Introduction to Broadband and Convergence
Broadband is widely described as the great game-changer for mission-critical communications.
So what is ‘broadband’? Not a specific technology. Rather, ‘broadband’ loosely refers to high speed, high-capacity wideband data transmission that can transport multiple signals simultaneously. It can be implemented in a variety of technologies. Think of a very wide multi-lane highway simultaneously transporting different types and sizes of data messages. Because the highway has been made very broad, there is room for all the data, regardless of size or type, to arrive quickly at their intended destination. This is wideband communications. In contrast, narrowband communications (such as Land Mobile Radio (LMR) supports) has been designed as the data transport equivalent of a two-lane road that can only guarantee that small data messages will arrive on time.
Another way of characterizing broadband is to say that it covers any technology that can support fast Internet access. Examples we can point to are Ethernet, WiFi, and 4G cellular.