Chapter 3. Radio Frequency and Light Signal Fundamentals: The Invisible Medium

What You Will Learn

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

  • Understand the general attributes of radio and light signals that affect propagation through the air medium

  • Understand how wireless networks transform the representation of information for transmission through the air

The primary difference between wireless and wired networks lies in the communications medium. Wired networks utilize cabling to transfer electrical current that represents information. With wireless networks, radio frequency (RF) and light signals have the job of carrying information invisibly through the air. This chapter continues the discussion on concepts common to all types of wireless networks, with emphasis on RF and light signal fundamentals.