Data Communication Terminology

Data Communication Terminology

In this chapter of the tutorial, we will learn few important terminologies related to data communication.


Data Channel

This is the medium that carries data from one point to another point.


Each communication channel has certain capacity and it can carry information up to that extent only.

This capacity is measured in terms of Baud.

Bits per Second 

The speed at which data is transferred between two points is measured in terms of Bits per Second or bps.


bps – bits per second,

Bps – Bytes per second (Note capital B)

Bandwidth – The amount of data a communication system can transfer per unit time is referred to as Bandwidth of the system.

Bandwidth simply indicates the data transfer rate.

The more the data needed to be transmitted in the given unit time the more should be the bandwidth. Alternatively it can be said that more the bandwidth of the communication system more will be the data transfer rate.

Bandwidth is measured in bps or Baud. Generally a Baud is identical to bits per second. A rate of 100 Baud is equal to 100 bps.


In digital context, the level of bandwidth falls into three category:

  1. Narrowband – Speed of narrowband varies between 45 to 300 Baud. Low speed devices use this narrowband channels.
  2. Voice-band- Speed of voice-band channels ranges up to 9600 Baud. They are generally used in the ordinary telephone voice communication.
  3. Broadband – The speed of broadband channels ranges up to 1 million Baud or more. High speed devices use broadband for large volume of data transfer at high rate. Broadcast television, microwave and satellite uses broadband channel.

Data Transfer Rates

The amount of data transferred per second by a communication channel is known as data transfer rate. It is measured in bits per second (bps)

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