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Radio is the technology of signaling and
communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbols, and Semio ...
using
radio wave Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies ma ...
s. Radio waves are
electromagnetic wave In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...

electromagnetic wave
s of
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparen ...

frequency
between 30 
hertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action ...

hertz
(Hz) and 300 
gigahertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the SI derived unit, derived unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI) and is defined as one cycle (geometry), cycle per second. It is named after Heinrich Hertz, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first per ...
(GHz). They are generated by an electronic device called a
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
connected to an
antenna Antenna (pl. antennas or antennae) may refer to: Science and engineering * Antenna (radio) In radio engineering, an antenna or aerial is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal con ...
which radiates the waves, and received by another antenna connected to a
radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is ...

radio receiver
. Radio is very widely used in modern technology, in radio communication,
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
,
radio navigation Radio navigation or radionavigation is the application of radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Sub ...
,
remote control In electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplifier, ampl ...

remote control
,
remote sensing image of Death Valley colored using polarimetry. Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object, in contrast to in situ or on-site observation. The term is applied e ...

remote sensing
, and other applications. In radio communication, used in
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...
and
television broadcasting A television network or broadcaster is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, where a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay television providers. Until the mid-1980s, te ...

television broadcasting
,
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

cell phone
s,
two-way radio A two-way radio is a that can both transmit and receive s (a ), unlike a receiver which only receives content. It is an audio (sound) , a and in one unit, used for bidirectional person-to-person voice communication with other users with ...
s,
wireless network A wireless network is a computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communicate with each other. These interconnections are made up of technologies, ...

wireless network
ing, and
satellite communication A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 ...
, among numerous other uses, radio waves are used to carry information across space from a transmitter to a receiver, by
modulating In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated con ...

modulating
the radio signal (impressing an information signal on the radio wave by varying some aspect of the wave) in the transmitter. In
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
, used to locate and track objects like aircraft, ships, spacecraft and missiles, a beam of radio waves emitted by a radar transmitter reflects off the target object, and the reflected waves reveal the object's location. In
radio navigation Radio navigation or radionavigation is the application of radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Sub ...
systems such as
GPS The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national ...
and VOR, a mobile receiver accepts radio signals from navigational radio beacons whose position is known, and by precisely measuring the arrival time of the radio waves the receiver can calculate its position on Earth. In wireless radio remote control devices like drones,
garage door opener A garage door opener is a motorized device that opens and closes a garage door A garage door is a large door on a Garage (house), garage that opens either manually or by an electric motor (a garage door opener). Garage doors are frequently la ...

garage door opener
s, and
keyless entry system A smart entry system is an electronic lock An electronic lock (or electric lock) is a locking device which operates by means of electric current. Electric locks are sometimes stand-alone with an electronic control assembly mounted directly to ...
s, radio signals transmitted from a controller device control the actions of a remote device. Applications of radio waves that do not involve transmitting the waves significant distances, such as
RF heating Dielectric heating, also known as electronic heating, radio frequency heating, and high-frequency heating, is the process in which a radio frequency Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an Alternating_current, alternating electric cu ...
used in industrial processes and
microwave oven A microwave oven (commonly referred to as a microwave) is an electric oven upA double oven A ceramic oven An oven is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. ...

microwave oven
s, and medical uses such as
diathermy Diathermy is electrically induced heat or the use of high-frequency electromagnetic currents as a form of physical therapy and in surgical procedures. The earliest observations on the reactions of high-frequency electromagnetic currents upon the ...
and
MRI machine Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging Medical imaging is the technique and process of imaging the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of the function of some or ...
s, are not usually called ''radio''. The noun ''radio'' is also used to mean a
broadcast radio receiver
broadcast radio receiver
. Radio waves were first identified and studied by German physicist
Heinrich Hertz Heinrich Rudolf Hertz ( ; ; 22 February 1857 – 1 January 1894) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empi ...

Heinrich Hertz
in 1886. The first practical radio transmitters and receivers were developed around 1895–1896 by Italian
Guglielmo Marconi Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi (; 25 April 187420 July 1937) was an inventor and , known for his creation of a practical -based system. This led to Marconi being credited as the , and he shared the 1909 with "in ...

Guglielmo Marconi
, and radio began to be used commercially around 1900. To prevent interference between users, the emission of radio waves is regulated by law, coordinated by an international body called the
International Telecommunication Union The International Telecommunication Union is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communications technology, information and co ...

International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), which allocates frequency bands in the
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
for different uses.


Technology

Radio waves are radiated by
electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carried by protons and electrons respectively). Like c ...
s undergoing
acceleration In mechanics Mechanics (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...

acceleration
. They are generated artificially by time varying
electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particle In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, ...
s, consisting of
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s flowing back and forth in a metal conductor called an antenna, thus accelerating. In transmission, a
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
generates an
alternating current Alternating current (AC) is an electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particle In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'natu ...
of
radio frequency Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible p ...
which is applied to an antenna. The antenna radiates the power in the current as radio waves. When the waves strike the antenna of a
radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is ...

radio receiver
, they push the electrons in the metal back and forth, inducing a tiny alternating current. The radio receiver connected to the receiving antenna detects this oscillating current and amplifies it. As they travel farther from the transmitting antenna, radio waves spread out so their
signal strength In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of ...
( intensity in watts per square meter) decreases, so radio transmissions can only be received within a limited range of the transmitter, the distance depending on the transmitter power, the antenna
radiation pattern pattern of a horn antenna, the bottom shows the omnidirectional pattern of a simple vertical antenna. In the field of Antenna (radio), antenna design the term radiation pattern (or antenna pattern or far-field pattern) refers to the ''direction ...

radiation pattern
, receiver sensitivity, noise level, and presence of obstructions between transmitter and receiver. An
omnidirectional antenna on a walkie-talkie A walkie-talkie, more formally known as a handheld transceiver (HT), is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald Hings, radio enginee ...
transmits or receives radio waves in all directions, while a
directional antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna which radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing increased performance and reduced Interference (communication), interference from unwanted sources. Directional antennas p ...
or
high gain antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna Antenna (pl. antennas or antennae) may refer to: Science and engineering * Antenna (radio) In radio engineering, an antenna or aerial is the interface between radio waves propagating th ...
transmits radio waves in a beam in a particular direction, or receives waves from only one direction. Radio waves travel through a vacuum at the
speed of light The speed of light in vacuum A vacuum is a space Space is the boundless three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called paramet ...
, and in the air at very close to the speed of light, so the
wavelength In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular su ...

wavelength
of a radio wave, the distance in meters between adjacent crests of the wave, is inversely proportional to its
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparen ...

frequency
. The other types of
electromagnetic wave In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...

electromagnetic wave
s besides radio waves;
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with wavelengths longer than those of Light, visible light. It is therefore invisible to the human eye. IR is generally understood to encompass wavelengths from ...

infrared
,
visible light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nano ...
,
ultraviolet Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, ...

ultraviolet
,
X-ray An X-ray, or, much less commonly, X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Moti ...

X-ray
s and
gamma rays A gamma ray, also known as gamma radiation (symbol γ or \gamma), is a penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, i ...
, are also able to carry information and be used for communication. The wide use of radio waves for telecommunication is mainly due to their desirable propagation properties stemming from their large wavelength. Radio waves have the ability to pass through the atmosphere, foliage, and most building materials, and by
diffraction Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that ...

diffraction
can bend around obstructions, and unlike other electromagnetic waves, they tend to be scattered rather than absorbed by objects larger than their wavelength.


Radio communication

In radio communication systems, information is carried across space using radio waves. At the sending end, the information to be sent is converted by some type of
transducer A transducer is a device that energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a in one form of energy to a signal in another. Transducers are often employed at the boundaries of , , and s, where electrical signals are converted t ...

transducer
to a time-varying
electrical signal In signal processing, a signal is a function that conveys information about a phenomenon. In electronics and telecommunications, it refers to any time varying voltage, electric current, current or electromagnetic wave that carries information. ...
called the modulation signal. The modulation signal may be an
audio signal An audio signal is a representation of sound, typically using either a changing level of electrical voltage for analog signals, or a series of binary numbers for Digital signal (signal processing), digital signals. Audio signals have frequencies i ...
representing sound from a
microphone A microphone, colloquially called a mic or mike (), is a device – a transducer – that converts sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''ph ...

microphone
, a
video signal Video is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active de ...
representing moving images from a
video camera A video camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural ...

video camera
, or a
digital signal A digital signal is a signal In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images ...
consisting of a sequence of bits representing binary data from a computer. The modulation signal is applied to a
radio transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
. In the transmitter, an
electronic oscillator An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic component An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physica ...
generates an
alternating current Alternating current (AC) is an electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particle In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'natu ...
oscillating at a
radio frequency Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible p ...
, called the ''
carrier wave upright=1.4, The frequency spectrum of a typical radio signal from an AM or FM radio transmitter. The horizontal axis is frequency; the vertical axis is signal amplitude or power. It consists of a signal (C) at the carrier wave frequency ''f''C, wi ...
'' because it serves to "carry" the information through the air. The information signal is used to the carrier, varying some aspect of the carrier wave, impressing the information on the carrier. Different radio systems use different
modulation In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the ''carrier signal'', with a separate signal called the ''modulation signal'' that typically contains informatio ...

modulation
methods: * AM () – in an AM transmitter, the
amplitude The amplitude of a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, a descriptor for ...

amplitude
(strength) of the radio carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal. * FM (
frequency modulation Frequency modulation (FM) is the encoding of information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is ...

frequency modulation
) – in an FM transmitter, the
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparen ...

frequency
of the radio carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal. * FSK (
frequency-shift keying Frequency-shift keying (FSK) is a scheme in which digital information is transmitted through discrete frequency changes of a . The technology is used for communication systems such as , weather balloon s, , s, and low frequency radio transm ...
) – used in wireless digital devices to transmit
digital signal A digital signal is a signal In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images ...
s, the frequency of the carrier wave is shifted periodically between two frequencies that represent the two
binary digit Binary may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Binary number In mathematics and digital electronics, a binary number is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal ...
s, 0 and 1, to transmit a sequence of bits. * OFDM (
orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of human ...
) – a family of complicated
digital modulation In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the ''carrier signal'', with a separate signal called the ''modulation signal'' that typically contains informatio ...
methods very widely used in high bandwidth systems such as
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi () is a family of wireless network A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. Wireless networking is a method by which homes, telecommunications networks and business installa ...

Wi-Fi
networks,
cellphone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunications Appliance (disambiguation), devic ...
s,
digital television Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual Audiovisual (AV) is electronic media 200px, Graphical representations of electrical audio data. Electronic media uses either analog (red) or digital (blue) signal pr ...
broadcasting, and
digital audio broadcasting Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is a digital radio Digital radio is the use of digital technology to transmit or receive across the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spect ...

digital audio broadcasting
(DAB) to transmit digital data using a minimum of
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
bandwidth. It has higher
spectral efficiency Spectral efficiency, spectrum efficiency or bandwidth efficiency refers to the information rate In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertaint ...
and more resistance to
fading In wireless communications, fading is variation of the attenuation of a signal with various variables. These variables include time, geographical position, and radio frequency. Fading is often modeled as a random process. A fading channel is a ...

fading
than AM or FM. In OFDM, multiple radio carrier waves closely spaced in frequency are transmitted within the radio channel, with each carrier modulated with bits from the incoming
bitstream A bitstream (or bit stream), also known as binary sequence, is a sequence In mathematics, a sequence is an enumerated collection of objects in which repetitions are allowed and order theory, order matters. Like a Set (mathematics), set, it conta ...

bitstream
so multiple bits are being sent simultaneously, in parallel. At the receiver, the carriers are demodulated and the bits are combined in the proper order into one bitstream. Many other types of modulation are also used. In some types, a carrier wave is not transmitted but just one or both modulation
sideband , fm is the maximum modulation frequency In radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahert ...

sideband
s. The modulated carrier is in the transmitter and applied to a transmitting
antenna Antenna (pl. antennas or antennae) may refer to: Science and engineering * Antenna (radio) In radio engineering, an antenna or aerial is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal con ...
which radiates the energy as radio waves. The radio waves carry the information to the receiver location. At the receiver, the radio wave induces a tiny oscillating
voltage Voltage, electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension is the difference in electric potential The electric potential (also called the ''electric field potential'', potential drop, the electrostatic potential) is the ...

voltage
in the receiving antenna which is a weaker replica of the current in the transmitting antenna. This voltage is applied to the
radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is ...

radio receiver
, which the weak radio signal so it is stronger, then
demodulate Demodulation is extracting the original information-bearing signal from a carrier wave. A demodulator is an electronic circuit (or computer program in a software-defined radio) that is used to recover the information content from the modulated carr ...
s it, extracting the original modulation signal from the modulated carrier wave. The modulation signal is converted by a
transducer A transducer is a device that energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a in one form of energy to a signal in another. Transducers are often employed at the boundaries of , , and s, where electrical signals are converted t ...

transducer
back to a human-usable form: an audio signal is converted to
sound wave In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular ...

sound wave
s by a loudspeaker or earphones, a
video signal Video is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active de ...
is converted to images by a
display Display may refer to: Technology * Display device, output device for presenting information, including: ** Cathode ray tube, video display that provides a quality picture, but can be very heavy and deep ** Electronic visual display, output device ...
, while a digital signal is applied to a computer or microprocessor, which interacts with human users. The radio waves from many transmitters pass through the air simultaneously without interfering with each other because each transmitter's radio waves oscillate at a different rate, in other words, each transmitter has a different
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparen ...

frequency
, measured in
kilohertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in a theatric ...
(kHz),
megahertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action ...
(MHz) or
gigahertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the SI derived unit, derived unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI) and is defined as one cycle (geometry), cycle per second. It is named after Heinrich Hertz, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first per ...
(GHz). The receiving antenna typically picks up the radio signals of many transmitters. The receiver uses ''
tuned circuit An LC circuit, also called a resonant circuit, tank circuit, or tuned circuit, is an electric circuit An electrical network is an interconnection of electrical component An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physic ...
s'' to select the radio signal desired out of all the signals picked up by the antenna and reject the others. A
tuned circuit An LC circuit, also called a resonant circuit, tank circuit, or tuned circuit, is an electric circuit An electrical network is an interconnection of electrical component An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physic ...
(also called resonant circuit or tank circuit) acts like a
resonator A resonator is a device or system that exhibits resonance Resonance describes the phenomenon of increased amplitude The amplitude of a Periodic function, periodic Variable (mathematics), variable is a measure of its change in a single Pe ...
, similarly to a
tuning fork A tuning fork is an acoustic Acoustic may refer to: Music Albums * Acoustic (Bayside EP), ''Acoustic'' (Bayside EP) * Acoustic (Britt Nicole EP), ''Acoustic'' (Britt Nicole EP) * Acoustic (Joey Cape and Tony Sly album), ''Acoustic'' (Joey Cap ...

tuning fork
. It has a natural
resonant frequency Resonance describes the phenomenon of increased amplitude The amplitude of a Periodic function, periodic Variable (mathematics), variable is a measure of its change in a single Period (mathematics), period (such as frequency, time or Wavelen ...
at which it oscillates. The resonant frequency of the receiver's tuned circuit is adjusted by the user to the frequency of the desired radio station; this is called "tuning". The oscillating radio signal from the desired station causes the tuned circuit to
resonate Resonance describes the phenomenon of increased amplitude that occurs when the frequency of a Periodic function, periodically applied force (or a Fourier analysis, Fourier component of it) is equal or close to a natural frequency of the syste ...

resonate
, oscillate in sympathy, and it passes the signal on to the rest of the receiver. Radio signals at other frequencies are blocked by the tuned circuit and not passed on.


Bandwidth

A modulated radio wave, carrying an information signal, occupies a range of
frequencies Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparent ...

frequencies
. See diagram. The information (
modulation In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the ''carrier signal'', with a separate signal called the ''modulation signal'' that typically contains informatio ...

modulation
) in a radio signal is usually concentrated in narrow frequency bands called
sideband , fm is the maximum modulation frequency In radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahert ...

sideband
s (''SB'') just above and below the
carrier Carrier may refer to: Entertainment * Carrier (album), ''Carrier'' (album), a 2013 album by The Dodos * Carrier (game), ''Carrier'' (game), a South Pacific World War II board game * Carrier (TV series), ''Carrier'' (TV series), a ten-part document ...
frequency. The width in
hertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action ...

hertz
of the frequency range that the radio signal occupies, the highest frequency minus the lowest frequency, is called its
bandwidth Bandwidth commonly refers to: * Bandwidth (signal processing) or ''analog bandwidth'', ''frequency bandwidth'', or ''radio bandwidth'', a measure of the width of a frequency range * Bandwidth (computing), the rate of data transfer, bit rate or thro ...
(''BW'')., p. 6 For any given
signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and ...
, an amount of bandwidth can carry the same amount of information ( data rate in bits per second) regardless of where in the radio frequency spectrum it is located, so bandwidth is a measure of information-carrying capacity. The bandwidth required by a radio transmission depends on the data rate of the information (modulation signal) being sent, and the
spectral efficiency Spectral efficiency, spectrum efficiency or bandwidth efficiency refers to the information rate In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertaint ...
of the
modulation In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the ''carrier signal'', with a separate signal called the ''modulation signal'' that typically contains informatio ...

modulation
method used; how much data it can transmit in each kilohertz of bandwidth. Different types of information signals carried by radio have different data rates. For example, a television (video) signal has a greater data rate than an
audio signal An audio signal is a representation of sound, typically using either a changing level of electrical voltage for analog signals, or a series of binary numbers for Digital signal (signal processing), digital signals. Audio signals have frequencies i ...
. The
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
, the total range of radio frequencies that can be used for communication in a given area, is a limited resource. Each radio transmission occupies a portion of the total bandwidth available. Radio bandwidth is regarded as an
economic good In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
which has a monetary cost and is in increasing demand. In some parts of the radio spectrum, the right to use a frequency band or even a single radio channel is bought and sold for millions of dollars. So there is an incentive to employ technology to minimize the bandwidth used by radio services. In recent years there has been a transition from to
digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology a ...
radio transmission technologies. Part of the reason for this is that
digital modulation In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the ''carrier signal'', with a separate signal called the ''modulation signal'' that typically contains informatio ...
can often transmit more information (a greater data rate) in a given bandwidth than
analog modulation In electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplifier, amplifi ...
, by using
data compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electro ...
algorithms, which reduce redundancy in the data to be sent, and more efficient modulation. Other reasons for the transition is that digital modulation has greater
noise immunity Noise is unwanted sound considered unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when th ...
than analog,
digital signal processing Digital signal processing (DSP) is the use of digital processing Digital data, in information theory and information systems, is information represented as a string of discrete symbols each of which can take on one of only a finite number of ...
chips have more power and flexibility than analog circuits, and a wide variety of types of information can be transmitted using the same digital modulation. Because it is a fixed resource which is in demand by an increasing number of users, the
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
has become increasingly congested in recent decades, and the need to use it more effectively is driving many additional radio innovations such as
trunked radio system Image:Trunked 5ch central control.svg, 240px, A central-controlled trunked system uses a control channel (as shown). Another type, Scan based trunked systems, (not shown) do not have a control channel. Frequencies are for discussion purposes and do ...
s,
spread spectrum In telecommunication and radio communication, spread-spectrum techniques are methods by which a signal (electrical engineering), signal (e.g., an electrical, electromagnetic, or acoustic signal) generated with a particular Bandwidth (signal pr ...
(ultra-wideband) transmission,
frequency reuse A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an ...

frequency reuse
,
dynamic spectrum management Dynamic spectrum management (DSM), also referred to as dynamic spectrum access (DSA), is a set of techniques based on theoretical concepts in network information theory Information theory is the scientific study of the quantification, storage, ...
, frequency pooling, and
cognitive radio A cognitive radio (CR) is a radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are ...
.


ITU frequency bands

The
ITU 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies Information and communications technology ...

ITU
arbitrarily divides the
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
into 12 bands, each beginning at a wavelength which is a power of ten (10n) metres, with corresponding frequency of 3 times a power of ten, and each covering a decade of frequency or wavelength. Article 2, Section 1, p.27 Each of these bands has a traditional name: It can be seen that the
bandwidth Bandwidth commonly refers to: * Bandwidth (signal processing) or ''analog bandwidth'', ''frequency bandwidth'', or ''radio bandwidth'', a measure of the width of a frequency range * Bandwidth (computing), the rate of data transfer, bit rate or thro ...
, the range of frequencies, contained in each band is not equal but increases exponentially as the frequency increases; each band contains ten times the bandwidth of the preceding band. The greater bandwidth available has motivated a continuing trend to exploit higher frequencies throughout radio's history.


Regulation

The airwaves are a resource shared by many users. Two radio transmitters in the same area that attempt to transmit on the same frequency will interfere with each other, causing garbled reception, so neither transmission may be received clearly.
Interference Interference is the act of interfering, invading, or poaching. Interference may also refer to: Communications * Interference (communication), anything which alters, modifies, or disrupts a message * Adjacent-channel interference, caused by extran ...
with radio transmissions can not only have a large economic cost, it can be life-threatening (for example, in the case of interference with emergency communications or
air traffic control Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controller Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global ...

air traffic control
). To prevent interference between different users, the emission of radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the
International Telecommunication Union The International Telecommunication Union is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communications technology, information and co ...

International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), which allocates bands in the
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
for different uses. Radio transmitters must be licensed by governments, under a variety of license classes depending on use, and are restricted to certain frequencies and power levels. In some classes, such as radio and television broadcasting stations, the transmitter is given a unique identifier consisting of a string of letters and numbers called a ''
call sign In broadcasting and radio communications, a call sign (also known as a call name or call letters—and historically as a call signal—or abbreviated as a call) is a Identifier, unique designation for a transmitter station. In the United States o ...
'', which must be used in all transmissions. The radio operator must hold a government license, such as the
general radiotelephone operator licenseThe General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) is a license granted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is required to operate certain radio equipment. It is required by any persons who adjust, maintain, or internally repai ...
in the US, obtained by taking a test demonstrating adequate technical and legal knowledge of safe radio operation. Exceptions to the above rules allow the unlicensed operation by the public of low power short-range transmitters in consumer products such as cell phones,
cordless phone The term cordless is generally used to refer to electrical or electronic devices that are powered by a battery (electricity), battery or battery pack and can operate without a power cord or cable attached to an electrical outlet to provide mains po ...
s,
wireless device Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor as a medium by which to perform the transfer. The most common wireless technolo ...
s,
walkie-talkie A walkie-talkie, more formally known as a handheld transceiver (HT), is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald Hings, radio engineer Alfred J. Gross, He ...
s,
citizens band radio Citizens band radio (also known as CB radio), used in many countries, is a land mobile radio system A land mobile radio system (LMRS) is a person-to-person voice communication system consisting of two-way radio A two-way radio is a th ...
s,
wireless microphone A wireless microphone, or cordless microphone, is a microphone A microphone, colloquially called a mic or mike (), is a device – a transducer – that converts sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστ ...
s,
garage door opener A garage door opener is a motorized device that opens and closes a garage door A garage door is a large door on a Garage (house), garage that opens either manually or by an electric motor (a garage door opener). Garage doors are frequently la ...

garage door opener
s, and
baby monitor 230px, Audio baby monitor A baby monitor, also known as a baby alarm, is a radio system used to remotely listen to sounds made by an infant. An audio monitor consists of a transmitter unit, equipped with a microphone, placed near to the child. It t ...
s. In the US, these fall under
Part 15 Code of Federal Regulations The ''Code of Federal Regulations'' (''CFR'') is the codification of the general and permanent regulations published in the ''Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official jo ...
of the
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. I ...
(FCC) regulations. Many of these devices use the
ISM band The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') ...
s, a series of frequency bands throughout the radio spectrum reserved for unlicensed use. Although they can be operated without a license, like all radio equipment these devices generally must be type-approved before the sale.


Applications

Below are some of the most important uses of radio, organized by function.


Broadcasting

Broadcasting Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functi ...

Broadcasting
is the one-way transmission of information from a transmitter to receivers belonging to a public audience. Since the radio waves become weaker with distance, a
broadcasting station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata Metadata is " data" that provides information about other data". In other words, it is "data about data". Many distinct type ...
can only be received within a limited distance of its transmitter. Systems that broadcast from
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can generally be received over an entire country or continent. Older terrestrial radio and television are paid for by
commercial advertising A television advertisement (also called a television commercial, commercial, advert, TV advert or simply an ad) is a span of television programming produced and paid for by an organization. It conveys a message promoting, and aiming to market, ...
or governments. In subscription systems like
satellite television Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunication signals v ...
and
satellite radio Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autono ...
the customer pays a monthly fee. In these systems, the radio signal is
encrypted In cryptography, encryption is the process of Code, encoding information. This process converts the original representation of the information, known as plaintext, into an alternative form known as ciphertext. Ideally, only authorized parties can ...

encrypted
and can only be decrypted by the receiver, which is controlled by the company and can be deactivated if the customer doesn't pay the bill. Broadcasting uses several parts of the radio spectrum, depending on the type of signals transmitted and the desired target audience.
Longwave In radio, longwave, long wave or long-wave, and commonly abbreviated LW, refers to parts of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (th ...
and
medium wave Medium wave (MW) is the part of the (MF) used mainly for . The spectrum provides about 120 channels with limited sound quality. During daytime, only local stations can be received. Propagation in the night allows strong signals within a range ...
signals can give reliable coverage of areas several hundred kilometers across, but have the more limited information-carrying capacity and so work best with audio signals (speech and music), and the sound quality can be degraded by
radio noise In radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electroni ...
from natural and artificial sources. The
shortwave Shortwave radio is radio transmission using shortwave (SW) radio frequencies. There is no official definition of the band, but the range always includes all of the High frequency, high frequency band (HF), which extends from 3 to 30 MHz (100 ...

shortwave
bands have a greater potential range but are more subject to interference by distant stations and varying atmospheric conditions that affect reception. In the
very high frequency Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies ...
band, greater than 30 megahertz, the Earth's atmosphere has less of an effect on the range of signals, and
line-of-sight propagation Line-of-sight propagation is a characteristic of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior t ...
becomes the principal mode. These higher frequencies permit the great bandwidth required for television broadcasting. Since natural and artificial noise sources are less present at these frequencies, high-quality audio transmission is possible, using
frequency modulation Frequency modulation (FM) is the encoding of information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is ...

frequency modulation
.


Audio: Radio broadcasting

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means transmission of
audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion ( ...
(sound) to
radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is ...

radio receiver
s belonging to a public audience. Analog audio is the earliest form of radio broadcast.
AM broadcasting AM broadcasting is radio broadcasting , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio broadcasting th ...
began around 1920.
FM broadcasting FM broadcasting is a method of radio broadcasting using frequency modulation (FM). Invented in 1933 by American engineer Edwin Armstrong, wide-band FM is used worldwide to provide high fidelity sound over broadcast radio. FM broadcasting is capab ...
was introduced in the late 1930s with improved
fidelity Fidelity is the quality of faithfulness Eugene Santos or Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exh ...

fidelity
. A broadcast radio receiver is called a ''radio''. Most radios can receive both AM and FM and are called AM/FM receivers. *AM () – in AM, the
amplitude The amplitude of a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, a descriptor for ...

amplitude
(strength) of the radio carrier wave is varied by the audio signal.
AM broadcasting AM broadcasting is radio broadcasting , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio broadcasting th ...
, the oldest broadcasting technology, is allowed in the
AM broadcast band AM broadcasting is radio broadcasting , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio broadcasting th ...
s, between 148 and 283 kHz in the
low frequency Low frequency (LF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 30–300  kHz. Since its wavelengths range from 10–1  km, respectively, it is also known as the kilometre band or kilometre wave. LF radio waves e ...

low frequency
(LF) band, and between 526 and 1706 kHz in the
medium frequency Medium frequency (MF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 300  kilohertz (kHz) to 3  megahertz (MHz). Part of this band is the medium wave (MW) AM broadcast band. The MF band is also known as the ...

medium frequency
(MF) band. Because waves in these bands travel as
ground wave A diving thumb The thumb is the first digit of the hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the Elbow-joint, elbow and the wrist. The ter ...
s following the terrain, AM radio stations can be received beyond the horizon at hundreds of miles distance, but AM has lower fidelity than FM. Radiated power ( ERP) of AM stations in the US is usually limited to a maximum of 10 kW, although a few (
clear-channel stations A clear-channel station is an AM radio station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio broadc ...
) are allowed to transmit at 50 kW. AM stations broadcast in monaural audio; AM stereo broadcast standards exist in most countries, but the radio industry has failed to upgrade to them due to lack of demand. **Shortwave listening, Shortwave broadcasting – AM broadcasting is also allowed in the
shortwave Shortwave radio is radio transmission using shortwave (SW) radio frequencies. There is no official definition of the band, but the range always includes all of the High frequency, high frequency band (HF), which extends from 3 to 30 MHz (100 ...

shortwave
bands by legacy radio stations. Since radio waves in these bands can travel intercontinental distances by reflecting off the ionosphere using skywave or "skip" propagation, shortwave is used by international stations, broadcasting to other countries. *FM (
frequency modulation Frequency modulation (FM) is the encoding of information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is ...

frequency modulation
) – in FM the
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparen ...

frequency
of the radio carrier signal is varied slightly by the audio signal.
FM broadcasting FM broadcasting is a method of radio broadcasting using frequency modulation (FM). Invented in 1933 by American engineer Edwin Armstrong, wide-band FM is used worldwide to provide high fidelity sound over broadcast radio. FM broadcasting is capab ...
is permitted in the FM broadcast bands between about 65 and 108 MHz in the
very high frequency Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies ...
(VHF) range. Radio waves in this band travel by line-of-sight propagation, line-of-sight so FM reception is limited by the visual horizon to about , and can be blocked by hills. However it is less susceptible to interference from
radio noise In radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electroni ...
(Radio frequency interference, RFI, sferics, static) and has higher
fidelity Fidelity is the quality of faithfulness Eugene Santos or Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exh ...

fidelity
; better frequency response and less audio distortion, than AM. In the US, radiated power ( ERP) of FM stations varies from 6 to 100 kW. *Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) debuted in some countries in 1998. It transmits audio as a
digital signal A digital signal is a signal In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images ...
rather than an analog signal as AM and FM do. DAB has the potential to provide higher quality sound than FM (although many stations do not choose to transmit at such high quality), has greater immunity to
radio noise In radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electroni ...
and interference, makes better use of scarce
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
bandwidth and provides advanced user features such as electronic program guides. Its disadvantage is that it is incompatible with previous radios so that a new DAB receiver must be purchased. Most countries plan an eventual switchover from FM to DAB. The United States and Canada have chosen not to implement DAB. :A single DAB station transmits a 1,500 kHz bandwidth signal that carries from 9 to 12 channels of digital audio modulated by orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, OFDM from which the listener can choose. Broadcasters can transmit a channel at a range of different bit rates, so different channels can have different audio quality. In different countries DAB stations broadcast in either Band III (174–240 MHz) or L band (1.452–1.492 GHz) in the UHF range, so like FM reception is limited by the visual horizon to about . *Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is a competing digital terrestrial radio standard developed mainly by broadcasters as a higher
spectral efficiency Spectral efficiency, spectrum efficiency or bandwidth efficiency refers to the information rate In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertaint ...
replacement for legacy AM and FM broadcasting. ''Mondiale'' means "worldwide" in French and Italian, and DRM, developed in 2001, is currently supported by 23 countries and has been adopted by some European and Eastern broadcasters beginning in 2003. The DRM30 mode uses the AM broadcast bands below 30 MHz and is intended as a replacement for AM and shortwave broadcasting, and the DRM+ mode uses very high frequency, VHF frequencies centered on the FM broadcast band and is intended as a replacement for FM broadcasting. It is incompatible with existing radio receivers and requires listeners to purchase a new DRM receiver. The modulation used is a form of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, OFDM called COFDM in which up to 4 carriers are transmitted in a channel formerly occupied by a single AM or FM signal, modulated by quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). The DRM system is designed to be as compatible as possible with existing AM and FM radio transmitters, so much of the equipment in existing radio stations will not have to be replaced. *Satellite radio is a subscription radio service that broadcasts CD quality digital audio direct to subscribers' receivers using a microwave downlink signal from a communications satellite, direct broadcast communication satellite in geostationary orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth. It is mostly intended for car radios in vehicles. Satellite radio uses the 2.3 GHz S band in North America, in other parts of the world, it uses the 1.4 GHz L band allocated for DAB.


Video: Television broadcasting

Television broadcasting is the transmission of moving images by radio, which consist of sequences of still images, which are displayed on a screen on a television receiver (a "television" or TV) along with a synchronized audio (sound) channel. Television (video signal, video) signals occupy a wider
bandwidth Bandwidth commonly refers to: * Bandwidth (signal processing) or ''analog bandwidth'', ''frequency bandwidth'', or ''radio bandwidth'', a measure of the width of a frequency range * Bandwidth (computing), the rate of data transfer, bit rate or thro ...
than broadcast radio (
audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion ( ...
) signals. Analog television, the original television technology, required 6 MHz, so the television frequency bands are divided into 6 MHz channels, now called "RF channels". The current television standard, introduced beginning in 2006, is a digital format called high-definition television (HDTV), which transmits pictures at higher resolution, typically 1080 pixels high by 1920 pixels wide, at a rate of 25 or 30 frames per second. Digital television (DTV) transmission systems, which replaced older analog television in a Digital television transition, transition beginning in 2006, use image compression and high-efficiency digital modulation such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, OFDM and 8VSB to transmit HDTV video within a smaller bandwidth than the old analog channels, saving scarce
radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with Frequency, frequencies from 3 hertz, Hz to 300 Hertz, GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called ''radio waves'', are widely used in modern technology, ...
space. Therefore, each of the 6  MHz analog RF channels now carries up to 7 DTV channels – these are called "virtual channels". Digital television receivers have different behavior in the presence of poor reception or noise than analog television, called the "digital cliff" effect. Unlike analog television, in which increasingly poor reception causes the picture quality to gradually degrade, in digital television picture quality is not affected by poor reception until, at a certain point, the receiver stops working and the screen goes black. *Terrestrial television, ''over-the-air (OTA) television'', or ''broadcast television'' – the oldest television technology, is the transmission of television signals from land-based television stations to television receivers (called ''televisions'' or TVs) in viewer's homes. Terrestrial television broadcasting uses the bands 41 – 88 MHz (VHF low band or Band I, carrying RF channels 1–6), 174 – 240 MHz, (VHF high band or Band III; carrying RF channels 7–13), and 470 – 614 MHz (UHF Band IV and Band V; carrying RF channels 14 and up). The exact frequency boundaries vary in different countries. Propagation is by line-of-sight propagation, line-of-sight, so reception is limited by the visual horizon to . In the US effective radiated power (ERP) of television, transmitters are limited to 35 kW in the VHF low band, 50 kW in the VHF high band, and 220 kW in UHF band; most TV stations operate below 75% of the limit. In most areas, viewers use a simple "rabbit ears" dipole antenna on top of the TV, but viewers in fringe reception areas more than 15 miles from a station usually have to use an outdoor antenna mounted on the roof to get adequate reception. *Satellite television – a set-top box which receives subscription direct-broadcast satellite television, and displays it on an ordinary television. A direct broadcast satellite in geostationary orbit above the Earth's equator transmits many channels (up to 900) modulated on a 12.2 to 12.7 GHz Ku band, Ku band microwave downlink signal to a rooftop satellite dish antenna on the subscriber's residence. The microwave signal is converted to a lower intermediate frequency at the dish and conducted into the building by a coaxial cable to a set-top box connected to the subscriber's TV, where it is demodulated and displayed. The subscriber pays a monthly fee.


Time

Government standard frequency and time signal services operate-time radio stations which continuously broadcast extremely accurate time signals produced by atomic clocks, as a reference to synchronize other clocks. Examples are BPC (time signal), BPC, DCF77, JJY, Time from NPL (MSF), MSF, RTZ (radio station), RTZ, TDF time signal, TDF, WWV (radio station), WWV, and YVTO. One use is in radio clocks and watches, which include an automated receiver that periodically (usually weekly) receives and decodes the time signal and resets the watch's internal quartz clock to the correct time, thus allowing a small watch or desk clock to have the same accuracy as an atomic clock. Government time stations are declining in number because global positioning system, GPS satellites and the Internet Network Time Protocol (NTP) provide equally accurate time standards.


Two-way voice communication

A
two-way radio A two-way radio is a that can both transmit and receive s (a ), unlike a receiver which only receives content. It is an audio (sound) , a and in one unit, used for bidirectional person-to-person voice communication with other users with ...
is an
audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion ( ...
transceiver, a radio receiver, receiver and
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
in the same device, used for bidirectional person-to-person voice communication with other users with similar radios. An older term for this mode of communication is ''radiotelephony''. The radio link may be half-duplex, as in a
walkie-talkie A walkie-talkie, more formally known as a handheld transceiver (HT), is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald Hings, radio engineer Alfred J. Gross, He ...
, using a single radio channel in which only one radio can transmit at a time, so different users take turns talking, pressing a "push to talk" button on their radio which switches off the receiver and switches on the transmitter. Or the radio link may be full duplex, a bidirectional link using two radio channels so both people can talk at the same time, as in a cell phone. *Cell phone – a portable wireless telephone that is connected to the public switched telephone network, telephone network by radio signals exchanged with a local antenna at a cellular base station (cell tower). The service area covered by the provider is divided into small geographical areas called "cells", each served by a separate base station antenna and multichannel transceiver. All the cell phones in a cell communicate with this antenna on separate frequency channels, assigned from a common pool of frequencies.

The purpose of cellular organization is to conserve radio bandwidth by

frequency reuse A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an ...

frequency reuse
. Low power transmitters are used so the radio waves used in a cell do not travel far beyond the cell, allowing the same frequencies to be reused in geographically separated cells. When a user carrying a cellphone crosses from one cell to another, his phone is automatically "handed off" seamlessly to the new antenna and assigned new frequencies. Cellphones have a highly automated full duplex digital transceiver using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, OFDM modulation using two digital radio channels, each carrying one direction of the bidirectional conversation, as well as a control channel that handles dialing calls and "handing off" the phone to another cell tower. Older 2G, 3G, and 4G networks use frequencies in the ultrahigh frequency, UHF and low microwave range, between 700 MHz and 3 GHz. The cell phone transmitter adjusts its power output to use the minimum power necessary to communicate with the cell tower; 0.6 W when near the tower, up to 3 W when farther away. Cell tower channel transmitter power is 50 W. Current generation phones, called smartphones, have many functions besides making telephone calls, and therefore have several other radio transmitters and receivers that connect them with other networks: usually a wireless modem, Wi-Fi modem, a Bluetooth modem, and a GPS receiver.

**5G, 5G cellular network – next-generation cellular networks which began deployment in 2019. Their major advantage is much higher data signaling rate, data rates than previous cellular networks, up to 10 bits per second, Gbps; 100 times faster than the previous cellular technology, 4G LTE. The higher data rates are achieved partly by using higher frequency radio waves, in the higher microwave band 3 - 6 GHz, and millimeter wave band, around 28 and 39 GHz. Since these frequencies have a shorter range than previous cellphone bands, the cells will be smaller than the cells in previous cellular networks which could be many miles across. Millimeter-wave cells will only be a few blocks long, and instead of a cell site, cell base station and antenna tower, they will have many small antennas attached to utility poles and buildings. *Satellite phone (''satphone'') – a portable wireless telephone similar to a cell phone, connected to the public switched telephone network, telephone network through a radio link to an orbiting communications satellite instead of through cell towers. They are more expensive than cell phones; but their advantage is that, unlike a cell phone which is limited to areas covered by cell towers, satphones can be used over most or all of the geographical area of the Earth. In order for the phone to communicate with a satellite using a small
omnidirectional antenna on a walkie-talkie A walkie-talkie, more formally known as a handheld transceiver (HT), is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald Hings, radio enginee ...
, first-generation systems use satellites in low Earth orbit, about above the surface. With an orbital period of about 100 minutes, a satellite can only be in view of a phone for about 4 – 15 minutes, so the call is "handed off" to another satellite when one passes beyond the local horizon. Therefore, large numbers of satellites, about 40 to 70, are required to ensure that at least one satellite is in view continuously from each point on Earth. Other satphone systems use satellites in geostationary orbit in which only a few satellites are needed, but these cannot be used at high latitudes because of terrestrial interference. *Cordless phone- a landline telephone in which the handset is portable and communicates with the rest of the phone by a short-range duplex (telecommunications), full duplex radio link, instead of being attached by a cord. Both the handset and the base station have low-power FM radio transceivers operating in the ultrahigh frequency, UHF band that handles the short-range bidirectional radio link. *Land mobile radio system – short-range mobile or portable half-duplex radio transceivers operating in the VHF or UHF band that can be used without a license. They are often installed in vehicles, with the mobile units communicating with a dispatcher at a fixed base station. Special systems with reserved frequencies are used by first responder services; police, fire, ambulance, and emergency services, and other government services. Other systems are made for use by commercial firms such as taxi and delivery services. VHF systems use channels in the range 30–50  MHz and 150–172  MHz. UHF systems use the 450–470  MHz band and in some areas the 470–512  MHz range. In general, VHF systems have a longer range than UHF but require longer antennas. AM or FM modulation is mainly used, but digital systems such as Digital mobile radio, DMR are being introduced. The radiated power is typically limited to 4 watts. These systems have a fairly limited range, usually depending on terrain. Repeaters installed on tall buildings, hills, or mountain peaks are often used to increase the range when it is desired to cover a larger area than line-of-sight. Examples of land mobile systems are Citizens Band, CB, Family Radio Service, FRS, General Mobile Radio Service, GMRS, and Multi-Use Radio Service, MURS. Modern digital systems, called
trunked radio system Image:Trunked 5ch central control.svg, 240px, A central-controlled trunked system uses a control channel (as shown). Another type, Scan based trunked systems, (not shown) do not have a control channel. Frequencies are for discussion purposes and do ...
s, have a digital channel management system using a control channel that automatically assigns frequency channels to user groups. **Walkie-talkie – a battery-powered portable handheld half-duplex two-way radio, used in land mobile radio systems. *Airband – Half-duplex radio system used by aircraft pilots to talk to other aircraft and ground-based air traffic controllers. This vital system is the main communication channel for
air traffic control Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controller Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global ...

air traffic control
. For most communication in overland flights in air corridors a VHF-AM system using channels between 108 and 137  MHz in the very high frequency, VHF band are used. This system has a typical transmission range of for aircraft flying at cruising altitude. For flights in more remote areas, such as transoceanic airline flights, aircraft use the high frequency, HF band or channels on the Inmarsat or Iridium satphone satellites. Military aircraft also use a dedicated UHF-AM band from 225.0 to 399.95 MHz. *Marine radio – medium-range transceivers on ships, used for ship-to-ship, ship-to-air, and ship-to-shore communication with harbormasters They use FM channels between 156 and 174  MHz in the very high frequency, VHF band with up to 25 watts power, giving them a range of about . Some channels are half-duplex and some are full-duplex, to be compatible with the telephone network, to allow users to make telephone calls through a marine operator. *Amateur radio – long-range half-duplex two-way radio used by hobbyists for non-commercial purposes: recreational radio contacts with other amateurs, volunteer emergency communication during disasters, contests, and experimentation. Radio amateurs must hold an amateur radio license and are given a unique callsign that must be used as an identifier in transmissions. Amateur radio is restricted to small frequency bands, the amateur radio bands, spaced throughout the radio spectrum from 136 kHz to 2.4 GHz. Within these bands, amateurs are allowed the freedom to transmit on any frequency with a wide variety of modulation methods. In addition to radiotelephony, amateurs are the only radio operators still using Morse code radiotelegraphy.


One-way voice communication

One way, unidirectional radio transmission is called ''simplex communication, simplex''. *Baby monitor – a crib-side appliance for parents of infants that transmits the baby's sounds to a receiver carried by the parent, so they can monitor the baby while they are in other parts of the house. These transmit in FM on 49.300, 49.830, 49.845, 49.860, or 49.875 MHz with low power. Many baby monitors have duplex channels so the parent can talk to the baby, and video cameras to show a picture of the baby, this is called a ''baby cam''. *Wireless microphone – a battery-powered microphone with a short-range transmitter that is handheld or worn on a person's body which transmits its sound by radio to a nearby receiver unit connected to a sound system. Wireless microphones are used by public speakers, performers, and television personalities so they can move freely without trailing a microphone cord. Analog models transmit in FM on unused portions of the television broadcast frequencies in the VHF and UHF bands. Some models transmit on two frequency channels for diversity reception to prevent null (radio), nulls from interrupting transmission as the performer moves around. Some models use digital modulation to prevent unauthorized reception by scanner radio receivers; these operate in the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz or 6 GHz ISM bands.


Data communication

*Wireless networking – automated radio links which transmit digital data between computers and other wireless devices using radio waves, linking the devices together transparently in a computer network. Computer networks can transmit any form of data: in addition to email and web pages, they also carry phone calls (VoIP), audio, and video content (called streaming media). Security is more of an issue for wireless networks than for wired networks since anyone nearby with a wireless modem can access the signal and attempt to log in. The radio signals of wireless networks are
encrypted In cryptography, encryption is the process of Code, encoding information. This process converts the original representation of the information, known as plaintext, into an alternative form known as ciphertext. Ideally, only authorized parties can ...

encrypted
using Wi-Fi Protected Access, WPA. **Wireless LAN (''wireless local area network'' or ''
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi () is a family of wireless network A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. Wireless networking is a method by which homes, telecommunications networks and business installa ...

Wi-Fi
'') – based on the IEEE 802.11 standards, these are the most widely used computer networks, used to implement local area networks without cables, linking computers, laptops, cell phones, video game consoles, smart TVs and computer printer, printers in a home or office together, and to a wireless router connecting them to the Internet with a wire or cable connection. Wireless routers in public places like libraries, hotels and coffee shops create wireless access points (hotspot (Wi-Fi), hotspots) to allow the public to access the Internet with portable devices like smartphones, tablet computer, tablets or laptop computer, laptops. Each device exchanges data using a wireless network interface controller, wireless modem (wireless network interface controller), an automated microwave transmitter and receiver with an omnidirectional antenna that works in the background, exchanging data packets with the router. Wi-Fi uses channels in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
ISM band The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') ...
s with OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) modulation to transmit data at high rates. The transmitters in Wi-Fi modems are limited to a radiated power of 200 mW to 1 watt, depending on country. They have a maximum indoor range of about on 2.4 GHz and on 5 GHz. **Wireless WAN (wireless wide area network, WWAN) – a variety of technologies that provide wireless internet access over a wider area than Wi-Fi networks do – from an office building to a campus to a neighborhood, or to an entire city. The most common technologies used are: cellular modems, that exchange computer data by radio with cell towers; satellite internet access; and lower frequencies in the UHF band, which have a longer range than Wi-Fi frequencies. Since WWAN networks are much more expensive and complicated to administer than Wi-Fi networks, their use so far has generally been limited to private networks operated by large corporations. **Bluetooth – a very short-range wireless interface on a portable wireless device used as a substitute for a wire or cable connection, mainly to exchange files between portable devices and connect cellphones and music players with wireless headphones. In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limited to 1  milliwatt, giving it a very short range of up to 10 m (30 feet). The system uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum transmission, in which successive data packets are transmitted in a pseudorandom order on one of 79 1 MHz Bluetooth channels between 2.4 and 2.83 GHz in the
ISM band The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') ...
. This allows Bluetooth networks to operate in the presence of radio noise, noise, other wireless devices and other Bluetooth networks using the same frequencies, since the chance of another device attempting to transmit on the same frequency at the same time as the Bluetooth modem is low. In the case of such a "collision", the Bluetooth modem just retransmits the data packet on another frequency. **Packet radio – a long-distance peer-to-peer wireless ad-hoc network in which data packets are exchanged between computer-controlled radio modems (transmitter/receivers) called nodes, which may be separated by miles, and maybe mobile. Each node only communicates with neighboring nodes, so packets of data are passed from node to node until they reach their destination. Uses the X.25 network protocol. Packet radio systems are used to a limited degree by commercial telecommunications companies and by the amateur radio community. *Text messaging (texting) – this is a service on
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

cell phone
s, allowing a user to type a short alphanumeric message and send it to another phone number, and the text is displayed on the recipient's phone screen. It is based on the Short Message Service (SMS) which transmits using spare bandwidth on the control radio channel used by cell phones to handle background functions like dialing and cell handoffs. Due to technical limitations of the channel, text messages are limited to 160 alphanumeric characters. *Microwave relay – a long-distance high bandwidth point-to-point digital data transmission link consisting of a microwave transmitter connected to a parabolic antenna, dish antenna that transmits a beam of microwaves to another dish antenna and receiver. Since the antennas must be in line-of-sight, distances are limited by the visual horizon to . Microwave links are used for private business data, wide area computer networks (WANs), and by telephone companies to transmit long- distance phone calls and television signals between cities. *Telemetry – automated one-way (simplex) transmission of measurements and operation data from a remote process or device to a receiver for monitoring. Telemetry is used for in-flight monitoring of missiles, drones, satellites, and weather balloon radiosondes, sending scientific data back to Earth from interplanetary spacecraft, communicating with electronic biomedical sensors implanted in the human body, and well logging. Multiple channels of data are often transmitted using frequency division multiplexing or time division multiplexing. Telemetry is starting to be used in consumer applications such as: **Automated meter reading – electricity meter, electric power meters, water meters, and gas meters that, when triggered by an interrogation signal, transmit their readings by radio to a utility reader vehicle at the curb, to eliminate the need for an employee to go on the customer's property to manually read the meter. **Electronic toll collection – on toll roads, an alternative to manual collection of tolls at a toll booth, in which a transponder in a vehicle, when triggered by a roadside transmitter, transmits a signal to a roadside receiver to register the vehicle's use of the road, enabling the owner to be billed for the toll. *Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – identification tags containing a tiny radio transponder (Radio receiver, receiver and
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
) which are attached to merchandise. When it receives an interrogation pulse of radio waves from a nearby reader unit, the tag transmits back an ID number, which can be used to inventory goods. Passive tags, the most common type, have a chip powered by the radio energy received from the reader, rectified by a diode, and can be as small as a grain of rice. They are incorporated in products, clothes, railroad cars, library books, airline baggage tags and are implanted under the skin in pets and livestock (microchip implant (animal), microchip implant) and even people. Privacy concerns have been addressed with tags that use
encrypted In cryptography, encryption is the process of Code, encoding information. This process converts the original representation of the information, known as plaintext, into an alternative form known as ciphertext. Ideally, only authorized parties can ...

encrypted
signals and authentication, authenticate the reader before responding. Passive tags use 125–134 kHz, 13, 900 MHz and 2.4 and 5 GHz
ISM band The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') ...
s and have a short range. Active tags, powered by a battery, are larger but can transmit a stronger signal, giving them a range of hundreds of meters. *Communication with submarines, Submarine communication – When submerged, submarines are cut off from all ordinary radio communication with their military command authorities by the conductive seawater. However radio waves of low enough frequencies, in the very low frequency, VLF (30 to 3 kHz) and extremely low frequency, ELF (below 3 kHz) bands are able to penetrate seawater. Navies operate large shore transmitting stations with power output in the megawatt range to transmit
encrypted In cryptography, encryption is the process of Code, encoding information. This process converts the original representation of the information, known as plaintext, into an alternative form known as ciphertext. Ideally, only authorized parties can ...

encrypted
messages to their submarines in the world's oceans. Due to the small bandwidth, these systems cannot transmit voice, only text messages at a slow data rate. The communication channel is one-way, since the long antennas needed to transmit VLF or ELF waves cannot fit on a submarine. Very low frequency, VLF transmitters use miles long wire antennas like umbrella antennas. A few nations use ELF transmitters operating around 80 Hz, which can communicate with submarines at lower depths. These use even larger antennas called ground dipoles, consisting of two ground (electricity), ground (Earth) connections apart, linked by overhead transmission lines to a power plant transmitter.


Space communication

This is radio communication between a spacecraft and an Earth-based ground station, or another spacecraft. Communication with spacecraft involves the longest transmission distances of any radio links, up to billions of kilometers for interplanetary spaceflight, interplanetary spacecraft. In order to receive the weak signals from distant spacecraft, satellite ground stations use large parabolic antenna, parabolic "dish" antennas up to in diameter and extremely sensitive receivers. High frequencies in the microwave band are used, since microwaves pass through the ionosphere without refraction, and at microwave frequencies the
high gain antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna Antenna (pl. antennas or antennae) may refer to: Science and engineering * Antenna (radio) In radio engineering, an antenna or aerial is the interface between radio waves propagating th ...
s needed to focus the radio energy into a narrow beam pointed at the receiver are small and take up a minimum of space in a satellite. Portions of the ultrahigh frequency, UHF, L band, L, C band (IEEE), C, S band, S, ku band, ku and ka band, ka band are allocated for space communication. A radio link that transmits data from the Earth's surface to a spacecraft is called an uplink, while a link that transmits data from the spacecraft to the ground is called a downlink. *Communication satellite – an artificial satellite used as a telecommunications relay to transmit data between widely separated points on Earth. These are used because the microwaves used for telecommunications travel by Line-of-sight propagation, line of sight and so cannot propagate around the curve of the Earth. , there were 2,224 communications satellites in Earth orbit. Most are in geostationary orbit above the equator, so that the satellite appears stationary at the same point in the sky, so the satellite dish antennas of ground stations can be aimed permanently at that spot and do not have to move to track it. In a satellite ground station a microwave transmitter and large satellite dish antenna transmit a microwave uplink beam to the satellite. The uplink signal carries many channels of telecommunications traffic, such as long-distance telephone calls, television programs, and internet signals, using a technique called frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). On the satellite, a transponder (satellite communications), transponder receives the signal, translates it to a different downlink frequency to avoid interfering with the uplink signal, and retransmits it down to another ground station, which may be widely separated from the first. There the downlink signal is demodulated and the telecommunications traffic it carries is sent to its local destinations through landlines. Communication satellites typically have several dozen transponders on different frequencies, which are leased by different users. *Direct broadcast satellite – a geostationary communication satellite that transmits retail programming directly to receivers in subscriber's homes and vehicles on Earth, in
satellite radio Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autono ...
and TV systems. It uses a higher transmitter power than other communication satellites, to allow the signal to be received by consumers with a small unobtrusive antenna. For example,
satellite television Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunication signals v ...
uses downlink frequencies from 12.2 to 12.7 GHz in the ku band, ku band transmitted at 100 to 250 watts, which can be received by relatively small satellite dishes mounted on the outside of buildings.


Radar

Radar is a radiolocation method used to locate and track aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, ships, vehicles, and also to map weather patterns and terrain. A radar set consists of a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter emits a narrow beam of radio waves which is swept around the surrounding space. When the beam strikes a target object, radio waves are reflected back to the receiver. The direction of the beam reveals the object's location. Since radio waves travel at a constant speed close to the
speed of light The speed of light in vacuum A vacuum is a space Space is the boundless three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called paramet ...
, by measuring the brief time delay between the outgoing pulse and the received "echo", the range to the target can be calculated. The targets are often displayed graphically on a map display called a ''radar screen''. Doppler radar can measure a moving object's velocity, by measuring the change in frequency of the return radio waves due to the Doppler effect. Radar sets mainly use high frequencies in the microwave bands, because these frequencies create strong reflections from objects the size of vehicles and can be focused into narrow beams with compact antennas. Parabolic antenna, Parabolic (dish) antennas are widely used. In most radars the transmitting antenna also serves as the receiving antenna; this is called a ''monostatic radar''. A radar which uses separate transmitting and receiving antennas is called a ''bistatic radar''. *Airport surveillance radar – In aviation, radar is the main tool of
air traffic control Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controller Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global ...

air traffic control
. A rotating dish antenna sweeps a vertical fan-shaped beam of microwaves around the airspace and the radar set shows the location of aircraft as "blips" of light on a display called a radar screen. Airport radar operates at 2.7 – 2.9 GHz in the microwave S band. In large airports the radar image is displayed on multiple screens in an operations room called the TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control), where air traffic controllers direct the aircraft by radio to maintain safe aircraft separation. **Secondary surveillance radar – Aircraft carry transponder (aeronautics), radar transponders, transceivers which when triggered by the incoming radar signal transmit a return microwave signal. This causes the aircraft to show up more strongly on the radar screen. The radar which triggers the transponder and receives the return beam, usually mounted on top of the primary radar dish, is called the secondary surveillance radar. Since radar cannot measure an aircraft's altitude with any accuracy, the transponder also transmits back the aircraft's altitude measured by its altimeter, and an ID number identifying the aircraft, which is displayed on the radar screen. *Electronic countermeasures (ECM) – Military defensive electronic systems designed to degrade enemy radar effectiveness, or deceive it with false information, to prevent enemies from locating local forces. It often consists of powerful microwave transmitters that can mimic enemy radar signals to create false target indications on the enemy radar screens. *Radar altimeter – a specialized radar on an aircraft that measures the altitude of the aircraft above terrain by bouncing a radio beam off the ground surface and measuring the time for the echo to return. *Marine radar – an X band radar on ships used to detect nearby ships and obstructions like bridges. A rotating antenna sweeps a vertical fan-shaped beam of microwaves around the water surface surrounding the craft out to the horizon. *Weather radar – A Doppler radar which maps weather systems and measures wind speeds by reflection of microwaves from raindrops. *Phased-array radar – a radar set that uses a phased array, a computer-controlled antenna that can steer the radar beam quickly to point in different directions without moving the antenna. Phased-array radars were developed by the military to track fast-moving missiles and aircraft. They are widely used in military equipment and are now spreading to civilian applications. *Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) – a specialized airborne radar set that produces a high-resolution map of ground terrain. The radar is mounted on an aircraft or spacecraft and the radar antenna radiates a beam of radio waves sideways at right angles to the direction of motion, toward the ground. In processing the return radar signal, the motion of the vehicle is used to simulate a large antenna, giving the radar a higher resolution. *Ground-penetrating radar – a specialized radar instrument that is rolled along the ground surface in a cart and transmits a beam of radio waves into the ground, producing an image of subsurface objects. Frequencies from 100 MHz to a few GHz are used. Since radio waves cannot penetrate very far into earth, the depth of GPR is limited to about 50 feet. *Collision avoidance system – a short range radar or LIDAR system on an automobile or vehicle that detects if the vehicle is about to collide with an object and applies the brakes to prevent the collision. *Fuze#Proximity fuze, Radar fuze – a detonator for an aerial bomb which uses a radar altimeter to measure the height of the bomb above the ground as it falls and detonates it at a certain altitude. *Radar speed gun – A handheld Doppler radar used by traffic police to measure the speed of vehicles to determine if they are obeying the local speed limit. When the officer points the gun at a vehicle and presses a trigger, its speed appears on a numeric display. Speed guns use the X band or Ku band, Ku band.


Radiolocation

Radiolocation is a generic term covering a variety of techniques that use radio waves to find the location of objects, or for navigation *GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) or ''satnav system'' – A system of satellites which allows geographical location on Earth (latitude, longitude, and altitude/elevation) to be determined to high precision (within a few metres) by small portable navigation instruments, by timing the arrival of radio signals from the satellites. These are the most widely used navigation systems today. The main satellite navigation systems are the US Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's GLONASS, China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and the European Union's Galileo (satellite navigation), Galileo. **Global Positioning System(GPS) – The most widely used satellite navigation system, maintained by the US Air Force, which uses a constellation of 31 satellites in low Earth orbit. The orbits of the satellites are distributed so at any time at least four satellites are above the horizon over each point on Earth. Each satellite has an onboard atomic clock and transmits a continuous radio signal containing a precise time signal as well as its current position. Two frequencies are used, 1.2276 and 1.57542 GHz. Since the velocity of radio waves is virtually constant, the delay of the radio signal from a satellite is proportional to the distance of the receiver from the satellite. By receiving the signals from at least four satellites a GPS receiver can calculate its position on Earth by comparing the arrival time of the radio signals. Since each satellite's position is known precisely at any given time, from the delay the position of the receiver can be calculated by a microprocessor in the receiver. The position can be displayed as latitude and longitude, or as a marker on an electronic map. GPS receivers are incorporated in almost all cellphones and in vehicles such as automobiles, aircraft, and ships, and are used to guide Unmanned aerial vehicle, drones, missiles, cruise missiles, and even artillery shells to their target, and handheld GPS receivers are produced for hikers and the military. *Radio beacon – a fixed location terrestrial radio transmitter which transmits a continuous radio signal used by aircraft and ships for navigation. The locations of beacons are plotted on navigational maps used by aircraft and ships. **VHF Omnidirectional Range, Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) – a worldwide aircraft
radio navigation Radio navigation or radionavigation is the application of radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Sub ...
system consisting of fixed ground radio beacons transmitting between 108.00 and 117.95 MHz in the very high frequency, VHF band. An automated navigational instrument on the aircraft displays a bearing (navigation), bearing to a nearby VOR transmitter. A VOR beacon transmits two signals simultaneously on different frequencies. A
directional antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna which radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing increased performance and reduced Interference (communication), interference from unwanted sources. Directional antennas p ...
transmits a beam of radio waves that rotates like a lighthouse at a fixed rate, 30 times per second. When the directional beam is facing north, and
omnidirectional antenna on a walkie-talkie A walkie-talkie, more formally known as a handheld transceiver (HT), is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald Hings, radio enginee ...
transmits a pulse. By measuring the difference in phase (waves), phase of these two signals, an aircraft can determine its bearing (navigation), bearing (or "radial") from the station accurately. By taking a bearing on two VOR beacons an aircraft can determine its position (called a "fix") to an accuracy of about . Most VOR beacons also have a distance measuring capability, called distance measuring equipment (DME); these are called VOR/DME's. The aircraft transmits a radio signal to the VOR/DME beacon and a transponder transmits a return signal. From the propagation delay between the transmitted and received signal the aircraft can calculate its distance from the beacon. This allows an aircraft to determine its location "fix" from only one VOR beacon. Since line-of-sight VHF frequencies are used VOR beacons have a range of about 200 miles for aircraft at cruising altitude. TACAN is a similar military radio beacon system which transmits in 962–1213 MHz, and a combined VOR and TACAN beacon is called a VORTAC. In 2000 there were about 3000 VOR beacons worldwide, but this number is declining as aviation switches to the RNAV system that relies on Global Positioning System satellite navigation. **Non-directional beacon (NDB) – Legacy fixed radio beacons used before the VOR system that transmit a simple signal in all directions for aircraft or ships to use for radio direction finding. Aircraft use automatic direction finder (ADF) receivers which use a
directional antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna which radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing increased performance and reduced Interference (communication), interference from unwanted sources. Directional antennas p ...
to determine the bearing (navigation), bearing to the beacon. By taking bearings on two beacons they can determine their position. NDBs use frequencies between 190 and 1750 kHz in the Low frequency, LF and Medium frequency, MF bands which propagate beyond the horizon as
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s or skywaves much farther than VOR beacons. They transmit a callsign consisting of one to 3 Morse code letters as an identifier. *Emergency locator beacon – a portable battery powered
radio transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
used in emergencies to locate airplanes, vessels, and persons in distress and in need of immediate rescue. Various types of emergency locator beacons are carried by aircraft, ships, vehicles, hikers and cross-country skiers. In the event of an emergency, such as the aircraft crashing, the ship sinking, or a hiker becoming lost, the transmitter is deployed and begins to transmit a continuous radio signal, which is used by search and rescue teams to quickly find the emergency and render aid. The latest generation Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacons (EPIRBs) contain a GPS receiver, and broadcast to rescue teams their exact location within 20 meters. **International Cospas-Sarsat Programme, Cospas-Sarsat – an international humanitarian consortium of governmental and private agencies which acts as a dispatcher for search and rescue operations. It operates a network of about 47 satellites carrying radio receivers, which detect distress signals from emergency locator beacons anywhere on Earth transmitting on the international Cospas distress frequency of 406 MHz. The satellites calculate the geographic location of the beacon within 2 km by measuring the Doppler shift, Doppler frequency shift of the radio waves due to the relative motion of the transmitter and the satellite, and quickly transmit the information to the appropriate local first responder organizations, which perform the search and rescue. *Radio direction finding (RDF) – this is a general technique, used since the early 1900s, of using specialized radio receivers with
directional antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna which radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing increased performance and reduced Interference (communication), interference from unwanted sources. Directional antennas p ...
s (RDF receivers) to determine the exact bearing (navigation), bearing of a radio signal, to determine the location of the transmitter. The location of a terrestrial transmitter can be determined by simple triangulation from bearings taken by two RDF stations separated geographically, as the point where the two bearing lines cross, this is called a "fix". Military forces use RDF to locate enemy forces by their tactical radio transmissions, counterintelligence services use it to locate clandestine transmitters used by espionage, espionage agents, and governments use it to locate unlicensed transmitters or interference sources. Older RDF receivers used rotatable loop antennas, the antenna is rotated until the radio signal strength is weakest, indicating the transmitter is in one of the antenna's two null (radio), nulls. The nulls are used since they are sharper than the antenna's main lobe, lobes (maxima). More modern receivers use phased array antennas which have a much greater angular resolution. **Animal migration tracking – a widely used technique in wildlife biology, conservation biology, and wildlife management in which small battery-powered radio transmitters are attached to wild animals so their movements can be tracked with a directional radio direction finding, RDF receiver. Sometimes the transmitter is implanted in the animal. The VHF band is typically used since antennas in this band are fairly compact. The receiver has a
directional antenna A directional antenna or beam antenna is an antenna which radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing increased performance and reduced Interference (communication), interference from unwanted sources. Directional antennas p ...
(typically a small Yagi antenna, Yagi) which is rotated until the received signal is strongest; at this point the antenna is pointing in the direction of the animal. Sophisticated systems used in recent years use satellites to track the animal, or geolocation tags with global positioning system, GPS receivers which record and transmit a log of the animal's location.


Remote control

Radio remote control is the use of electronic control signals sent by radio waves from a transmitter to control the actions of a device at a remote location. Remote control systems may also include telemetry channels in the other direction, used to transmit real-time information of the state of the device back to the control station. Unmanned spacecraft are an example of remote controlled machines, controlled by commands transmitted by satellite ground stations. Most handheld
remote control In electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplifier, ampl ...

remote control
s used to control consumer electronics products like televisions or DVD players actually operate by infrared light rather than radio waves, so are not examples of radio remote control. A security concern with remote control systems is spoofing attack, spoofing, in which an unauthorized person transmits an imitation of the control signal to take control of the device. Examples of radio remote control: *Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, drone) – A drone is an aircraft without an onboard pilot, flown by remote control by a pilot in another location, usually in a piloting station on the ground. They are used by the military for reconnaissance and ground attack, and more recently by the civilian world for news reporting and aerial photography. The pilot uses aircraft controls like a joystick or steering wheel, which create control signals which are transmitted to the drone by radio to control the flight surfaces and engine. A telemetry system transmits back a video image from a camera in the drone to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going, and data from a GPS receiver giving the real-time position of the aircraft. UAVs have sophisticated onboard automatic pilot systems that maintain stable flight and only require manual control to change directions. *Keyless entry system – a short-range handheld battery powered key fob transmitter, included with most modern cars, which can lock and unlock the doors of a vehicle from outside, eliminating the need to use a key. When a button is pressed, the transmitter sends a coded radio signal to a receiver in the vehicle, operating the locks. The fob must be close to the vehicle, typically within 5 to 20 meters. North America and Japan use a frequency of 315 MHz, while Europe uses 433.92 and 868 MHz. Some models can also remotely start the engine, to warm up the car. A security concern with all keyless entry systems is a replay attack, in which a thief uses a special receiver ("code grabber") to record the radio signal during opening, which can later be replayed to open the door. To prevent this, keyless systems use a rolling code system in which a pseudorandom number generator in the remote control generates a different random key each time it is used. To prevent thieves from simulating the pseudorandom generator to calculate the next key, the radio signal is also
encrypted In cryptography, encryption is the process of Code, encoding information. This process converts the original representation of the information, known as plaintext, into an alternative form known as ciphertext. Ideally, only authorized parties can ...

encrypted
. **Garage door opener – a short-range handheld transmitter which can open or close a building's electrically operated garage door from outside, so the owner can open the door when he drives up in his car, and close it after he leaves. When a button is pressed the control transmits a coded Frequency-shift keying, FSK radio signal to a receiver in the opener, raising or lowering the door. Modern openers use 310, 315 or 390 MHz. To prevent a thief using a replay attack, modern openers use a rolling code system. *Radio-controlled models – a popular hobby is playing with radio-controlled model boats, cars, airplanes, and helicopters (quadcopters) which are controlled by radio signals from a handheld console with a joystick. Most recent transmitters use the 2.4 GHz
ISM band The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') ...
with multiple control channels modulated with pulse-width modulation, PWM, PCM or FSK. *Doorbell, Wireless doorbell – A residential doorbell that uses wireless technology to eliminate the need to run wires through the building walls. It consists of a doorbell button beside the door containing a small battery powered transmitter. When the doorbell is pressed it sends a signal to a receiver inside the house with a speaker that sounds chimes to indicate someone is at the door. They usually use the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The frequency channel used can usually be changed by the owner in case another nearby doorbell is using the same channel.


Jamming

Radio jamming is the deliberate radiation of radio signals designed to interfere with the reception of other radio signals. Jamming devices are called "signal suppressors" or "interference generators" or just jammers. During wartime, militaries use jamming to interfere with enemies' tactical radio communication. Since radio waves can pass beyond national borders, some totalitarian countries which practice censorship use jamming to prevent their citizens from listening to broadcasts from radio stations in other countries. Jamming is usually accomplished by a powerful transmitter which generates noise on the same frequency as the target transmitter. US Federal law prohibits the nonmilitary operation or sale of any type of jamming devices, including ones that interfere with GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi and police radars.


Scientific research

*Radio astronomy is the scientific study of radio waves emitted by astronomical objects. Radio astronomers use radio telescopes, large radio antennas and receivers, to receive and study the radio waves from astronomical radio sources. Since astronomical radio sources are so far away, the radio waves from them are extremely weak, requiring extremely sensitive receivers, and radio telescopes are the most sensitive radio receivers in existence. They use large parabolic antenna, parabolic (dish) antennas up to in diameter to collect enough radio wave energy to study. The RF front end electronics of the receiver is often cooled by liquid nitrogen to reduce thermal noise. Multiple antennas are often linked together in arrays which function as a single antenna, to increase collecting power. In VLBI, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescopes on different continents are linked, which can achieve the resolution of an antenna thousands of miles in diameter. *Remote sensing – in radio, remote sensing is the reception of electromagnetic waves radiated by natural objects or the atmosphere for scientific research. All warm objects emit microwaves and the spectrum emitted can be used to determine temperature. Microwave radiometers are used in meteorology and earth sciences to determine temperature of the atmosphere and earth surface, as well as chemical reactions in the atmosphere.


Etymology

The word "radio" is derived from the Latin word "radius", meaning "spoke of a wheel, beam of light, ray". It was first applied to communications in 1881 when at the suggestion of French scientist :fr:Ernest Mercadier, Ernest Mercadier, Alexander Graham Bell adopted "radiophone" (meaning "radiated sound") as an alternate name for his photophone optical transmission system. However, this invention would not be widely adopted. Following
Heinrich Hertz Heinrich Rudolf Hertz ( ; ; 22 February 1857 – 1 January 1894) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empi ...

Heinrich Hertz
's discovery of the existence of radio waves in 1886, a variety of terms were initially used for this radiation, including "Hertzian waves", "electric waves", and "ether waves". The first practical radio communications systems, developed by
Guglielmo Marconi Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi (; 25 April 187420 July 1937) was an inventor and , known for his creation of a practical -based system. This led to Marconi being credited as the , and he shared the 1909 with "in ...

Guglielmo Marconi
in 1894–5, transmitted telegraph signals by radio waves, so radio communication was first called "wireless telegraphy". Up until about 1910 the term "wireless telegraphy" also included a variety of other experimental systems for transmitting telegraph signals without wires, including electrostatic induction, electromagnetic induction and Electrical conductor, aquatic and earth conduction, so there was a need for a more precise term referring exclusively to electromagnetic radiation. The first use of ''radio-'' in conjunction with electromagnetic radiation appears to have been by French physicist Édouard Branly, who in 1890 developed the coherer detector, which he called in French a '':fr:radioconducteur, radio-conducteur''. The radio- prefix was later used to form additional descriptive compound and hyphenated words, especially in Europe. For example, in early 1898 the British publication ''The Practical Engineer'' included a reference to "the radiotelegraph" and "radiotelegraphy", The French text of both the 1903 and 1906 Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conventions includes the phrases "radiotélégraphique" and "radiotélégrammes". The use of "radio" as a standalone word dates back to at least December 30, 1904, when instructions issued by the British Post Office for transmitting telegrams specified that "The word 'Radio'... is sent in the Service Instructions". This practice was universally adopted, and the word "radio" introduced internationally, by the 1906 Berlin Radiotelegraphic Convention, which included a Service Regulation specifying that "Radiotelegrams shall show in the preamble that the service is 'Radio'". The switch to "radio" in place of "wireless" took place slowly and unevenly in the English-speaking world. Lee de Forest helped popularize the new word in the United States—in early 1907 he founded the DeForest Radio Telephone Company, and his letter in the June 22, 1907 ''Electrical World'' about the need for legal restrictions warned that "Radio chaos will certainly be the result until such stringent regulation is enforced". The United States Navy would also play a role. Although its translation of the 1906 Berlin Convention used the terms "wireless telegraph" and "wireless telegram", by 1912 it began to promote the use of "radio" instead. The term started to become preferred by the general public in the 1920s with the introduction of broadcasting. (the word ''broadcasting'' originated with the agricultural term meaning roughly "scattering seeds widely".) British Commonwealth countries continued to commonly use the term "wireless" until the mid-20th century, though the magazine of the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation in the UK has been called ''Radio Times'' since its founding in the early 1920s. In recent years "wireless" has gained renewed popularity as a more general term for devices communicating using electromagnetic radiation, either radio waves or light, due to the rapid growth of short-range computer networking, e.g., Wireless LAN, wireless local area networks
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi () is a family of wireless network A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. Wireless networking is a method by which homes, telecommunications networks and business installa ...

Wi-Fi
, and Bluetooth, as well as cell phones, to distinguish these uses from traditional "radio" communication, such as broadcasting.


History

:''See'' History of radio, Invention of radio, Timeline of radio, History of broadcasting


See also

* Outline of radio * Electromagnetic radiation and health * Radio quiet zone


References


External links

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