Wireless technology allows two or more devices (computers or personal computers, smartphones, televisions, etc.) to communicate remotely, even while on the move, without the use of cables or other physical means.
We have several different wireless technologies to enable wireless communication between devices.
For example, the use of radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR) waves, microwave transmission, and even light.
The Wireless is a term that describes many communication technologies that rely on wireless signals rather than using a physical medium (usually wires) to transfer data. Wireless transmission uses air through electromagnetic waves, usually radio, and microwave transmissions.
The term communication, in this context, refers not only to communication between people, but also between devices and other technologies.
Wireless technology consists of transmitters of electromagnetic waves that transmit coded information, and receivers that collect information from these waves, and decode them. The waves travel from the transmitter to the receiver through the air; no physical medium is required.
Advantages of Wireless Communication
With the evolution of technology, many of these wireless connections have gone unnoticed in our environment as they are integrated into many of the devices we use in our daily activities, both in organizations and at home.
- All data or information can be transferred faster and at higher speed.
- These networks are cheaper to maintain and install.
- You can access the Internet without cables.
- It is very useful for workers who work in remote areas, because they can communicate with operational centers.
Disadvantages of Wireless Communication
There are also certain drawbacks linked to the utilization of wireless networks:
- Unauthorized individuals can readily intercept wireless signals as they traverse through the air.
- Securing the wireless network is of paramount importance to prevent unauthorized users from exploiting the information. Robust computer security measures are imperative to avert breaches.
A History of Wireless Communications
To transmit wirelessly, we undeniably need to have transmitted by cable first, which is why Samuel FB Morse established the first commercial cable telegraph service in 1832.
However, the emergence of wireless technology began with the discovery of electromagnetic waves by Heinrich Hertz (19) in the 19th century.
Hertz made the first wireless transmission in 1888 using electromagnetic waves between two points of proximity.
He discovered that electromagnetic waves could carry information from one place to another through the air without using wires, as Morse had done.
In the late 1890s, Guglielmo Marconi established the first commercial radio frequency (RF) communications on a wireless telegraph over a distance of 1 km, 50 years after the first Morse telegraph wire transmission.
Marconi’s transmission stands as the inaugural instance of genuinely wireless information transmission, notwithstanding the belief of certain scientists attributing this achievement to Nikola Tesla’s radio.
Wireless technology consistently follows in the wake of wired technology, and although it frequently entails higher costs, it confers the valuable advantage of mobility. This mobility empowers users to access and convey information while on the move.
Broadcast communications, including direct radio, television, and satellite, emerge as another significant catalyst for wireless technology.
A single wireless transmitter can send a signal to hundreds of thousands of receivers, as long as they all receive the same information.
Today, wireless technology includes a variety of communication devices, such as garage door openers, baby monitors, walkie-talkies, smartphones, and transmission systems such as point-to-point microwave links, wireless Internet services, and satellite communications.
How Does Wireless Technology Work?
Wireless technology works because electromagnetic waves traveling through the air at the speed of light can generate or “detect” electrical signals on antennas.
If we could control this electromagnetic wave, then we could use it to communicate or transfer information from one place to another without using wires. Information is sent from one place (transmitter) and transferred to another place (receiver) using electromagnetic waves.
The transmitter and receiver are located at each end of the wireless system using antennas at each end. But to understand wireless technology, you must first understand electromagnetic waves.
Electromagnetic Waves: Frequency and Vibration
Electromagnetic waves usually have a sinusoidal shape. The frequency of an electromagnetic wave is the speed at which the signal vibrates. Specifically, the frequency of a wave is the number of times a wave repeats itself in one second, expressed in hertz.
The 1 Hz waves repeat every second. For example, an FM radio signal vibrates about 100 million times per second.
Another important aspect is wavelength, which is the distance between the two crests of a wave.
Logically, the longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency of vibration. If it vibrates very fast (high frequency), the waves produced will be closer together and have shorter wavelengths.
Now we can classify electromagnetic waves by frequency or wavelength, using one of them for one type of transmission and the other for another, so that we can send different types of information without interfering with each other.
Because electromagnetic waves can have different frequencies (electromagnetic bands), we can transmit two different signals at the same time without their signals interfering with each other. The range of different frequencies is called the electromagnetic spectrum.
The government of each country is responsible for assigning frequency bands for each specific use. Licensed frequency bands are owned by certain companies or institutions for specific purposes and may not be used by others.
Unlicensed frequency bands are free and available to anyone subject to certain rules.
Types of Wireless Technology
Communication between devices uses different types of signals to transfer wireless data. Below are the different electromagnetic signals used depending on the wavelength and frequency.
- RF transmission
RF signals span a frequency spectrum ranging from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. They serve as a cornerstone of wireless communications owing to their capacity to penetrate obstacles and cover extensive distances. Successful radio communication hinges on a multitude of factors, including wavelength, transmitter power, receiver quality, antenna type, size, and elevation.
These signals play a pivotal role in transmitting information and are apprehended by antennas. Various everyday devices, such as televisions, radios, and cell phones, emit RF signals that can be received and processed.
Infrared is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength greater than visible light, so this light is invisible to the human eye. They are usually made of LEDs.
These waves are generally used for short distance communications. These signals do not pass through solid objects.
Examples of uses include TV remote control, mobile data sharing, etc.
- Microwave transmission
Microwaves exhibit a spectrum of lengths, ranging from one meter to one millimeter, while their frequencies span from 300 MHz to 300 GHz.
Their exceptionally high frequency, coupled with their position within the spectrum, renders them suitable for data transmission, devoid of interference from radio frequency waves.
Microwaves find extensive utility in long-distance communications due to their cost-effectiveness. Common applications encompass microwave ovens, the distribution of television programs, and radio broadcasts.
- Transmission of light waves
Light is electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength varies between infrared and ultraviolet radiation. The wavelengths are between 430 and 750 THz. They are unguided light signals like lasers and are unidirectional.
Other less used forms include X-rays, ultraviolet light, gamma, and even the Doppler effect.
More Types of Waves for More Types of Wireless Technology
Technological advances are leading us into the “wireless age”, where the role of wireless connectivity in businesses is becoming more and more important.
Wi-Fi serves as a low-power wireless communication method employed by an array of electronic devices, including smartphones and laptops.
In this setup, the router functions as a wireless hub, limiting user connections to those in proximity to the router.
For security considerations, it is imperative to secure these networks with passwords; otherwise, unauthorized individuals may gain access to them.
Wimax is a communication technology similar to WiFi, but transmitted by microwave transmissions, with a range of more than 30 km, and speeds of up to 124 Mbps.
So far, the fastest WiFi network speed is about 54 Mbps and the maximum range is about 300 meters. It’s a clear contender for lightning-fast internet connections and wide coverage.
Chinese researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics have succeeded in transmitting information from the Internet using light instead of traditional radio waves (Wi-Fi). The team connected four computers to the Internet using one-watt LEDs.
This tiny light bulb can transmit data 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. This new technology is called LIFI.
- Bluetooth technology
The main function of Bluetooth technology is to enable wireless connection of various electronic devices at close range. Cell phones or smartphones connect to headsets, mouse, wireless keyboards, and other hands-free devices using Bluetooth. The most advanced is Bluetooth LE (Low Energy).
Learn more about this topic by visiting our site MecanicaDiesel.