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Baseband LAN - an explanation

Local Area Network that uses single carrier frequency over single channel. Ethernet, Token Ring and Arcnet LANs use baseband transmission.Baseband is an adjective that describes signals and systems whose range of frequencies is measured from 0 to a maximum bandwidth or highest signal frequency; it is sometimes used as a noun for a band of frequencies starting at 0. It can often be considered as synonym to lowpass, and antonym to passband.
  • A baseband bandwidth is equal to a highest frequency of a signal or system, or an upper bound on such frequencies. By contrast, a non-baseband (passband) bandwidth is the difference between a highest frequency and a nonzero lowest frequency.
  • A baseband signal or lowpass signal is a signal that can include frequencies that are equal to or very near zero, by comparison with its highest frequency (for example, a sound waveform can be considered as a baseband signal, whereas a radio signal is not).
  • A baseband channel or lowpass channel (or system, or network) is a channel (e.g. a telecommunications system) that can transfer frequencies that are equal to or very near zero. Examples are serial cables and local area networks (LANs).
  • Baseband modulation, also known as line coding, aims at transferring a digital bit stream over an analog baseband channel.
In general, signals can be described as including a whole range of different frequencies added together. In telecommunications in particular, it is often the case that those parts of the signal which are at low frequencies are 'copied' up to higher frequencies for transmission purposes, since there are few communications media that will pass low frequencies without distortion. Then, the original, low frequency components, are referred to as the baseband signal. Typically, the new, high-frequency copy is referred to as the 'RF' (radio-frequency) signal.

The concept of baseband signals is most often applied to real-valued signals, and systems that handle real-value signals. Fourier analysis of such signals includes a negative-frequency band, but the negative-frequency information is just a mirror of the positive-frequency information, not new information. For complex-valued signals, on the other hand, the negative frequencies carry new information. In that case, the full two-sided bandwidth is generally quoted, rather than just the half measured from zero; the concept of baseband can be applied by treating the real and imaginary parts of the complex-valued signal as two different real signals.

A signal at baseband is often modulated in order that it may be transmitted. Modulation results in shifting the signal up to much higher (RF) frequencies than it originally spanned. A key consequence of the usual double-sideband amplitude modulation (AM) is that, usually, the range of frequencies the signal spans (its spectral bandwidth) is doubled. Thus, the RF bandwidth of a signal (measured from the lowest frequency as opposed to 0 Hz) is usually twice its baseband bandwidth. Steps may be taken to reduce this effect, such as single-sideband modulation; the highest frequency of such signals greatly exceeds the baseband bandwidth.

Some signals can be treated as baseband or not, depending on the situation. For example, a switched analog connection in the telephone network has energy below 300 Hz and above 3400 Hz removed by bandpass filtering; since the signal has no energy very close to zero frequency, it may not be considered a baseband signal, but in the telephone systems frequency-division multiplexing hierarchy, it is usually treated as a baseband signal, by comparison with the modulated signals used for long-distance transmission. The 300 Hz lower band edge is this case is treated as "near zero", being a small fraction of the upper band edge.