There are a great many different types of communication systems, due to the fact that each one has the potential to contain a vast array of components. There are, however, several categories that each type of system can usually be placed into. The types of communications systems are usually discernible by the primary medium through which the information is transmitted. Communication systems may also be classified as one-way, two-way, or multiple-way systems, depending on how many parties can exchange information through its various components.
One example is a radio communication system. The medium through which information is transmitted iselectromagnetic waves, and more specifically those with frequencies that are lower than the frequency of visible light. On one end of these radio systems is a transmitter that will take the information and electronically convert it into radio waves. These radio waves travel to the other end of the radio communication system, which is designed to detect and decode the waves and convert them to recognizable information. A simple two-way radio system may comprise of two handheld transceivers, for example, which are more commonly referred to as walkie-talkies.
Power line communication systems are used to transmit electronically from a source or array of sources to their destinations. A type of electronic system that often is referred to is cable television, widely known for its transmission of a plethora of channels throughout homes in addition to their use for providing Internet access. Power line communication systems are often used because of their relatively low cost, even though there are other systems that surpass them in quality and efficiency.
Optical communication systems offer many improvements over other types, and have also been responsible for revolutionizing the telecommunications industry. The main reason for this is because the medium used in optical systems is light, which allows for them to be faster, clearer, and more reliable than electrical or radio signals. These reliable signals are usually carried through optical fiber, although an optical signal can be sent over relatively short distances through the air, usually only over a couple of miles.
As mentioned, communication systems are far from simple and can contain a wide range of components to uphold continuous operation. In addition to the above systems, communications networks may utilize Internet, cellular, wireless, satellite technologies and more. Those systems which take advantage of two or more media are referred to as hybrid communication networks. Much research is being devoted to finding better ways of developing communications systems through countless combinations of all of these communications technologies.