What is wireless: how it works and examples

Millions of people in Indonesia are already connected to the internet using WiFi. This is also known as a “wireless network” or “wireless network”. WiFi is widely installed in all places in cafes, airports and many other public buildings. So what’s wireless, how do examples work? Read on to find out.

Read also: Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages

What is wireless?

In its most basic sense, wireless refers to communication that is sent wirelessly. Specifically, the term can refer to a variety of technologies and environments, from mobile networks to Bluetooth devices to Wi-Fi LANs.

Wireless is a broad term that includes all types of technologies and devices that transmit data over the air rather than wires, including cellular communications, computer-to-computer networks with wireless adapters, and other wireless computerized devices.

Wireless communication travels through the air through electromagnetic waves. FCC is the agency that regulates the radio frequency bands in this spectrum, ensuring that they are not overcrowded and that wireless devices and services operate reliably.

Wireless history

You will be surprised to learn that the history of wireless technology dates back to the 19th century. German physicist Heinrich Hertz he was the one who created the first electromagnetic radio waves in his laboratory. Then the British physicist Sir Oliver Lodge he was the first to send a radio message to Oxford, England. Then developed by Guglielmo Marconi, who invented the first wireless telegraph system in 1896.

We know that the main function of wireless technology is to set up a wireless communication in which the sender can send information to several receivers that are not connected to it through any electrical connector. Marconi’s discovery established this path before, as he was the first to send a wireless signal for a mile and a half. The message covered a distance of 6 kilometers and read “Are you ready?” It takes decades to prepare and follow the path he has shown before.

Where is wireless used?

Before we explore how wireless communication comes about, let’s see where it can be applied. In most cases, many people use wireless communications to transmit data. It can be one-way, such as a radio or TV broadcast or a two-way data transfer, in which one entity acts as a transmitter and the other as a receiver. In the second scenario we can use satellites, WiFi access points or cellular networks, such as the future 3G, 4G or 5G as intermediate points that help to achieve such a communication between transmitter and receiver.

How wireless works

For wireless communication to take place, we need data to be carried wirelessly. This data is transported using what we call signals (electromagnetic waves). Now the question is how can we make a signal to be sent wirelessly? It all starts with the transmitter, where the oscillator produces a periodic waveform. This signal travels through the device’s internal cables to the antenna. Because the antenna is a conductor, the electric current flows to the end of the antenna. The antenna then emits alternating current in the form of electromagnetic waves. This is where wireless starts, where the antenna turns electricity into waves.

Signal frequency

Depending on how fast the oscillator signal changes, the output waveform has a different frequency. These frequencies can be used for a variety of purposes. People call these different frequency ranges spectra. It is divided into specific areas of use. Examples of uses are: radio navigation, radio location, broadcasting, mobile communications, ISM band, satellite, space research and more. Government authorities, such as the FCC, are responsible for setting frequency bands for specific purposes.

How do the signals move?

Usually, signals do not reach the receiver directly after they have been sent. The antennas on the transmitter transmit signals in different directions. Waves can jump in buildings, diffract at sharp edges or scatter on small objects and still reach the receiver. On the way, the waves experience different attenuations and delays. The receiver captures everything as a combined signal. When there is more than one route between transmitter and receiver, the channel is usually called a multi-channel channel.

Inside the transmitter

We know that the receiver has to deal with distorted and mixed signals to decode data. This is not a trivial task, as the captured signal contains a large number of unwanted components. To ease this task, we need to take a few extra steps in the transmitter. Before sending user data, the transmitter encodes. This adds extra bits to the message, which makes it easier to retrieve the data to the recipient. After encoding, the bits are mapped to symbols, modulated, and passed to the antenna.

Examples of wireless usage

Suppose you have a WiFi network in your home or office, a small area where computers can access broadband internet. Use radio waves, such as a TV or cell phone. Sometimes you may hear this area called Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN).

Devices called wireless transmitters receive information from the Internet through your broadband connection. The transmitter converts the information into a radio signal and transmits it.

You can think of a transmitter as a mini radio station that transmits signals sent from the internet. The “audience” for this broadcast is the computer (or computers, because more than one person can be connected at the same time) that receives the radio signal through something called a wireless adapter.

The whole process, meanwhile, works the other way around, with the computer sending information to the wireless transmitter. Then convert it and send it over your broadband connection.

Examples of wireless devices

Examples of wireless devices are TV remote controls, radios, and GPS systems. Other examples of wireless devices include phones, tablets, mice, and Bluetooth keyboards, wireless routers, and just about anything else that doesn’t use cables to transmit information. The wireless charger is also a type of other wireless devices. Although no data is sent through the wireless charger, it interacts with other devices (such as phones) without the use of cables.

The advantages and disadvantages of wireless

Wireless benefits:

  1. Mobility: It can be used at any time and the ability to access data on the wireless network is in real time, as long as it is still in the hotspot area.
  2. Installation speed: The installation process is fast and no cables are required.
  3. Location flexibility: can reach places unreachable by cables.
  4. Budget reduction
  5. Wide area

Disadvantages of wireless:

  1. Data transmission is much slower than using a cable.
  2. Radio propagation (wave interference) or a combination of two waves that disrupt wireless networks.
  3. Limited network capacity.
  4. Data security is not guaranteed.
  5. Intermittent (signal interrupted)


So what is wireless? Wireless is a technology that transmits information over electromagnetic or wireless air. The wireless medium may be distorted light, sound, or magnetic or electric fields.

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