Narrowband vs Wideband
In communications, band is referred to as the range of frequencies (bandwidth) used in the channel. Depending on the size of the band (in terms of kHz, MHz or GHz) and some other properties of the communication channel, they can be categorized as narrowband and wideband etc.
In radio, narrowband communication happens in a frequency range where the frequency response of the channel is flat (where gain is constant for all the frequencies in the range). Therefore, the band should be smaller than the coherence bandwidth (maximum range of frequencies where channel response is flat), and relatively smaller than broadband range (or wideband) where channel response is not necessarily flat.
When the data communication (or internet connections) is concerned, narrowband refers to the amount of data being transferred within a second (or bits per second). Dial-up internet connection (where data rate is less than 56 kbps) belongs to the narrowband internet category. In dial up connections, computers are connected to internet through a modem and telephone cables.
In radio, wideband communication happens in a wider frequency range compared to narrowband. Wideband range exceeds the coherence bandwidth, and therefore, doesn’t exhibit a flat frequency response. Wideband is a relative term, and the size of the band may be in kHz, MHz or GHz depending on the application.
For internet connections, the term ‘wideband’ describes the data rate of the connection. Wideband offers a higher data rate than broadband technologies. Wideband internet can facilitate a bandwidth higher than 50Mbps. They provides a good quality of video streaming and better interactivity.
What is the difference between Narrowband and Wideband?
1. Narrowband communications use a smaller frequency range (bandwidth) compared to wideband communications.
2. In internet access, wideband technologies provide much higher data rate (more than 50Mbps), whereas narrowband connections provide a slower data rate such as 56 kbps.
3. In radio communications, bandwidth is smaller than the coherence bandwidth of the channel for narrowband, and wider for wideband.