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Types of Electronic Communication (Simplex, Duplex and Half Duplex)

Communication means exchanging information from one place to another, it is what Human beings do to convey their emotions, their thoughtsideas and feelings to one another. Communication is happening from the beginning of humankind. Most Humans communicated through spoken words or with their gestures and postures (Nonverbal communication). Later written communication was developed. Humans wrote letters to one another and eventually invented newspapers and books. Although the bulk of huge information is still oral, a huge volume of information is exchanged by means of the written word.
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In this article, we will cover all different types of Electronic Communication and their uses, we will also cover the basic terminologies related to Electronic communication.

Types of Electronic Communication:

Electronic Communication is classified into three different ways:

  1. One-way and Two-Way Communication:
  2. Analog and Digital Communication:
  3. Baseband and Modulated Signal:

In this article we will cover these all three different ways of electronic communication step by step:

One-Way Communication:

One-way communication or simplex communication is the simplest form of communication. In Simplex communication information travels only in one direction.

Simplex communication

the flow of Simplex communication

A common Example of One-way or Simplex Communication is TV Broadcasting, RADIO, and Music. In these all types of Electronic communication, information travels from source to destination through one-way only.

Two-Way Communication:

The rest of electronic communication in the world is almost two-way communication. Two-Way Communication is further classified into two different ways.

  1. Half Duplex
  2. Full Duplex

For Example: When an individual person communicates with one another over the telephone, each can transmit and hear information simultaneously, such two-way communication is referred to as Full Duplex Communication.

Full duplex communication

Full Duplex Communication

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Few Common Example of Full Duplex Communication is Telephone, Two-way radio, Radar, and Sonar etc… Another form of two-way communications is where only one person can transmit or receive information at a time, this type of communication is known as Half Duplex.

Half Duplex Communication

Half Duplex Communication

A common Example of Half Duplex Communication is walkie-talkies, amateur radio.

type of Electronic communication

type of Electronic communication

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Analog Communication:

Another way of categorizing electronic communication is by the type of information signal. There are two types of the information signals  Analog, and Digital signals. An Analog Signal which contains information is a continuously varying voltage or current. All the signals in nature are analog in form. A voice signal is an analog signal.

Analog communication

Analog communication

A typical information signal in analog form is voice signal which is basically a sine wave, video signals are also analog signals.

Digital Communication:

The other type of communication is Digital Communication. Almost most of the electronic communication in nowadays is in the form of digital communication. Digital communication uses a type of codes which represent ON/OFF condition.

Digital Communication

Digital Communication

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Data used in computers is also digital in nature where binary codes represent numbers, letters, and symbols. The most commonly used digital code in electronic communication is the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII).

Baseband Signals:                                                                                        

An Information signal whether it is in analog form or in digital form is known as a baseband signal. In communication systems, there are two ways of transmitting an information signal to the destination. One is when the information signal is directly transmitted over the medium and another way and efficient way is to modulate the information signal with the high-frequency wave and then sending it for transmission over the medium.

If a voice, video or digital signal are transmitted directly into the medium then it is referred to as baseband transmission or communication.

For example: in computer communication, the digital signals are directly transmitted through the wire to the destination.

Another good example of baseband communication is very interesting, just take a cup to connect that cup with a wire and at the end of wire connect another cup. Now when you will generate voice signal it will be your voice that will directly flow through the medium to another cup. 😀

 baseband communication

baseband communication


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Another way of transmitting information signal through the medium to the destination is use of modulation technique. There are many instants when the simple baseband transmission is not compatible for example we cannot transmit a voice signal directly to radio. To transmit baseband signal by radio we need modulation technique. The techniques using modulation are referred to as broadband.



In modulation technique the baseband signal is superimposed with the higher frequency wave (carrier) this carrier signal have a much higher frequency than the baseband signal and this carrier signal varies with the variation of baseband signal hence the higher distance communication can be achieved using this modulation technique.

This is a very useful technique in electronic communication and we will further study this technique in detail in our upcoming articles.

There is three basic type of modulation techniques:

  1. AM Modulation or Amplitude Modulation
  2. FM Modulation or Frequency Modulation
  3. PM Modulation or Phase Modulation

In AM Modulation the amplitude of the modulating signal varies with the variation of baseband signals amplitude and phase.

In FM modulation the frequency of the modulating signal varies with the variation of baseband signals amplitude and phase.

In PM modulation the phase of modulation signal varies with the variation of baseband signals amplitude and phase.

Source of gif images: IEC
Also Read:
  1. Introduction to Electronic Communication
  2. Practical Applications of Simplex and Duplex Communication
  3. What is AM Modulation? – Need of Modulation
  4. Modulation Index, | Depth of Modulation | Percentage Modulation
  5. What is Sideband? Single Sideband Modulation, DSB-SC, and Vestigial Sideband
  6. Difference Between TDM and FDM
  7. Greek Alphabet Letters and Symbol
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