In communication technology, transmission is of two kinds: digital and analogue transmission. While both transmission systems are somewhat similar in that communication signals are sent electrically, they vary greatly.
In analogue transmission, information is sent via electric pulses with alternating amplitude. Whereas in digital transmission, information to be sent are first converted to binary code – one and zero – before being transmitted in bits. High amplitude is represented by 1 while the low amplitude is represented by zero. Analogue and digital transmission are inter-convertible – one can be converted to the other. Conversion is achieved through the use of a device called the modem.
For Analogue communication to work, there has to be a media of transmission – a path through which the communication signals must follow. It could be via water, electrical cables, air or fibre. While each of these communication medium can transmit a large amount of data, fibre transmits the most.
There are two major techniques for transmitting analogue communication signals: Amplitude Modulation – or AM for short – and Frequency Modulation, which we all know as FM. The major difference between these transmission techniques is the distance they cover. AM signals can be transmitted to longer distance than FM.
Analogue communication has its own set of upsides and downside compared with digital communication. As for the upsides, Analogue communication is way cheaper than digital communication. The reason is that unlike digital communication which requires lots of multiplexing which costs money, analogue communication does not. Another advantage analogue transmission has over digital is that it is relatively immune to impedance problems.
On the flipside, the devices used in analogue transmission consume more power than those used in digital communication. This counteracts cost advantage analogue communication has over digital. Additionally, the advances in communication technology has made analogue devices increasingly unfit for use. In some countries, the government has completely out phased analogue transmission as it cost more money to operate and maintain.
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