No matter whether a society is old or modern, communication plays an essential role in all sectors of that society. But what does the word communication really mean?
Definition of 'communication'
The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) defines communicate as meaning to ‘share or exchange information, news, or ideas’. The same source defines communications as ‘the means of connection between people and places’ (ibid).
In old Chinese societies (and others for that matter), pigeons were used to carry letters. The small paper message was the sharing of information and the pigeon was the means of connection. Nowadays, you can communicate with your friends by phone, email or MSN. A communication system is built to send information from one location to another.
Information sent by communication systems
Information can be speech, text, images or any form of data, which can, for example, be exchanged by sending emails or teleconferencing using satellite communication, cellular phones, pagers, and so on
The next issue concerns how to transmit the data in a fast and reliable way. These are the main objectives in designing or choosing a communication system and we’ll discuss several communication systems in detail in the later units of ELEC S211.