Wireless radio modem
A wireless radio modem is a device enabling data coming from equipment such as a personal computer (PC) to be transmitted by radio. Wireless modems enable mobile computer devices to communicate with other computer devices without requiring physical access to a land line communication port. With the advent of wireless modems, portable computer users are no longer dependent on land-line based phone systems and are able to communicate electronically wherever there is a wireless transmitter within range. A wireless modem is similar to a wired modem in that it permits a computer or other device to send and receive data from external sources. Wireless modems generally modulate an RF carrier with a stream of data packets, then amplify the modulated carrier for transmission from an internal antenna. An RF modem typically consists of a radio portion (an RF front end or an RF head), a modulator/demodulator portion (a baseband processing unit or baseband chip), a central processing unit (CPU) or processor, memory, and an interface. The radio portion consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter and receiver may share a common antenna via a duplexer. The transmitter is responsible for generating RF signals using a baseband signal to modulate a carrier signal. The receiver is responsible for producing a baseband signal from RF signals by demodulating an RF signal received at the antenna to produce a demodulated baseband signal. Wireless modems may be designed for asynchronous or synchronous data transmission. Asynchronous transmission is also referred to as start-stop or bursty transmission, and is usually employed by unbuffered terminals where the time between character transmission occurs randomly. Synchronous transmission between modems or other communications devices provides a continuous bit stream of information. No start and stop bits are required to delimit individual characters as in asynchronous transmission. A wireless modem may be installed as an adapter card or in an adapter slot such as a PCMCIA slot.
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