Basics of a Wireless Network

Basics of a Wireless Network

Enterprise Networking Mag | Thursday, October 21, 2021

The basis of a wireless network is to allow communication using radio waves without hard-wired devices.

FREMONT, CA: As the name implies, the primary basis of communication over a wireless network is wireless: a mobile device (cellphone or a tablet) exchanges radio signals with a receiving point, which is usually an antenna or cell tower. The antenna or cell tower is referred to as a base station in the context of mobile networking. The caller is then connected to a callee who likewise exchanges radio signals with another base station via internal mobile network processes. These fundamental systems make up what's known as the core network.

The manner in which the handoff occurs has changed over time in order to improve communication efficiency and speed. Nonetheless, mobile computing's primary feature is and has always been the ability to maintain a connection between callers on the move without losing service. This was true even when cellphones were large, clunky devices we carried around in briefcases or were hard-wired into automobiles. Mobile computing would be impossible without the capacity to transfer calls with wireless networking.

Depending on the geography of the physical landscape, the distance between a base station and a mobile device can range from five to forty miles. The range can be even shorter in urban settings with many high-rise structures and tunnels. When a cellphone or tablet is out of range of a base station, the wireless network's intelligence switches the connection to another base station without disrupting communication.

Wireless networking is a complex connection of devices. When there is no hard wire, a medium is needed to communicate. The radio wave, which is essentially an electromagnetic signal flowing through space at a set frequency, is that medium. The speech is mapped onto a radio wave at a specific frequency, allowing radio communication to work. Someone on the other side of the line will have a device that is listening for the radio wave at that frequency and extracting the voice as it arrives.

The most important thing to remember from an architectural standpoint is that crucial communication between every wireless network device is dependent on radio waves and their transmission behaviour. The behaviour of these radio waves impacts everything, from the quality of a phone call to the download speeds of an IoT device.

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