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The Megs of bandwidth doesn't exists

Posted on: Sep, 14th 2010
Hz is not equal to Mbps
How many times have you hear, told or wrote the expression X megs of bandwidth. I'm sure that a lot of times, because the continued use of this phrase, have been converted in the regular way of talking of all the people and is totally incorrect. Something seemed happens when say that we weight 154 pounds, being the pound a unit of mass and not of weight. We must say: "I weight 70 kiloponds" or "I weight 154 pounds-force". Follow reading if you want to know why the case of the megs of bandwidth, also is incorrect.

In first place, the expression is used to make reference to the transmission speed of a line that give us Internet access and not to the bandwidth.

The bandwidth can't be measure in megs, must be measure in hertz (Hz), and is the quantity of the components of frequency of a signal that can be transmited in the medium. But, What is that of the frequency components of a signal? According to a formula called Fourier transform, a signal can be decomposed in the sum of several simple signals (obtained from a sine and a cosine), every one with a different frequency value (the frequency is the number of times that oscillates the signal in a second). And, as I have already described, the number of simple signals with different frequency values that allows the medium be transfered, is the bandwidth, and it's calculated subtracting the maximum frequency that can be transmited and the minimum.

Depending of the quality of the cable we will can transfer more or less frequencies at the same time. As more frequencies can transfer at the same time, the bandwidth will be higher and, as consequence, the transmission speed. I'm not going to explain the formulas that relates the transmission speed and the bandwidth because would have to explain the kinds of modulation in modulated band, the Nyquist theorem, etc. If someone wants to know more I recommend the read of a book about signal theory.

Finally, the transmission speed can't be measured in Megs bu in Megabits by second or Mbps. As I explaind in other post, the error of call it Megs is do it in a deliberate way by the Internet providers to deceive us and that we confuss that Mbps wit MegaBytes by second or MBps.

So the next time that a teleoperator call you at the lunch time to sell a line of a lot of Megs of bandwidth, now you can confuse them explaining that must be said X Mbps of transmission speed, in this way you will seem a pedantic freaky as me and perhaps they don't bother you anymore. Although surely they don't believe you because the bad use of the word bandwidth is so widespread that even in the Wikipedia the people insists in define the bandwidth incorrectly.

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