Types Of Wireless Communications

What are the types of wireless communications? Wireless communications is essentially the transmission of information between two points without using wires to achieve this end. Wireless communications are ubiquitous in the modern society; they enable phone networks to operate, and a greater majority of people are accessing the internet through it. There are four types of wireless communications: radio/ broadcasts, mobile satellite communications, cellular service and wireless networks (WLAN).

Radio/ Broadcasts

Broadcasting is the dissemination of content through radio waves over a wide geographical area. Radio broadcasts focus solely on propagating audio content while television broadcast propagate images as well. Broadcasting has been an analog affair till lately; there has been a united effort to move to digital signals which cost significantly less as they allow resources to be shared between broadcasters.

Radars are examples of devices that use these types of wireless communications to determine the location of objects within a given radius.

Satellite Communications

Various types of wireless communications have been employed in global positioning systems where a computer. An array of orbiting satellites is used to communicate between two distant sites on earth by bouncing signals off satellites. Further, satellites are also used to provide global navigation system, the most common of which is GPS, offered by the US Army. Russia also has its own system, GLONASS.

Cellular Service

Mobile phone networks are essentially founded on radio waves and are the most accessed types of wireless networks in society; mobile phones are found everywhere and form an integral communication device. Networking technologies employed for cellular services include GSM, CDMA, UMTS, EDGE and many others.


WLAN (wireless local area network) offers many types of wireless communication, based on the frequency used, the geographical limitation of the network and how the devices are communicating with each other. An ad-hoc network is a wireless network between two devices without specialized gadgetry mediating the transmission of data between them. An infrastructure network on the other hand, is one in which gadgets such as routers, hubs, etc. are used to set up the wireless network.

Wireless communication can occur in many frequencies; standardized frequencies are in IEEE’s 802.11 series. These are 802.11a, which has a maximum rate 54megabits /second and transmits at 5Ghz. 802.11b has transfer rates of up to 11megabits/second and transmits at 2.4GHz. 802.11g also transmits data at 2.4Ghz but at much higher speeds (54megabits/second). 802.11n achieves the highest speeds, at 140megabits/second.

Geographically, there are several distinct types of wireless communications. People are more familiar with the wireless personal area network, which can be set up by just about any wireless enabled computer or routers. The radius for this network is often around 5-10m. A WMAN is a wireless metropolitan area network can cover a radius of about 50km, and has speeds between 34megabits/second to 155megabits /second. It also operates on frequencies between 10-66Ghz.WiMax is an example of this kind of networks.

There also WWANS, wireless wide area networks, which can cover even a whole country. These second generation systems are often maintained by multiple satellite systems or antennas on the ground.