I am interested in the terminology of the following words: baseband, broadband and bandwidth applied in tellecomunications. What is the meaning of the words, how were they formed and what do they mean in the context of modern networks?

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    Feb 19, 2018 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


"Band" applies to the range of electromagnetic spectrum used for the transmission.

Broadband uses a broad range (as opposed to narrowband), baseband is a band starting at zero frequency (or close to).

Bandwidth is used for both the spectral width of a band or channel (e.g. "100 MHz") and for the amount of data that can be transported in a given time frame (as in "100 megabytes per second"). The data throughput meaning is borrowed from the original, spectral meaning - partly because they are correlated.

  • in wired copper communication can we still talk about 'electromagnetic spectrum' or not? I guess it is only electrical.
    – yoyo_fun
    Sep 2, 2017 at 12:32
  • 1
    The signal still moves as an electromagnetic wave in and around a copper cable. At high frequencies, you don't get the exact same electrons out of the end of a cable that you'd put in. The signal / wave travels more like sound in air with the electrons just passing on the pulse instead of moving significantly.
    – Zac67
    Sep 2, 2017 at 12:35

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