Sending and receiving data via cables (e.g., telephone lines or fibre optics) or wireless relay systems. Because ordinary telephone circuits pass signals that fall within the frequency range of voice communication (about 300–3,500 hertz), the high frequencies associated with data transmission suffer a loss of amplitude and transmission speed. Data signals must therefore be translated into a format compatible with the signals used in telephone lines. Digital computers use a modem to transform outgoing digital electronic data; a similar system at the receiving end translates the incoming signal back to the original electronic data. Specialized data-transmission links carry signals at frequencies higher than those used by the public telephone network. See also broadband technology; cable modem; DSL; ISDN; fax; radio; teletype; T1; wireless communications.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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