In a telecommunications network, a link is a communication channel that connects two or more devices for the purpose of data transmission. The link may be a dedicated physical link or a virtual circuit that uses one or more physical links or shares a physical link with other telecommunications links.
A telecommunications link is generally based on one of several types of information transmission paths such as those provided by communication satellites, terrestrial radio communications infrastructure and computer networks to connect two or more points.
The term link is widely used in computer networking to refer to the communications facilities that connect nodes of a network.
Sometimes the communications facilities that provide the communication channel that constitutes a link are also included in the definition of link.
A point-to-point link is a dedicated link that connects exactly two communication facilities (e.g., two nodes of a network, an intercom station at an entryway with a single internal intercom station, a radio path between two points, etc.).
Broadcast links connect two or more nodes and support broadcast transmission, where one node can transmit so that all other nodes can receive the same transmission. Classic Ethernet is an example.
Also known as a multidrop link, a multipoint link is a link that connects two or more nodes. Also known as general topology networks, these include ATM and Frame Relay links, as well as X.25 networks when used as links for a network layer protocol like IP.
Unlike broadcast links, there is no mechanism to efficiently send a single message to all other nodes without copying and retransmitting the message.
A point-to-multipoint link (or simply a multipoint) is a specific type of multipoint link which consists of a central connection endpoint (CE) that is connected to multiple peripheral CEs. Any transmission of data that originates from the central CE is received by all of the peripheral CEs while any transmission of data that originates from any of the peripheral CEs is only received by the central CE.
Links are often referred to by terms that refer to the ownership or accessibility of the link.
A forward link is the link from a fixed location (e.g., a base station) to a mobile user. If the link includes a communications relay satellite, the forward link will consist of both an uplink (base station to satellite) and a downlink (satellite to mobile user).
The reverse link (sometimes called a return channel ) is the link from a mobile user to a fixed base station.
If the link includes a communications relay satellite, the reverse link will consist of both an uplink (mobile station to satellite) and a downlink (satellite to base station) which together constitute a half hop.
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a packet oriented mobile data standard on the 2G and 3G cellular communication network's global system for mobile communications (GSM). GPRS was established by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in response to the earlier CDPD and i-mode packet-switched cellular technologies. It is now maintained by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Time-division multiple access (TDMA) is a channel access method for shared-medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The users transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot. This allows multiple stations to share the same transmission medium while using only a part of its channel capacity. Dynamic TDMA is a TDMA variant that dynamically reserves a variable number of time slots in each frame to variable bit-rate data streams, based on the traffic demand of each data stream.
A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes.
Network topology is the arrangement of the elements of a communication network. Network topology can be used to define or describe the arrangement of various types of telecommunication networks, including command and control radio networks, industrial fieldbusses and computer networks.
In telecommunications and computer networks, a channel access method or multiple access method allows more than two terminals connected to the same transmission medium to transmit over it and to share its capacity. Examples of shared physical media are wireless networks, bus networks, ring networks and point-to-point links operating in half-duplex mode.
A communication channel refers either to a physical transmission medium such as a wire, or to a logical connection over a multiplexed medium such as a radio channel in telecommunications and computer networking. A channel is used to convey an information signal, for example a digital bit stream, from one or several senders to one or several receivers. A channel has a certain capacity for transmitting information, often measured by its bandwidth in Hz or its data rate in bits per second.
Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter. Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.
Wireless communication 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 technologies use radio waves. With radio waves, intended distances can be short, such as a few meters for Bluetooth or as far as millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications. It encompasses various types of fixed, mobile, and portable applications, including two-way radios, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and wireless networking. Other examples of applications of radio wireless technology include GPS units, garage door openers, wireless computer mouse, keyboards and headsets, headphones, radio receivers, satellite television, broadcast television and cordless telephones. Somewhat less common methods of achieving wireless communications include the use of other electromagnetic wireless technologies, such as light, magnetic, or electric fields or the use of sound.
Terrestrial Trunked Radio, a European standard for a trunked radio system, is a professional mobile radio and two-way transceiver specification. TETRA was specifically designed for use by government agencies, emergency services, for public safety networks, rail transport staff for train radios, transport services and the military. TETRA is the European version of trunked radio, similar to Project 25.
In telecommunications, a point-to-point connection refers to a communications connection between two communication endpoints or nodes. An example is a telephone call, in which one telephone is connected with one other, and what is said by one caller can only be heard by the other. This is contrasted with a point-to-multipoint or broadcast connection, in which many nodes can receive information transmitted by one node. Other examples of point-to-point communications links are leased lines and microwave radio relay.
In telecommunications, point-to-multipoint communication is communication which is accomplished via a distinct type of one-to-many connection, providing multiple paths from a single location to multiple locations.
A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the link to and from end nodes is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called "cells", each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver. These base stations provide the cell with the network coverage which can be used for transmission of voice, data, and other types of content. A cell typically uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed service quality within each cell.
A duplex communication system is a point-to-point system composed of two or more connected parties or devices that can communicate with one another in both directions. Duplex systems are employed in many communications networks, either to allow for simultaneous communication in both directions between two connected parties or to provide a reverse path for the monitoring and remote adjustment of equipment in the field. There are two types of duplex communication systems: full-duplex (FDX) and half-duplex (HDX).
In communications systems, the return channel is the transmission link from a user terminal to the central hub.
E-UTRA is the air interface of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade path for mobile networks. It is an acronym for Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access, also referred to as the 3GPP work item on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) also known as the Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) in early drafts of the 3GPP LTE specification. E-UTRAN is the initialism of Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network and is the combination of E-UTRA, user equipment (UE), and E-UTRAN Node B or Evolved Node B (eNodeB).
In a hierarchical telecommunications network, the backhaul portion of the network comprises the intermediate links between the core network, or backbone network, and the small subnetworks at the edge of the network.
High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is an amalgamation of two mobile protocols, High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), that extends and improves the performance of existing 3G mobile telecommunication networks using the WCDMA protocols. A further improved 3GPP standard, Evolved High Speed Packet Access, was released late in 2008 with subsequent worldwide adoption beginning in 2010. The newer standard allows bit-rates to reach as high as 337 Mbit/s in the downlink and 34 Mbit/s in the uplink. However, these speeds are rarely achieved in practice.
DVB-RCS is an acronym for Digital Video Broadcasting - Return Channel via Satellite or. It is a specification for an interactive on-demand multimedia satellite communication system formulated in 1999 by the DVB consortium.
Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) is a set of multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technologies for multipath wireless communication, in which multiple users or terminals, each radioing over one or more antennas, communicate with one another. In contrast, single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO) involves a single multi-antenna-equipped user or terminal communicating with precisely one other similarly equipped node. Analogous to how OFDMA adds multiple-access capability to OFDM in the cellular-communications realm, MU-MIMO adds multiple-user capability to MIMO in the wireless realm.
In radio, cooperative multiple-input multiple-output is a technology that can effectively exploit the spatial domain of mobile fading channels to bring significant performance improvements to wireless communication systems. It is also called network MIMO, distributed MIMO, virtual MIMO, and virtual antenna arrays.