What is Multiplexing?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Multiplexing is the process of transmitting several different signals or information streams via a single carrier. The transmission of all these signals or streams takes place simultaneously by combining the several signals into one common signal that will efficiently moves through the carrier bandwidth. Once the signal reaches the destination point for one of the transmissions, that integrated signal re-assimilates into its original form and is received.

Cell towers use the same signals to connect mobile device users to the internet and telephone networks.
Cell towers use the same signals to connect mobile device users to the internet and telephone networks.

The exact configuration of the process depends a great deal on the mode or type of transmission. When dealing with an analog transmission, the signals are multiplexed using a process that is known as frequency-based multiplexing. This form, usually referred to as FDM, uses a process of dividing the bandwidth into a series of subchannels that will accommodate the transmissions and more or less allow them to flow forward in a parallel fashion.

Multiplexing allows for the smooth integration of video, sound, and other data during group videoconferences.
Multiplexing allows for the smooth integration of video, sound, and other data during group videoconferences.

A second common type is time-division multiplexing, or TDM. With TDM, the various signals or transmissions are carried over a common channel in much the same way as with FDM. The main difference is that the time-division approach allows for the signals to be transmitted in a series of alternating time slots. These alternating slots are still carried within a common channel, and still fit neatly into the available bandwidth.

Multiplexing is one of the common tools used today in just about every form of communications. A wide range of telephony services, including online applications, are able to function with such a high degree of efficiency because of the current technological advances this process has made possible. Optical networks also rely heavily on multiplexing to carry voice and video transmissions along concurrent but separate wavelengths from a point of origin to various points of determination. With an increasing range of communication functions taking place across the Internet, it has become an effective tool that aids in everything from videoconferences and web conferences to large data transmissions to even making a simple point-to-point telephone call.

A multiplexer.
A multiplexer.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


How I can program the multiplexer? I cannot find any algorithm on the Internet, to know how I should program it. I know at first I have to create a channel. What is the order with read and write function?


Does multiplexing affect how fast or slow an online application works? Sometimes an application I have on my computer runs very fast and other days it runs very slow.


I never understood how bandwidth worked until I couldn't get online on my computer one day. I was using a satellite internet service and knew I could get different download speeds depending on how much money I wanted to pay every month.

I thought this gave me unlimited access and didn't realize I could be denied access if I used too much bandwidth. Our son was living with us at the time and was doing tons of downloading for his college work.

Now I understand that each time I visit a web page I am using a certain amount of bandwidth depending on what I have paid for. This was an eye opener for me. Even though I can't say I really understand how all of this multiplexing works, I am more aware of it than I was before.


I don't really understand how all this technology works, I am just glad it does. When I have a videoconference at work I realize it takes sophisticated technology for it to happen, but don't think much about it unless it doesn't work properly.

It is amazing to think about how multiplexing has changed things in just a few years. Now we can sit at our computer and see someone half way across the world because of all of these advances.


please write about multiplexing in detail using simple wording.


it helped with my physics homework.


why is it used?


Please how can i multiplex?



Please inset a multiplexing IC.

I want to multiplex voice and video,can i do it?

what's the IC's name?

please help me.


What are end devices and what are their functions in a network?

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