modulation (PCM) , the voltage values are converted, or coded,
into binary numbers for digital transmission. Encapsulated in eight-bit bytes, amplitude samples
zip through a communications link as a stream of digital bursts. Figure 2.11(b) shows the digital
encoding of speech signal.
Sampling Quantizing
22 Data Communication
Figure 2.11(b)
Digitizing the
voice channel
using 8 bit
After the receiving end, the original analog-to-digital conversion is reversed. Voltage values
are read and the sampled voltages recreated, producing a signal that exactly duplicates the quan-
tized one as shown in Figure 2.11(b). A simpler filter converts the samples into a continuous wave
and finally, the telephone receiver converts the recreated signal into sound waves. Because the
recreated signal depends only on numbers, not on gradations in transmitted voltages, it produces
sound virtually identical to the original, even over extremely long distances.
PCM Transmitter (Block Diagram)
A typical PCM transmitting system consists of a low-pass filter and amplifying circuit followed by
a quantizing and encoding unit. These last two functional blocks are combined into a single analog
to digital converter (ADC). [See Figure 2.11 (c)]
t t
2 3
4 5
t t
V = 01001110 = 01011011
= 01001010
= 10011110
t ∆ =1/8000 sec
Digital Representation of t
8-Bit Binary Encoding of the
Speech sample using
Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)
Digital Speech Waveform
Analog Speech Waveform
Data Transmission 23
Figure 2.11(c)
PCM Trans-
mitter Block
PCM Decoder
Figure 2.11(d)
PCM Decoder

A PCM decoder reverses the process of converting the digital to analog equivalent signal. The
digital data are fed serially into the decoder. Each one of the data bits is reshaped to remove dis-
tortions caused by the transfer along the interconnecting medium used. After shaping, the data bits
are fed into a digital to analog converter to produce the quantized samples they represent. These
samples are held and filtered to recreate the original signal, fs. The differences between the origi-
nal signal and the recreated one result from quantization error and any possible bit errors that
might occur in the transmission. [See Figure 2.11(d)]
2.3.4 Sampling Rate
In order to make sure that speech remains intelligible, a great many samples must be taken. The
sampling rate as per Nyquist Theorem, must be twice that of the highest significant frequency to
be transmitted. Thus for a voice signal, with an upper frequency limit of 4,000 hertz over the
phone system, the codec must take 8,000 samples per second.
The speech lost between samples, known as the Nyquist interval, is unnoticeable
when the signal is decoded at the receiving end.
The sampling rate and the number of quantizing levels determine the bit rate of the digital
communications channel. To convey 128 discrete volume levels requires seven binary data bits.
The Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) component must generate all seven data bits each time the
Sampler Quantizer Encoder
sin(2 fs)
(Input Signal)
Binary Codes
Binary Decoder
and Hold
Restorer DAC
and Filter
24 Data Communication
Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) component performs a sample of the analog signal. To oper-
ate the system, you need to sample at a rate of 8,000 samples per second and generate seven data
bits each time. This produces 7 × 8,000 = 56,000 bps.
Figure 2.11(e)
the analog
Besides, the 56 Kbps of digitized voice, these systems provide an additional 8 Kbps for the
system control. The total bit rate is 64 Kbps. For economies of scale for long-distance communi-
cations require vendors to combine several 64-Kbps channels into one channel of larger capacity.
Quantization Error
By sampling a signal of limited bandwidth at twice its highest frequency, which for speech is
taken as 4000 Hz (8000 times per second), it is possible to reproduce the speech signal perfectly.
However, the process of assigning a discrete binary number to each sample introduces an error
known as the quantization error. This unavoidable error is the difference between the actual value
of the analog sample and the nearest value encoded by one of the binary numbers. The average
quantization error is a measure of the trade-off between using a scale with more bits per sample
(which yields smaller steps) versus using a coarser scale that requires fewer bits. The standard
scale used in USA is an 8-bit nonlinear scale known as µ-law 255. The required bit rate or digital
bandwidth for a PCM encoded speech signal using µ-law 255 is then
8 bits × 8000 samples/second = 64,000 bits/second.
PCM encoding according to µ-255 is standard throughout the USA. European countries use a dif-
ferent encoding algorithm known as A-law.
2.3.5 Natural Sampling
As seen in Figure 2.12, samples are created by generating a short pulse at the specific time. The
amplitude of the pulse is determined equal to the amplitude of the signal at the time of the sample.
The width of the pulse is designated tp and the time period pulses (1/Sr) is Tr. The shapes of the
pulses themselves come in two forms. One is called Natural Sampling, in which the peak of the
Coded Values Reconverted Signal
10 10110010 10101001 10101010
Data Transmission 25
pulse follows the signal’s actual shape. The second pulse form is Flattop shape in which the peak
amplitude is held flat by the sample and the hold circuit. (See Figure 2.12 part (d). For the flattop
sampling, the reconstructed signal (So) for a given signal f(s) is represented by the relationship:
where tp is the time period for the sampling pulse and Tr is the reciprocal of sampling rate (Sr).
Since tp/Tr is the duty cycle of the sampling signal, the relationship of So to sin(2πfs) is a direct
factor of that duty cycle.
Example 2.4
A 3.6 cosf signal is naturally sampled at the rate of 56 kHz using 1.25 microsecond sampling
pulses. What is the value of the reconstructed output signal?
Substituting the values in the equation 2.5 we have
tp = 1.25 × 10
, Tr = 1/(56 × 10
So = (1.25 × 10
× 3.6 cosf)/[(1/56 × 10
Calculating we get So = 0.252 cosf
2.3.7 Sample and Hold
In order to reproduce the waveform accurately, we use the method of Sample and Hold. A sample
pulse’s amplitude is detected and that value retained until the occurrence of the next sample pulse.
(See Figure 2.13). For this method to be effective, the hold time between samples (TH) is rela-
tively small compared with the time period of the original signal.
The most common method used for sample and hold circuits is to employ a capacitance at the
output of the buffer amplifier. The capacitor is charged to the sample pulse value. When the
amplitude falls to zero between pulses, the capacitor remains charged to the pulse value. The next
sample pulse causes the capacitor to charge or discharge to that value. Again the value is held until
the next pulse arrives. Figure 2.14 shows the circuit diagram for sample and hold waveform cre-
ation for accurate reproduction of the waveform.
2.3.8 Coding a Quantized Signal
The range of voltages for signal fs as illustrated in Figure 2.15 is divided into discrete quantized
steps (S). The signal is sampled at each step, with the resulting amplitude of the samples coded
into binary values. The binary equivalents are actually associated with analog values midway
between step amplitudes to minimize errors. These binary codes are shown at the bottom of the
figure. The original waveform is transmitted as a serial stream of binary bits representing the
quantized levels of each of the samples. At the receiving station the binary bits are decoded into
the quantized samples and the original signal is reproduced from the resulting samples.
Sin(2πfs) (2.5)
26 Data Communication
Figure 2.12
(a) Input Signal Sin(2 fs)
(b) Sampling Pulses at Rate Sr. (Pulse Exaggerated for Clarity)
(c) Natural Sampling
(d) Flattop Sampling
Tr = 1/Sr
edge edge
Trailing Midway
Recovered Signal So = (tp/Tr) x sin(2 fs) π
Data Transmission 27
Figure 2.13
Sampling and
Hold wave-
Figure 2.14
Sampling and
Hold Circuit
2.3.9 Differential Pulse Code Modulation (DPCM)
This method of digitization consists of out putting the difference between the current value and the
previous one and not the complete amplitude of the signal at the time of sampling. In this method
lessor number of bits would be needed because we are only going to see the difference of the level
and not the absolute value of the sample amplitude.
sin(2 fs) π
V in
V out
Sample Time
28 Data Communication
Figure 2.15
of a Signal
Figure 2.16
Delta modu-
lation method
of a Signal
2.3.10 Delta Modulation (DM)
Figure 2.16 shows the technique employed in Delta Modulation. In this method, each sampled
value differs from the predecessor value by either +1 or -1. A single bit is transmitted telling
3 Code
010 011 100 101 110 110 110 100 100 100 100 011 011 100 100 Binary Code
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Consecutive samples
always differ by Signal changed too
rapidly for encoding
to keep up
Bit stream
Data Transmission 29
whether the new sample is above or below the previous one. This technique assumes that small
level changes between consecutive samples occurs. This method will not work if the signal
changes too fast. If it is so, the information is likely to be lost.
Modulation is the process of converting a digital signal from a computer into an analog signal the
telephone system will accept. When you pick up the phone while your computer modem is com-
municating, or while you are sending a fax from you fax machine, you hear the sound of digital
information that has been converted to analog signals. At the other end of the connections, whether
it be across town or across the world, another modem interprets those analog signals the telephone
system has conveyed and converts them back into digital form so the receiving computer can
understand them.
Due to the fact that both attenuation and propagation of speed are frequency
dependent, it is undesirable to have a wide range of frequencies in the signal. But square
waves in digital data have a wide spectrum and are subject of strong attenuation and delay
distortion. Each square wave consists of series of Fourier components. Each component is
attenuated by a different amount which results in a different Fourier spectrum at the
receiver and hence a different signal. These adverse effects make baseband (DC) signal-
ing unsuitable except at slow speeds and over short distance.
2.4.1 Amplitude Shift Keying
In ASK, the two binary values are represented by two different amplitudes of the carrier fre-
quency. Commonly, one of the amplitudes is zero. Thus, one binary digit is represented by the
presence, at constant amplitude of the carrier and the other by the absence of the carrier. The
resulting signal is:
A cos(2πf
t) binary 1
s(t) =
0 binary 0
In Figure 2.17 (b), there is a carrier frequency generated for the digital pulse with a value 1 and
no carrier is generated when the digital pulse amplitude is zero.
2.4.2 Frequency Shift Keying
In frequency shift keying, the two binary values are represented by two different frequencies near
the carrier frequency. The resulting signal is represented by the following:
A cos(2πf
t) binary 1
s(t) =
A cos(2πf
t) binary 0
FSK is less susceptible to error than ASK. On voice grade lines, it is typically used up to 1200
30 Data Communication
Figure 2.17 (c) shows the conversion of the digital pulses into two different frequencies. For
magnitude 1, the frequency is high and for value 0, the frequency is low.
Figure 2.17
used for digi-
tal signal
(a) Binary
(b) ASK
(c) FSK
(d) PSK
Figure 2.18 shows the FSK system. The two pairs of frequencies are characteristic of modems
that transmit at 300 bps, using frequency-shift keying in full duplex mode (sending and receiving
at the same time.) Operating within the 4,000 hertz allocated for the telephone voice channel, the
modem that originates the session transmits data by generating a carrier wave at either 1070 hertz
(for 0s) or 1270 hertz (for 1s). Its counterpart transmits 0s at 2025 hertz and 1s at 2225 hertz. With
FSK, only one bit is encoded per frequency shift.
Bell-103 modems require matching modes for proper communications. Because of
the difference in transmit and receive frequencies, one modem must operate in the answer
mode. The other modem must be in the originate mode. If the modes do not match, both
modems will try to transmit and receive using the same frequencies and no data can move
between them.
Phase changes
1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Data Transmission 31
Figure 2.18
FSK system
with full
duplex mode
The above method is used in Bell-103 modem system. The modem that initiates a communi-
cations link is in the originate mode, and the remote modem that responds to the initiation and
completes the communications link is in the answer mode. The receive frequencies for the answer
mode are the same as the transmit frequencies for the originate mode. Similarly, the receive fre-
quencies for the originate mode are the same as the transmit frequencies for the answer mode. (See
Figure 2.19)
Figure 2.19
modem using
FSK system
with different
for transmit-
ting and
1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0
0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1
2,225 Hz
2,025 Hz
1,270 Hz
1,070 Hz
0 Hz
4,000 Hz
3,400 Hz
250 Hz
Voice Channel
Bandwidth Bandwidth
1070 1270
Mark Space
2025 2225
(a) Bell-103 modem originate-mode signal frequencies
Telephone System Bandwidth
Telephone System Bandwidth
(b) Bell-103 modem answer-mode signal frequencies
32 Data Communication
2.4.3 Phase Shift Keying (PSK)
In phase shift keying, the phase of the carrier signal is shifted to represent data. In Figure 2.17 (d),
the phase of the wave is shifting depending on the digital signal is changing from zero to one, or
from one to zero.
In the phase shifting keying, a binary 0 is represented by sending a signal burst of the same
phase as the previous signal burst. A binary 1 is represented by sending a signal burst of opposite
phase to the preceding one. In this method, the phase shift is with reference to the previous bit
transmitted rather than to some constant reference signal. The resulting signal is mathematically as
shown below:
A cos(2πf
t + π) binary 1
s(t) =
A cos(2πf
t) binary 0
Figure 2.20
Phase shift
Phase shift keying or PSK uses a transition or shift from one phase to another to encode data.
As in other state-transition encoding schemes, the presence or absence of a transition can be used
to encode data. Figure 2.20 shows an example of PSK in which a 1 is represented by the presence
of transition (in this case, a 180˚ phase shift), and 0 is represented by the absence of a transition (as
in no phase shift). This is the case of Binary Phase Shift Keying. (See Figure 2.20 (a))
The straightforward phase-shift keying, however, is useful only when each phase can be
measured against an unchanging reference value, so a more sophisticated technique called differ-
ential phase shift keying or DPSK is used. In DPSK, the phase of the carrier wave is shifted to
represent more than two possible states, and each state is interpreted as a relative change from the
state preceding it. No reference values or timing considerations are required, and because more
than two states are possible, more than one binary digit can represent each state.
Generation of Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK)
The BPSK is created using the balanced modulator. The circuit allows the phase of a carrier sine
wave (fc) to be altered by a modulating digital signal. Figure 2.20(b) is an example of a trans-
former balanced modulator, which gives the concept behind the BPSK modulator.
The reference frequency (fc) is applied to T1 and is coupled through the secondary winding
to the diodes D1 and D2 on the high side and D3 and D4 on the return side. The digital data stream
is applied to the center taps of T1’s secondary and T2’s primary. The current level supplied by the
digital circuits is enough to cause the diodes to switch on when the correct polarity is applied. As a
0 1 1 1
Data 1 0 1
Data Transmission 33
Figure 2.20(b)
BPSK Modu-
lator and
point of reference, a logic 1 is selected to be positive at input A and negative at input B. This for-
ward biases diodes 1 and 3 and switches off diodes 2 and 4. The signal coupled from T1’s sec-
ondary is not large enough by itself to switch the diodes on, but once the diodes are on (from the
digital input), this signal easily passes through to the primary of T2. The logic 1 in this case,
causes fc to be passed to T2 and coupled so that the phase of the output signal is the same as the
input signal.
Reversing the polarity at inputs A and B to represent a 0 switches on D2 and D4 while back
biasing D1 and D3. This time fc is directed to the opposite end of T2. The output signal coupled to
T2’s secondary is 180˚ out of phase with fc at the input. A vector diagram can be drawn to illus-
trate the phases representing a logic 1 and a logic 0. Zero degrees of phase lies on the positive side
of the x-axis and is used as a reference for any phase generated by the modulator. Logic 1 in this
case generated a signal that has the same phase as the input. This is represented as a vector at 0˚ in
the phasor diagram in Figure 2.20 (b). This means that the difference between the reference (fc at
the input) and the output is 0˚. Similarly, the phase of the signal for a logic 1 (180˚ out of phase
with reference, fc) is shown lying on the negative x-axis. The band width of the circuit driven by
the modulator is large enough to pass the carrier frequency whose phase is shifted at the modulat-
ing rate.
Binary in
Binary return
Logic 0 Logic 1
180 0
- sin ct sin ct ω ω
34 Data Communication
Suppose there is a data rate of 2400 bits per second, using a non-return to zero signal format,
has a fundamental sine wave of 1,200 Hz. If the carrier frequency to be passed by the modulator is
1,650 Hz, then the band width of the system driven by the modulator must he sufficient to pass
both the 1,200 Hz switching rate and the 1,650 Hz carrier signal. Thus the minimum band width is
1,650 - 1,200 or 450 Hz. The normal voice band width of the telephone lines is 300 to 3000 Hz
which is quite adequate to handle the modulators signals.
BPSK Phase Detector
The phase detector is similar to the modulator. The capacitors and resistors replace the second
transformer found in the modulator and form a peak detector circuit.
The clock is fed into the one balanced modulator and 90˚ phase shifter. The shifted signal is
presented as the fc input to a second balanced modulator. [See Figure 2.20 (c)]. The amplitudes of
these signals are large enough to switch on the diodes on. The incoming data stream is applied as
the other input to the balanced modulator. The output of the modulator is altered to perform the
function of an FM detector or phase detector.
The capacitors and resistors that replace the secondary transformer found in the modulator
of Figure 2.20 (b). The capacitors charge to the peak value of the applied sine wave signals and in
combination with the resistors, filter out the AC sine wave components. Signal fc is applied to
input A and B with sufficient amplitude to bias alternating pairs of diodes on for the positive and
negative alternations of fc. The positive alternation of fc switches on D1 and D4 while the nega-
tive half switches on D2 and D3. The effect is to pass the incoming signals (fin) to the RC circuit.
The amount the capacitors will charge to depends on the phase relationship between fin and fc.
Figure 2.20
BPSK Phase
2.4.4 Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK)
More efficient use of bandwidth can be achieved if each signaling element represents more
than one bit. For example, instead of a phase shift of 180 degree as allowed in PSK, a common
encoding technique, known as quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) uses phase shifts of multi-
ples of 90˚ as shown below:
Data Transmission 35
Figure 2.21
QPSK tech-
nique used
for high
A cos(2πf
t + 45˚) 11
A cos(2πf
t + 135˚) 10
s(t) =
A cos(2πf
t + 225˚) 00
A cos(2πf
t + 315˚) 01
Thus, each signal element represents two bits rather than one. This scheme can be extended. It
is possible to transmit bits four at a time using sixteen different phase angles. Further, each angle
can have more than one amplitude. This is shown in Figure 2.21.
2.4.5 Differential Phase-shift Keying
A modem employing differential phase-shift keying can encode eight or more bits of data at two
bits (one dibit) per shift on one frequency, compared with the single bit per frequency change of
the FSK method. This is accomplished by manipulating the phase of the carrier wave. As shown in
Figure 2.22(a), a wave’s cycle may be measured form peak to peak, from zero point to zero point
or from through to trough. A cycle may be divided into phases, or points, typically expressed in
terms of degrees. For example, 0˚ degree represents the starting point of the cycle, 90˚ degree rep-
resents the one-quarter point, 180˚ represents the halfway point, etc.
0011 0101
1111 1001
36 Data Communication
Figure 2.22(a)
Phase shifting
Figure 2.22(b)
Phase shift
Table 2.1 V.26 Dibit Encoding
One Cycle
90 180 270 360 0 180 90 360 270 0
One Cycle
Data Transmission 37
Dibit Encoding Phase Shift in degrees Phase Shift in degrees
(CCITT) (AT & T)
00 0 45
01 90 135
11 180 225
10 270 315
In the DPSK method shown in Figure 2.22 (b), a carrier may in effect be split into four waves,
each with the frequency of the original but starting at a different phase of the original cycle. Four
phases can represent all possible combinations of two bits, the modem merely chooses the appro-
priate phase shift for the dibit to be encoded as shown in Table 2.1. The shift is always calculated
in relation to the starting point of the previous cycle. For example, if the previous cycle began at a
peak, a 180˚ shift to encode the dibit 11 would jump two phases to start at a trough.
Binary (Dibit) Coding by Phase Shift
To encode a series of dibits, some modems first generate two complete cycles, measured from the
zero line. At the end of the second cycle, a 90˚ shift is made to encode the first dibit (01). Encoding
another 01 produces a wave cycle that represents a one-phase shift from the 01. The next shift, to
encode the dibit 11, jumps 180˚, or two phases, from the previous cycle to the end. Note that after
each shift, two full cycles are completed to confirm the new starting point. (See Figure 2.23) This
figure shows the phase change description for dibit encoding.
Figure 2.23
Binary (Dibit)
Coding by
Phase Shift
To encode
01 01 11 10 00
requires a shift of
Dibit Table
00 0
90 01
180 11
270 10
38 Data Communication
Communication signal consists of varying a voltage with time to represent an information stream.
If transmission media were free from limitations or were perfect, then the receiver would receive
exactly the same signal as the sent one. However, the media far from perfection, the digital signal
received at the receiving end may lead to error. The main impairments or limitations can be due to
following reasons:
(a) Noise in the surrounding of the media
(b) Attenuation caused by the media to the transmitted signal
(c) Phase distortion
2.5.1 Noise
Noise is the unwanted energy from sources other than the transmitter. Noise may be of the fol-
lowing four types:
(a) Thermal noise
(b) Intermodulation noise
(c) Crosstalk
(d) Impulse noise
Thermal Noise
Thermal noise is due to thermal agitation of electrons in a conductor due to heat. It is present in all
electronic devices and the transmission media. It is a function of temperature.
The noise is considered to be independent of frequency. Thus, the thermal noise, in watts,
present in a bandwidth of W hertz can be expressed as follows:
N = kTW
N = Noise power density
k = Boltzmann’s constant = 1.3803 × 10
Joules per ˚K
T = Temperature in degree Kelvin
Expressed in decibel-watt, we can write
N = 10 log k + 10 log T + 10 log W
Substituting the values of k, we get
N = -228.6 dBW + 10 log T + 10 log W
The thermal noise is unavoidable. The only remedy is to keep the temperature low. For this reason,
we need to use the air conditioned environment.
Intermodulation noise
Intermodulation noise is caused when there is some nonlinearity in the transmitter, receiver, or
intervening transmission system. In a nonlinear system the output is a more complex function of
the input. Such a nonlinearity causes the component malfunction or the use of excessive signal
Data Transmission 39
Crosstalk is caused by inductive coupling between two wires that are close to each other. When we
speak on a telephone, you can hear another conversation in the background. This is the crosstalk.
Crosstalk can occur by electrical coupling between nearby twisted pair or coaxial cable lines
carrying multiple signals. Crosstalk can also occur when unwanted signals are picked up by
microwaves antennas.
Impulse Noise
Impulse noise is caused by the spikes on the power line or lightning discharge occur due to thermal
storm. This may cause short clicks and crackles with no loss of intelligibility in the case of analog
signal. However, impulse noise is primary source of error in digital data communication. For
example, a sharp spike of energy of .015 second duration may not destroy any voice data but
would wash out about 70 bits of data being transmitted at 4800 bps.
2.5.2 Attenuation
Attenuation is the loss of energy as the signal propagates outward. If the attenuation is too much,
the received signal may not be detected and the signal may fall below the noise level. In some
cases, the attenuation properties of a medium are known so amplifiers can be put in to try to com-
pensate for the frequency-dependent attenuation. However, this approach can not restore the signal
exactly back to its original shape.
The attenuation distortion is much less of a problem with digital signals.
Example 2.5
A fiber optic system requires 5 micro watts of power for proper functioning at the receiver. The
cable is 10 km long and has an attenuation loss of 2 dB/km. There is a loss of 2 dB at both the
source and the receiver. Calculate the required level of optical power at the optical source.
We know that the loss in the = dB loss per km × number of km length of
cable the cable
= 2 × 10 = 20 dB.
Loss at the Source = 2 dB (given)
Loss at the Receiver = 2 dB (given)
Therefore total loss = 20 + 2 + 2 = 24 dB
If X is the transmitted power then, the received power = 24 dB down
We know that at every 3 dB loss, the power becomes half the value.
Therefore, if X watts is the transmitted power, then the received power = 3 + 3 + 3
+ 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 24 dB. (down)
40 Data Communication
It is given to us that for proper working of the receiver, the received power at the
receiver should be = 5 × 10
As indicated above, if X is the transmitted power, then the total received power
after losses = [X/(2
)] watts = 5 × 10
Therefore X = 5 × 10
× 2
= 10 × 2
× 10
= 640 micro watts.
Example 2.6
Why the digital communication systems are more resistant to channel noise than analog systems.
Digital communication systems are more resistant to channel noise because of the following rea-
The detector in the digital system needs to find the presence and the absence of a pulse and
therefore even if there is noise, the detection is not very difficult. Moreover, noise is not a static
quantity. Sometimes, noise signal is large some times small but the pulses are of constant magni-
tude. Hence, their detection becomes easier. It is similar to the case of the sound of the whistle
blown by a referee in a play ground can be easily discriminated even when there is noise in the
2.5.3 Phase distortion
Every digital pulse is made up of the fundamental frequency and the higher harmonics. This is
known as the different Fourier components of the digital wave which combined together give the
shape of the square wave. In the case of phase distortion, the impairment of the signal in a guided
transmission media is dependent on the frequency which travels through the media. This is due to
th fact that the velocity of propagation of a signal through the guided media varies with frequency.
Thus the various Fourier components of a square wave signal will arrive at the receiver at different
For digital data, fast components from one bit may catch up and overtake slow components
from the bit ahead, mixing the two bits and increasing the probability of incorrect reception.
Delay distortion is particularly critical for digital data. Because of delay
distortion, some of the signal components of one bit position will spill over into other bit
positions, causing intersymbol interference, which is a major limitation to maximum bit
rate over a transmission control.


Data Transmission 41
Equalization Techniques
In order to overcome the problem of delay distortion, equalization techniques are employed where
the different frequencies are made to over come the effect of change in the speed by equalizing this
A transmitter equalizer is set to compensate for the nominal or average characteristics of the
transmission medium. The equalizer compensates for amplitude distortion in the medium and for
the problem called group dely. Group delay measures the amount by which a signal of one fre-
quency travels faster in the transmission medium than a signal of a different frequency.
Delay distortion has the greatest effect on the transmission of an analog signal. Analog signals
of different frequencies travel at different rates through a transmission medium. Because each sig-
naling element contains many frequencies, the signaling elements arrive at the receiver over a
period of time rather than all at once. The frequencies that travel faster (leading frequencies) arrive
earlier, and those traveling slower (lagging frequencies) arrive later. The leading and lagging fre-
quencies not only fail to make their proper contribution to the proper signaling element, but also
cause interference with signaling elements behind and ahead of the proper element. The equalizer
must get the parts of each element back together and cancel their effects on other elements.
The adaptive equalizer compensates for delay distortion by temporarily storing
the analog signal in a tapped delay line. The signals from each tap, amplified by a differ-
ent amount as determined by the amount of error detected, are summed to form the cor-
rected signal.
Media is the general term used to describe the data path that forms the physical channel between
sender and the receiver. Media can be twisted-pair wire such as that used for telephone installa-
tions, coaxial cable of various sizes and electrical characteristics, fiber optics and wireless sup-
porting either light waves or radio waves.
Wire or fiber-optic media are referred to as bounded media. Wireless media
are sometimes referred to as unbounded media.
Media differ in the capability to support high data rates and long distances. The reasons for this
are noise absorption, radiation, attenuation and band width. Noise absorption is the susceptibility
of the media to external electrical noise that can cause distortion of the data signal and thus data
errors. Radiation is the leakage of signal from the media caused by undesirable electrical charac-
teristics of the media. Radiation and the physical characteristics of the media contribute to attenu-
ation, or the reduction in signal strength as the signal travels down the wire or through free space.
Attenuation limits the usable distance that data can travel on the media.
Band width is similar to the concept of frequency response in a stereo amplifier the greater
the frequency response, the higher the band width. According to a fundamental principle of infor-
mation theory, higher band width communications channels support higher data rates.
42 Data Communication
There are several types of physical channels (communication media) through which data can
be transmitted from one point to another. These are of the following types:
(a) Twisted pair
(b) Coaxial Cable
(c) Optical fiber
(d) Radio channels
(e) Satellite channel
2.6.1 Twisted-pair Wire
A twisted pair consists of two insulated copper wires, typically about 1 mm thick. The wires are
twisted together in a helical. The purpose of twisting the wires is to reduce electrical interference
from similar pairs close by.
Twisted pair wires (Figure 2.24 (a)) are commonly used in local telephone communication,
and for digital data transmission over short distances up to 1 km. When many twisted pairs run in
parallel for a substantial distance, such as all the wires coming from a multistory apartment build-
ing to the telephone exchange, they are bundled together and encased in a protective sheath. The
pairs in these bundles would interfere with one another if it were not for the twisting.
Wire pairs are normally used to connect terminals to the main computer up to short distances
from the main computer. Data transmission speeds of up to 9600 bits per second can be achieved if
the distance is not more than 100 meters.
(a) Being the oldest method of data transmission, trained manpower to repair and service this
media of communications are easily available.
(b) In telephone system, signal can travel several kilometers without amplification when
twisted pair wires are used
(c) This media can be used for both analog and digital data transmission. The band width
depends on the thickness of the wire and the distance traveled, but several megabits per
second can be achieved for a few kilometers in many cases.
(d) It is the least expensive media of transmission for short distances.
(e) The effect on the network as a whole, if portion of a twisted-pair cable is damaged, the
entire network is not shut down, as well as it may be the case with coaxial cable.
(a) Easily pickup noise signals which results in higher error rates when the line length exceeds
100 meters.
(b) Being thin in size, they are likely to break easily.
(c) It can support 19,200 bps up to 50 feet on RS-232 port. On a 10BASE-T, which supports
10Mbps, twisted pair wires can be used up to 100 meters.
Data Transmission 43
Figure 2.24
(a) A twisted
pair of wires
Shielded wire typically is used in an electrically noisy environment to limit the effects of noise
absorption. Unshielded twisted pair, commonly referred to as UTP is by far the more common of
the two configurations. Twisted-pair wiring is more commonly used for LAN media. The twisted
pair version of Ethernet is designated as 10BASE-T, in which 10 refers to the Ethernet clock rate
of 10 Mbps.
Twisted pair cabling comes in several varieties. In computer networks, two of these are
important. Category 3 twisted pairs consist of two insulated wires gently twisted together. Four
such pairs are typically grouped together in a plastic sheath for protection and to keep the eight
wires together. Another more advanced category, 5 twisted pairs were introduced. They are simi-
lar to category 3 pairs, but with more twist per centimeter and Teflon insulation, which results in
less crosstalk and better quality signal over longer distances, making them more suitable for
high-speed computer communication.
2.6.2 Coaxial Cable
A coaxial cable consist of a stiff copper wire as the core, surrounded by an insulating material. The
insulator is encased by a cylindrical conductor, often as a closely woven braided mesh. The outer
conductor is covered in a protective plastic sheath. A cutaway view of a coaxial cable is shown in
Figure 2.25. The signal is transmitted by the inner copper wire and is electrically shielded by the
outer metal sleeve.
Figure 2.25
Coaxial cable

Wire mesh
plastic covering
44 Data Communication
Two kinds of coaxial cable are widely used. One kind, 50-ohm cable, is commonly used for
digital transmission. The other kind, 75-ohm cables, is commonly used for analog transmission in
cable TV transmission.
Baseband networks are the networks where the entire bandwidth of the cable is
utilized for a single channel. Broadband is basically a frequency division multiplexed sit-
uation, where the coaxial cable’s bandwidth is separated into subchannels of either equal
or varying frequency ranges that can be treated as separate communication media.
Table 2.2 Different terms of Coaxial Cable Implementation
Terms Implementation
10Base2 An implementation of the 802.3 Ethernet standard on thin Ethernet (RG-58) coaxial
cable. It has a data-transfer rate of 10 megabits per second and a maximum cable
segment length of 185 meters.
10Base5 An implementation of the 802.3 Ethernet standard on thick Ethernet coaxial cable.
It has a data-transfer rate of 10 megabits per second and a maximum cable seg-
ment length of 500 meters over a bus topology.
10BaseF Emerging 802.3 standards that define the use of on Ethernet over fiber-optic cable.
10BaseT An implementation of the 802.3 Ethernet standard over unshielded twisted-pair
(UTP) wiring. It is similar to wiring used with modern telephone systems using
RJ-45 connectors. The standard is based on a star topology, with each node con-
nected to a central wiring center and a maximum cable-segment length of 100
Thick Ethernet Connecting coaxial cable used on an Ethernet network. The cable is 1 centimeter
(0.4 inch) thick, and can be used to connect network nodes up to a distance of
approximately 1006 meters.
Thin Ethernet Connecting coaxial cable used on an Ethernet network. The cable is 5 millimeters
(0.2 inch) thick, and can be used to connect network nodes up to a distance of
approximately 165 meters. Used for office installations.
IEEE uses the 10BASE5 designation for thick Ethernet coaxial cable and 10BASE2 for the
thin Ethernet coaxial cable. Coaxial cable can support data rates of up to several tens of Mbps at
distances up to several thousand feet. Certain types of signaling enable high data rates over dis-
tances of several miles.
Coaxial cable is difficult to connect to network devices and generally requires more planning
than twisted-pair system. Many coaxial systems require the connectors on the main cable to be
attached directly to the adapter on the PCs. This reduces flexibility in locating workstations and
Coaxial cable is typically installed in tow configurations: daisy-chain (from device to device
Ethernet) and star (ARCnet). The daisy chain is shown in Figure 2.26.
Data Transmission 45
Figure 2.26
Coaxial cable
wiring con-
The Ethernet cabling shown in the Figure 2.26 is an example of Thinnet, which uses RG-58
type cable. Devices connect to the cable by means of T-connectors. Cables are used to provide
connections between T-connectors. One characteristic of this type of cabling is that the ends of the
cable run must be terminated by a special connector, called a terminator. The terminator contains
a resistor that is matched to the characteristics of the cable. The resistor prevents signals that reach
the end of the cable from bouncing back and causing interference.
Advantages of Coaxial Cable
(a) It has better shielding than twisted pairs, so it can span longer distances at higher data bps.
(b) It can be used for both analog data transmission as well as digital data transmission. For
analog, 75 ohm, broad band coaxial is used and for digital data transmission, 50 ohm cable,
baseband cable is used.
LAN Adapter card
Methods for
Thin Ethernet
Dual Coax
Drop Cable
LAN Adapter card
Ancent Hub
LAN Adapter card
w / RJ-45
46 Data Communication
(c) Coaxial cable has higher bandwidth and excellent noise immunity. RG-58 cable (10BA-
SE2) is a thin coaxial cable (50-ohm) in widespread use for LAN connections. RG-11
(10BASE5) cable is a coaxial cable that is much thicker and sturdier and can withstand
more rugged surroundings and can be used with much longer segment lengths. RG-59, a
75-ohm coaxial cable and RG-62 (93-ohm) cable are used in ARCnet Local Area networks
or the IBM 3270 applications.
(d) It is relatively inexpensive as compared to fiber optic cables and easy to handle.
(e) Coaxial cable has a bandwidth in the range of 300-400 MHz, it is capable of carrying over
50 standard 6 MHz colour TV channels or thousands of channels of voice-grade and/or
low-speed data over a single cable. CD-quality audio (1.4 Mbps), or a digital bit stream at 3
Mbps can be mixed on coaxial cable for transmitting video signal. Broadband cable is
inferior to baseband cable for sending digital data but has the advantage that a huge amount
of it is already available in the Cable TV and systems. Therefore, cable TV systems may
begin operating as Metropolitan Area Network’s and offer telephone and Internet services
at low cost.
Trade-off between Coaxial Cable and Twisted-pair Wiring
Following factors give the comparison between the coaxial cable and twisted pair wiring as trans-
mission media. Table 2.3 gives a comparative study of the various cable media.
Table 2.3 Characteristics of Cable Media
Factor Unshielded Shielded Coaxial Cable Fiber optic
Twisted- Twisted-pair
pair cable cable
Cost Lowest Moderate Moderate Highest
Installation Easy Fairly easy Fairly easy Difficult
Bandwidth 1 to 155 1 to 155 Mbps typically 10 Mbps 2 Gbps
Capacity Mbps (typically 16 (typically 100 Mbps)
(typically 10 Mbps)
Attenuation High (Range High (Range Lower (range of a Lowest (range of tens of
few few hundred few kilometers) kilometers)
hundred meters)
Electromagnetic Most vul- Less vulner- Less vulnerable than Not affected by EMI or
Interference (EMI) nerable to able than UTP UTP but still vulner- evesdropping
EMI and eav but still able to EMI and eves-
esdropping vulnerable to dropping
EMI and eves-
Cost In general, coaxial cable is more expensive by a factor of two or three than twisted pair,
and more expensive by a smaller factor than shielded twisted pair.
Data Transmission 47
Data Rate The difference between coaxial and twisted pair is more apparent in the data rate
that they support. For comparable distances to be spanned, twisted pair will typically be suitable
for data rates at least an order of magnitude less. If the data rate of choice is 1-Megabit per second,
then either coax or twisted pair will suffice at distances out to several hundred meters. At 10-Me-
gabits per second, only coaxial will serve.
Security Cables that employ copper conductors can easily be breached by listening equip-
ment. If the main consideration is security, then fiber cable is the only choice to avoid espionage.
However, it is to be remembered that no system can ever be perfectly secure. Even fiber-optic
lines can be tapped without detection.
Electromagnetic compatibility Coaxial cable emits less radiation which may
cause interference with the communication equipment as compared to twisted wires.
2.6.3 Optical Fiber
Fiber optic is the newest form of bounded media. This media is superior in data handling and
security characteristics. The fiber optic cable transmits lights signals rather than electrical signals.
It is enormously more efficient than the other network transmission media. Each fiber has an inner
core of glass or plastic that conduct light. There are two types of light sources for which fiber
cables are available. These sources of lights are:
(a) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
(b) Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation (Lasers)
Figure 2.27
optical fibers
Figure 2.27 shows the principle of operation of the fiber optic system. The system basically
consists of fiber optic cables that are made of tiny threads of glass or plastics. In a single-mode
fibers the core is 8 to 10 microns (about the size of hair). In multimode fibers, the core is 50
microns in diameter.
Towards its source side is a converter that converts electrical signals into light waves. These
light waves are transmitted over the fiber. Another converter placed near the sink converts the
light waves back to electrical signals by photoelectric diodes. These electrical signals are ampli-
fied and sent to the receiver.
A comparison of semiconductor laser diodes and LEDs is given in Table 2.4.
to light
wave converter
Optical fibre
Light waves
wave converter
Light to
Light waves
48 Data Communication
Table 2.4 Comparison of Semiconductor diodes laser and LEDs as light source
Item Light Emitting Diode (LED) Semiconductor Laser
Data rate Low High
Mode Multimode Multimode or single mode
Distance 3 Km. 30 Km.
Lifetime Long life Short life
Temperature Sensitivity Minor Substantial
Cost Low Substantial
Each fiber has an inner core of glass or plastic that conduct light. The inner core is surrounded
by cladding, a layer of glass that reflects the light back into the core. Each fiber is surrounded by a
plastic sheath. The sheath can be either tight or loose.
Optical fibers may be multimode or single mode. Single mode fibers allow a single light path
and are typically used with laser signalling. Single mode fiber can allow greater bandwidth and
cable run than multimode but is more expensive. Multimode fibers use multiple light paths. The
physical characteristics of the multimode fiber make all parts of the signal (those from the various
paths) arrive at the same time, appearing to the receiver as though they were one pulse. Figure 2.28
shows the working of the single and multimode optical fiber.
Optical fibers are differentiated by core/cladding size and mode of operation. Micron is one
millionth of a meter = 1/25,000 inch (approximately)
The following are the common types of fiber-optic cable:
(a) 8.3-micron core/12.5-micron cladding, single-mode
(b) 62.5-micron core/125-micron cladding, multimode
(c) 50-micron core/125-micron cladding, multimode
(d) 100-micron core/140-micron cladding, multimode
Characteristics of Fiber-optic Cable
Fiber-optic cable has the following characteristics.
Cost Fiber-optic cable is slightly more expensive than copper cable, but costs are falling.
Associated equipment costs can be much higher than for copper cable, making fiber-optic net-
works much more expensive. Single mode fiber devices are more expensive and more difficult to
install than multimode devices.
Installation Fiber optic cable is more difficult to install than copper cable. Every fiber
connection and splice must be carefully made to avoid obstructing the light path. Also the cables
have a maximum bend radius, which makes cabling more difficult.
Bandwidth capacity Because it uses light, which has higher frequency than electricity,
fiber optic cabling provides a data rates from 100 Mbps to 2 gigabits per second. The data rate
depends on the fiber composition, the mode, and the wavelength (frequency) of the transmitter
light. A common multimode installation can support 100 Mps over several kilometers.
Data Transmission 49
Figure 2.28
(a) Single
mode optical
(b) Step index
Node Capacity In the case of Ethernet network fiber optic cables have the useful upper
limit is around 75 nodes on a single collision domain.
Attenuation Fiber optic cable has much lower attenuation than copper wires, mainly
because the light is not radiated out in the way electricity is radiated from copper cables. It has a
different problem namely, chromatic dispersion. Different wavelengths of light travel through
glass differently, and the colours of a single pulse of light will spread apart slightly as they travel
down a cable. At a distance of several miles, one bit may shift into the next bit, causing data to be
lost. Single-mode fiber-optic cable conveys only one frequency of light down the cable, so it does
not suffer from chromatic dispersion.
Core 8 - 12 m
125 m
(a) Single Mode Fiber Cable
125-400 m
(b) Multimode Fiber Cable

50 Data Communication
Electro Magnetic Interference Fiber-optic cable is not subject to electrical inter-
ference. In addition, it does not leak signals, so it is immune to evesdropping. Because it does not
require a ground, fiber-optic cable is not affected by potential shifts in the electrical ground, nor
does it produce sparks. This type of cable is ideal for high-voltage areas or in installations where
evesdropping could be a problem. Fiber is particularly appropriate for campus and multi-building
backbones and for high security applications such as financial transactions, military operations,
and public safety.
Mode of Transmission Fiber optic channels are half-duplex, meaning that light signals
can only move in one direction at a time. A full-duplex circuit would cause light wave interference
without special electronics and is generally not economically viable. Moreover, a bend radius that
is too tight causes distortion and attenuation of the light signal due to changes in the electrical and
physical characteristics of the inner core.
Uses of Optical Fiber
Figure 2.29
A fiber optic
ring with
Fiber-optic media can support high bandwidth applications including video conference to the
desktop, digital voice/image/graphics networking in the local area network environment. Fiber-
optic media are the basis for several high bandwidth networking standards such as Fiber Distrib-
uted Data Interface (FDDI) and Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)
Fiber optic can be used for LANs as well as for long transmission although tapping onto it is
more complex than connecting to an Ethernet. One way around the problem is to realize that a ring
network is really just a collection of a point-to-point links as shown in Figure 2.29.
of light
il o
To / from computer
Copper wire
Data Transmission 51
The interface at each computer passes the light pulse stream through to the next link and also
serves as a T junction to allow the computer to send and accept messages. The figure shows the
active repeater. The incoming light is converted to an electrical signal regenerated to full strength
if it has been weakened, and re-transmitted as light. The interface with the computer is an ordinary
copper wire that comes into the signal regenerator. Purely optical repeaters are now being used
Comparison of Fiber Optics and Copper Wire
Fiber has many advantages over copper wire as a transmission media. These are:
(a) It can handle much higher band widths than copper. Due to the low attenuation, repeaters
are needed only about every 30 km on long lines, versus about every 5 km for copper.
(b) Fiber is not being affected by power surges, electromagnetic interference, or power fail-
ures. Nor it is affected by corrosive chemicals in the air, making it ideal for harsh factory
(c) Fiber is lighter than copper. One thousand twisted pairs copper cables of 1 km long weight
8000 kg. But two fibers have more capacity and weigh only 100 kg, which greatly reduces
the need for expensive mechanical support systems that must be maintained.
(d) Fibers do not leak light and are quite difficult to tap. This gives them excellent security
against potential wiretappers.
Fibers have the following disadvantages over copper wires:
(a) Fiber is an unfamiliar technology requiring skills most engineer do not have.
(b) Since optical transmission is inherently unidirectional, two-way communication requires
either two fibers or two frequency bands on one fiber.
(c) Fiber interfaces cost more than electrical interfaces.
2.6.4 Radio, VHF, Microwave and Satellite Link
Radio waves have frequencies between 10 kilohertz (KHz) and 1 giga hertz (GHz). Radio waves
include the following types:
(a) Short-wave
(b) Very-high-frequency (VHF) television and FM radio.
(c) Ultra-high-frequency (UHF) radio and television
The range of frequency and type of medium used for their transfer is shown in Figure 2.30.
Radio waves can be broadcast omni directional or directional. Various kinds of antennas can be
used to broadcast radio signals. The power of the radio frequency (RF) signal is determined by the
antenna and trans-receiver (a device that TRANSmits and reCEIVEs a signal over a medium such
a copper, radio waves, or fiber-optic cables).
52 Data Communication
In vacuum, all electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed, no matter what their frequency
is. This speed, usually called the speed of light, c, and it is approximately 3 × 10
meters per sec-
ond or about 1 foot per nanosecond. In copper or fiber the speed slows to about 2/3 of this value
and becomes slightly frequency dependent. The fundamental relation between frequency, (f), wave
length λ, and c (in vacuum) is
For example, 1 MHz waves are about 300 meters long and 1 cm waves have a frequency of 30
Figure 2.30
range and
type of trans-
Radio Transmission
Some of the characteristics of radio waves are as follows:
(a) Radio waves are easy to generate.
(b) They can travel long distances
(c) They can penetrate buildings easily so they are widely used for communications both
indoors and outdoors.
(d) Radio waves are omni directional, meaning that they travel in all directions from the
source, so that the transmitter and receiver do not have to be carefully aligned physically.
The properties of radio waves are frequency dependent. At low frequencies,
radio waves pass through obstacles well, but the power falls off sharply with distance
from the source, roughly, as 1/r
in air. At high frequencies, radio waves tend to travel in
straight lines and bounce off obstacles. They are absorbed by rain. At all frequencies,
radio waves are subject to interference from motors and other electrical equipment.
λf c (2.7)
f (Hz)10 10
0 2
Twisted pair
f (Hz)10 10
4 5
7 6
10 10
13 14
X - ray UV Infrared
Visible light
radio radio
Data Transmission 53
In Very Low Frequency (VLF), Low Frequency (LF) and Medium Frequency (MF) bands,
radio waves follow the ground. Amplitude modulated radio broadcasting uses the MF band. This
band of frequencies can not be used for data transfer because they offer relatively low bandwidth.
The amount of information that an electromagnetic wave can carry is related to its bandwidth.
With current technology, it is possible to encode a few bits per Hertz at low frequencies, but often
as many as 40 under certain conditions at high frequencies. So a cable with a 500 MHz bandwidth
can carry several gigabits/sec.
In the HF and VHF bands, the ground waves tend to be absorbed by the earth.
However, the waves that reach the ionosphere, a layer of charged particles circling the
earth at a height of 100 to 500 km, are refracted by it and sent back to earth.
Microwave Transmission
Above 100 MHz, the waves travel in straight lines and can therefore be narrowly focused. Con-
centrating all the energy into a small beam using a parabolic antenna (like the satellite TV dish)
gives a much higher signal to noise ratio, but the transmitting and receiving antennas must be
accurately aligned with each other. Before the advent of fiber optics, these microwaves formed the
heart of the long distance telephone transmission system.
In order to overcome the problems of line-of-sight and power amplification of weak signals,
microwave systems use repeaters at intervals of about 25 to 30 km in between the transmitting and
receiving stations (Figure 2.5). The first repeater is placed in line-of-sight of the transmitting sta-
tion and the last repeater is placed in line-of-sight of the receiving station. Two consecutive
repeaters are also placed in line-of-sight of each other. The data signals are received, amplified,
and re-transmitted by each of these stations.
Unlike radio waves, at lower frequencies, microwaves do not pass through buildings
well. In addition, even though the beam may be well focused at the transmitter, there is
still some divergence in space. Some waves may be refracted off low-lying atmospheric
layers and may take slightly longer to arrive than direct waves. The delayed waves may
arrive out of phase with the direct wave and thus cancel the signal. This effect is called
Multipath Fading. It is often a serious problem in Microwave communication systems.
Since microwaves travel in a straight line, if the towers are too far apart, the earth will get in
the way. Consequently, repeaters are needed periodically. The higher the towers are, the further
apart they can be. The distance between repeaters goes up very roughly with the square root of the
tower height. For 100 meter high towers, repeaters can be spaced 80 km apart.
54 Data Communication
Figure 2.31
microwave co
from one
point to
Characteristics of Microwave Communications
Microwave transmission is weather and frequency dependent. The frequency band of 10 GHz is in
the routine use. Microwave communication is widely used for long-distance telephone communi-
cation, cellular telephones, television distribution and other uses that a severe shortage of spectrum
has developed. The following are the characteristics of Microwave communications:
(a) Microwave is relatively inexpensive as compared to fiber optics system. For example,
putting up two simple towers and antennas on each one may be cheaper than burying 50
km of fiber through a congested area or up tower a mountain, and it may also be cheaper
than leasing the telephone line.
(b) Microwave systems permit data transmission rates of about 16 Giga (1 giga = 10
) bits per
second. At such high frequencies, microwave systems can carry 250,000 voice channels at
the same time. They are mostly used to link big metropolitan cities which have heavy tele-
phone traffic between them.
Types of Microwave Communication Systems
There are two types of microwave data communication systems. These are:
(a) Terrestrial
(b) Satellite
Line of sight Line of sight Line of sight
In between


Data Transmission 55
Terrestrial Microwave
Terrestrial Microwave systems typically use directional parabolic antennas to send and receive
signals in the lower giga hertz range. The signals are highly focussed and the physical path must
be line-of-sight. Relay towers are used to extend signals. Terrestrial microwave systems are typi-
cally used when using cabling is cost-prohibitive.
Because, terrestrial microwave system does not use cables, microwave links often
connect separate buildings where cabling would be too expensive, difficult to install or
prohibited. For example, if two buildings are separated by a public road, you may not be
able to get permission to install cable over or under the road. Microwave links would be a
good choice in this type of situation.
Terrestrial Microwave systems have the following characteristics:
Frequency Range:
Most terrestrial microwave systems produce signals in the low giga hertz range usually at 4 to 6
GHz and 21 to 23 GHz.
Short-distance systems can be relatively inexpensive and they are effective in the range of
hundreds of meters. Long distance systems can be very expensive.
Line-of-sight requirements for microwave systems can make installation difficult. Antennas must
be carefully aligned. Also because the transmission must be line of sight, suitable trans-receiver
sites could be a problem. If your organization does not have a clear line of sight between two
antennas, you must either purchase or lease a site.
Bandwidth Capacity:
Capacity varies depending on the frequency used but typically, data rates are from 1 to 10 Mbps.
Attenuation is affected by frequency, signal strength, antenna size, and atmospheric conditions.
Normally, over short distances, attenuation is not significant. But, rain and fog can negatively
affect higher frequency microwaves.
Electromagnetic Intereference (EMI):
Microwave signals are vulnerable to EMI, jamming and evesdropping. Microwave systems are
also affected by atmospheric conditions.
56 Data Communication
Satellite Microwave
Satellite Microwave systems transmit signals between directional parabolic antennas. Like terres-
trial microwave systems, they use low giga hertz frequencies and must be in line-of-sight. The
main difference with satellite systems is that one antenna is on a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit
about 36,000 kilometers (22,300 miles) above the equator. Because of this, satellite microwave
systems can reach the most remote places on earth and communicate with mobile devices.
Figure 2.31
tion from one
point to
A communication satellite is basically a microwave relay station placed precisely at 36,000 km
above the equator where its orbit speed exactly matches the earth’s rotation speed. Since a satellite
is positioned in a geo-synchronous orbit, (i.e. the orbit where the speed of the satellite matches the
earth’s rotation speed), it appears to be stationary relative to earth and always stays over the same
point with respect to earth. This allows a ground station to aim its antenna at a fixed point in the
sky. As shown in Figure 2.6, in satellite communication, microwave signals at 6 GHz (read as giga
hertz = 10
Hz) are transmitted from a transmitter on earth to a satellite positioned in space. By the
time this signal reaches the satellite it becomes weak due to distance travelled of 36,000 km. The
transponder in a satellite amplifies the weak signals and sends them back to the earth at a fre-
quency of 4 GHz. These signal are received at a receiving station on the earth. It may be noted that
the transmitting frequency is different from the receiving frequency of the satellite. This is done to
avoid interference of the powerful re-transmitted signal with the weak incoming signal. Satellite
microwave systems have the following characteristics:
Frequency range Satellite links operate in the low giga hertz range typically, 4-6 GHz and
11-14 GHz.
Satellite in Space
4 GHz
Station on earth
6 GHz
Station on earth
Data Transmission 57
Cost The cost of building and launching a satellite is very expensive. Many companies such
as AT &T, Hughes etc. lease services, making them affordable for larger number of organizations.
Although satellite communications are expensive, the cost of cable to cover the same distance may
be even more expensive.
Installation Satellite microwave installation for orbiting satellites is extremely technical
and difficult. The earth-based systems may require exact adjustments.
Bandwidth Capacity Capacity depends on the frequency used. Typical data rates are 1-to
Attenuation Attenuation depends on frequency, power, antenna size, and atmospheric
conditions. Higher-frequency microwaves are more affected by rain and fog.
Advantages and Limitations of EMI The main advantage of satellite communication
is that it is a single microwave relay station visible from any point of a very large area on the earth.
For example, satellites used for national transmission are visible from all parts of the country.
Thus transmission and reception can be between any two randomly chosen places in that area.
Moreover, transmission and reception costs are independent of the distance between the two
points. In addition to this, a transmitting station can receive back its own transmission and check
whether the satellite has transmitted the information correctly. If an error is detected, the data
would be re-transmitted.
A major drawback of satellite communications has been the high cost of placing
the satellite into its orbit. Moreover, a signal sent to a satellite is broadcasted to all
receivers within the satellite’s range. Hence necessary security measures need to be taken
to prevent unauthorized tampering of information.
Table 2.5 The Principal Satellite Bands
Band Frequencies Downlink(GHz) Uplink(GHz) Problems
C 4/6 3.7 - 4.2 5.925-6.425 Terrestrial interference
Ku 11/14 11.7-12.2 14.0-14.5 Rain
Ka 20/30 17.7-21.7 27.5-30.5 Rain; equipment cost
Table 2.3 lists the major commercial bands. The C band was the first to be designate for
commercial traffic. These bands are already overcrowded because they are also used by the com-
mon carriers for terrestrial microwave links. The next highest band available to commercial tele-
communication carriers is the Ku band. This band is not congested and at these frequencies.
However, rain water is an excellent absorber of these short microwaves. In the earliest satellites,
the division of the transponders into channels was static by splitting the bandwidth up into fixed
frequency bands (FDM). Nowadays, time division multiplexing is also used due to its greater
58 Data Communication
VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminals)
These tiny terminals have 1-meter antennas and can put out about 1 watt of power. The uplink is
generally good for 19.2 kbps, but the downlink is more, often 512 kbps. In many VSAT systems,
the micro-stations do not have enough power to communicate directly with one another. Instead, a
special ground station, the hub, with a large high gain antenna is needed to relay traffic between
VSATs as shown in Figure 2.7.
Figure 2.32
using a hub
In this mode of operation, either the sender or the receiver has a large antenna and a powerful
amplifier. The trade-off is a longer delay in return for having cheaper end-user stations. The delay
time or end-to-end transit time is between 250 to 300 msec (540 m. sec. for a VSAT system with a
3 2
Data Transmission 59
1. Compare the following transmission media:
(a) Twisted pair and optical fiber.
(b) Terrestrial microwave link and satellite microwave
(c) STP and coaxial cable
2. Answer the following:
(a) Why do you connect the outer conductor of a coaxial cable to the ground?
(b) A band of frequencies range from 100 to 190 KHz is being allocated for chan-
nels. Each channel is 5 KHz wide with a 1-KHz guard band. Sketch the channel
assignments from 100 to 112 KHz.
(c) Why the digital communication systems are more resistant to channel noise than
analog systems.
3. (a) Illustrate with the help of a schematic diagram the different components of a
typical fiber optic link. Mention the various components of signal loss.
(b) State the advantages of semiconductor laser diode over light-emitting diodes
(LED) for fiber transmission?
(c) State the mechanism by which a optical pulse travelling along a optical fiber
suffers from dispersion.
(d) With a diagram show the structure of an optical fiber cable.
(e) What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single mode optical fiber over
multimode optical fiber.
4. Define the following terms:
(a) Cladding
(b) Pulse spreading
5. (a) Explain the term modulation. How does it help in data communication.
(b) What do you understand by the term channel bandwidth. How is it effected by
the signal to noise ratio.
(c) Illustrate with appropriate diagrams the light transmission in:
i. single mode fiber
ii. step index multimode fiber
iii. graded index multimode fiber
60 Data Communication
Answer to Twisted pair and optical fiber.
Q No. 1(a)
Characteristics Twisted Pair Optical Fiber
Construction Two insulated copper wire, Made up of tiny threads of
twisted together in a helical glass or plastics. The core is
shape. The copper conductors about the size of hair i.e.
are of typically of the size of 8-10 microns in single
about 1 mm thick. mode fiber and 50 microns
diameter in multimode
Principle of Transmission of electro mag- Transmission of optical
Transmission netic energy along the wires. energy along the fiber.
Band width Low. Depends on the thickness Very high. Data rates of the
of the wire and the length of the order of 100 Mps to 2 Gbps
cable. Several mega bits/sec can is available. A common
be achieved for a few km. multimode installation can
support 100 Mbps over sev-
eral km. length.
Attenuation Attenuation is high because of Attenuation is very low
the electromagnetic radiation of because there is light beam
energy. travelling in the fiber.
Chromatic disper- It is not there. Fiber is effected by chro-
sion matic dispersion and causes
error in the signal by
shifting a bit value in multi-
mode type of fibers.
Mode of data Full-duplex Half-duplex
Effect of the dam- Only a part of the network will The whole system contain-
age in the cable be effected. ing many channels will suf-
fer total damage.
Availability of Being the oldest method of data It is a new technology,
trained manpower communication, ample trained therefore only few trained
manpower is available to main- mechanics are available.
tain the twisted pair cables.
Uses Can be used for both analog and Used mainly for digital
digital data. data.
Data Transmission 61
Answer to Terrestrial and microwave link.
Question No.
1 (b)
Characteristics Terrestrial Microwave Link Satellite Microwave Link
Construction Consists of directional parabolic Uses directional antennas,
antennas. Both antennas are on with one antenna on the
the ground. ground and other is on a
satellite. The satellite is in
geo-synchronous orbit
(36,000 km.) above the
Range of operation Relay towers are used to extend Range is quite high. A
the range. transponder is used in the
satellite which transforms
the received weak signal
from the earth station into
high power signal at a dif-
ferent down link frequency
to reach the receiving earth
Frequency range of 4 to 6 GHz and 21 to 23 GHz. 4 to 6 GHz and 11 to 14
operation GHz.
Cost Compared to satellite communi- Very high.
cation, the cost is low.
Band width and Data rates are from 1 to 10 1 to 10 Mbps.
capacity Mbps.
Range of operation With in line of sight. Repeaters Communication can be
are needed for higher range of established around the earth
communication. because the range of satel-
lites is very high.
62 Data Communication
Answer to STP and coaxial cable.
Q No. 1(c)
Characteristics STP Coaxial Cable
Construction They are available in different Coaxial cable consist of a
varieties. Category 3 twisted stiff copper wire as the core
pairs consist of two insulated surrounded by insulating
wires gently twisted together. material. The signal is
Four such pairs are typically transmitted by the inner
grouped together in a plastic copper wire and electrically
sheath for protection and to keep shielded by the outer
the eight wires together (See sleeve. (See Figure 2.2)
Figure 2.1 (d).
Effect of noise due Comparatively low because of Very low.
to EMI shielding.
Breakable Being thin in size, the wires are Comparatively, more
likely to break. robust.
Band width and can support 19,200 bps up to 50 Can support up to tens of
range feet on RS-232C port. Mbps at a distance of sev-
On a 10BASE-T, it can support eral thousand feet.
10 Mbps up to 100 meters.
Ease of mainte- Easy to join and connect the Difficult to network devices
nance of equip- STP cables. and needs more planning
ment compared to STP.
Electromagnetic STP emits large amount of elec- Emit very low radiation and
compatibility tromagnetic radiation causes less interference
with the communication
Cost Low High
Answer to Why do you connect the outer conductor of a coaxial cable to the ground?
Q No. 2(a) In order to avoid the interference caused by the electromagnetic noise. The voltage
induced by EMI is sent to earth by grounding the outer conductor of a coaxial
Answer to A band of frequencies range from 100 to 190 KHz is being allocated for channels.
Q No. 2(b) Each channel is 5 KHz wide with a 1-KHz guard band. Give the channel fre-
quency assignments from 100 to 112 KHz for the three channels.
The first channel will be from 100 to 105 Khz
The second channel will be from 106 to 111 Khz
The third channel will be from 112 to 117 Khz
Data Transmission 63
Answer to Why the digital communication systems are more resistant to channel noise than
Q No. 2(c) analog systems.
Digital communication systems are more resistant to channel noise because of the
following reason:
The detector in the digital system needs to find the presence and the absence of a
pulse and therefore even if there is noise, the detection is not very difficult. More-
over, noise is not a static quantity. Sometimes, noise signal is large some times
small but the pulses are of constant magnitude. Hence, their detection becomes
easier. It is similar to the case of the sound of the whistle blown by a referee in a
play ground can be easily discriminated even when there is noise in the field.
Answer to Illustrate with the help of a schematic diagram the different components of a typi-
Q No. 3(a) cal fiber optic link. Mention the various components of signal loss.
The figure above shows the different components of a fiber optic system.
Losses are due to the following reasons:
(a) Absorption and attenuation of the cable because the cladding is not com-
pletely opaque. So some of the light energy is absorbed into the cladding.
(b) Large losses result from the physical connections that bring light sources
and detectors into alignment with the fiber cable.
(c) Losses also occur between the splices which are the connectors that marry
two cables together.
(d) Misalignment of the light source to cable cause loss of light energy. The
misalignments are reduced by precise fittings coupling and splices and by
careful following the connecting processes given by the manufacturer.
(d) Loss of light also occurs because of bands in laying the cable.
Answer to State the advantages of semiconductor laser diode over light-emitting diodes
Q No. 3(b) (LED) for fiber transmission?
Advantages of semiconductor laser diode over light-emitting diodes (LED) for
fiber transmission are:
(a) Data rate is high.
(b) Light can be transmitted in single mode as well as in multimode.
(c) The distance over which light pulses can be transmitted is about 30 km
with out any amplifier.
to light
wave converter
Optical fibre
Light waves
wave converter
Light to
Light waves
64 Data Communication
Answer to State the mechanism by which a optical pulse travelling along a optical fiber suf-
Q No. 3(c) fers from dispersion.
As shown in the Figure below, light that enters the core at the center line travels in
an unimpeded straight line through the core (as long as the core itself is straight).

Light entering at any other angle will eventually hit the cladding and be "bounced"
down the cable. These rays travel greater distances than the ray entering at the
center of the core. The larger the angle of incidence, the further the rays have to
travel before exiting the core. As a result, the rays emerge at different times,
resulting in a phenomenon called Pulse spreading (dispersion) which causes the
replicated electrical information to be distorted by the varying arrival times of the
light rays through the cable. The distortion is not great, but it present a limiting
factor to the length of the fiber cable and the data rates that are propagated through
it. If the length is too long, then the spreading can cause the loss of digital bits and
create data errors.
Answer to With a diagram show the structure of an optical fiber cable.
Q No. 3(d)
Each fiber has an inner core of glass or plastic that conduct light. This inner core
of glass or plastic that conduct light. The inner core is surrounded by cladding, a
layer of glass that reflects the light back into the core. Each fiber is surrounded by
a plastic sheath. The sheath can be either tight or loose. (See Figure 2.28(a). Opti-
cal fibers are differentiated by core/cladding size and mode of operation. The fol-
lowing are the common types of fiber optic cable:
(a) 8.3-micron core/12.5-micron cladding, single-mode
(b) 62.5-micron core/125-micron cladding, multimode
(c) 50-micron core/125-micron cladding, multimode
Answer to What are the advantages and disadvantages of single mode optical fiber over mul-
Q No. 3(e) timode optical fiber.
Absorbed Reflected
Cladding N
Core N
Incident Ray
Data Transmission 65
Advantages of Single mode optical fiber over multimode optical fiber are:
(a) Greater band width
(b) Smaller size of core and cladding namely 8.3 micron core and 12.5 micron
(c) Distortion and attenuation is very low
Disadvantages of Single mode optical fiber over multimode optical fiber are:
Multimode allows more light energy to enter the cable because wider acceptance
angle as compared to single mode.
Answer to Cladding: It is the material that surrounds a fiber optic core which has a refractive
Q No. 4(a) index that causes light rays to be reflected back into the core.
Answer to Pulse Spreading: It is the signal distortion caused by different propagation times
Q No. 4(b) for each light ray travelling through a cable.
Answer to Refractive Index: It is the value that determines the amount of a light ray will be
Q No. 4(c) reflected or refracted by comparing the values of the indexes of two surfaces.
However, the calls from a cellular phone are received by towers located at various
places on the ground. These towers are connected by cables. These towers forward
the calls to a telephone or another cellular phone. However, transmission can be
interrupted due to a fault in the cables or due to any obstruction between the caller
and the tower.
Ans. to Modulation: Modulation is the method of mixing intelligent signal on to the car-
Q. 5(a) rier signal so that a weak intelligent signal can be transmitted over long distance
over a transmission media such as copper conductor or coaxial cable.
Ans. to Channel Bandwidth: The term channel band width refers to the range of fre-
Q. 5(b) quencies that is available for the transmission of data. This is the term used to
describe the data handling capacity of the communication system. The more the
bandwidth of the channel, the more data it can transmit.
For a channel, with the Band width of H hertz, and signal to noise ration as
S/N dB, the channel capacity is limited by the formula Hlog
(1 + (S/N)).
Ans. to (i) Single Mode Optical Fiber: Systems using laser diodes as the light-emitting
Q. 5(c) sources employ single mode optical fiber. The single mode concentrates the pas-
sage of light to the center of the fiber core. Where the center is very narrow about
6 to 12 micro meters in diameter, the ray concentrates at the centre moves the
quickest through the cable with the least distortion and attenuation. (See Figure
(ii) Step Index Multimode Fiber
While the single mode fiber accepts only one light ray at a time, in a narrow
diameter, the multimode fiber allows more than one ray of the light at a moment.
With each ray at a slightly different angle from the other in a wider core. (See
Figure below)
66 Data Communication
(a) Single
mode optical
(b) Step index
The first kind of multimode fiber is the step index. In the step index core, the
incident ray enters the core, is refracted slightly and travels through the core as it is
reflected from one side of the cladding to the other. The main disadvantage of this
is that every time the ray strikes the cladding, the cladding absorbs some of its
energy, resulting in a little of attenuation.
(iii) Graded Index Fiber: The disadvantage of the step index core is removed
by the graded index core. The incident ray enters the cable in the same way as in
the case of the step index. However, instead of being reflected straight from the
cladding, it is refracted in small increments as it travels through the core. The
refraction bends the ray away from the cladding back towards the core. Thus, there
is no loss due to the absorption of light by the cladding.
Core 8 - 12 m
125 m
(a) Single Mode Fiber Cable
125-400 m
(b) Multimode Fiber Cable

Data Transmission 67
Graded index
c Cladding
50 m
125 m µ

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