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The University of Southampton

ELEC3204 Wireless and Optical Communications

Module Overview

This module introduces both the wireless and optical propagation environments, the modelling of the corresponding channels as well as their implications on the design and architecture of wireless and optical communications systems. The basic principles of digital transmission in both wireless and optical communications are considered, including the techniques of enhancing the reliability of wireless and optical systems. The fundamental multiple-access and multiplexing concepts as well as the principles and challenges of broadband communications are also covered.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understand the interactions of the various system components and the propagation environment
  • Understand the principles of multiple-access and multiplexing communications
  • Appreciate the design trade-offs of communications systems
  • Understand the principles of broadband communications
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design wireless and optical communications systems, including digital modulation/demodulation and diversity communications
  • Parametrise and design space-time coding schemes
  • Parametrise and design OFDM schemes
  • Model material and fibre dispersion


Wireless Communications - Radio propagation issues: pathloss, slow-fading, fast-fading, dispersion, wideband channels, powerbudget, etc. - Cellular principles and multiple access techniques, such as FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, SDMA, OFDMA, etc. - Modulation schemes, detection techniques and error rate calculations - Coherent and non-coherent communications - Space-time processing principles and diversity techniques - Direct-sequence code division multiple-access - Frequency-hopping code division multiple-access - Hybrid spread-spectrum code division multiple-access - Broadband multicarrier and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) communications. Optical Communications - WDM systems - Dispersion (material and waveguide) but not based on derivations of modes - Effects of dispersion on choices of fibre - DSF, DCF and NZ-DSF - Multimode fibres and capacity - Nonlinear limits on power transmission - Electronics dispersion compensation - Advanced coding formats applied to optical comms - Error budget and simple comparison to back-to-back BER / power

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Completion of assessment task8.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Follow-up work18
Wider reading or practice59.5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

L. Hanzo, L-L. Yang, E-L. Kuan and K. Yen (2003). Single- and Multi-Carrier CDMA: Multi-User Detection, Space-Time Spreading, Synchronisation andStandards. 

L. Hanzo, J. Blogh, S (2008). 3G, HSPA and FDD versus TDD Networking. 

L.-L. Yang. Multicarrier Communications. 

Ghatak and Thyagarajan. Introduction to Fiber Optics. 

L. Hanzo, S-X. Ng, W.T. Webb, T. Keller (Sept. 2004). Quadrature Amplitude Modulation: From Basics to Adaptive Trellis-Coded, Turbo-Equalised and Space-Time Coded OFDM, CDMA and MC-CDMA Systems. 

L. Hanzo, P. Cherriman, J. Streit (2007). Video Compressions and Communications. 

R. Steele, L. Hanzo (Ed (1999). Mobile Radio Communications: Second and Third Generation Cellular and WATM Systems. 

L. Hanzo, T.H. Liew, B.L. Yeap, R. Tee, SX Ng (2011). Turbo Coding, Turbo Equalisation and Space-Time Coding. 

L. Hanzo, C.H. Wong, M.S. Yee (2002). Adaptive wirelesstransceivers: Turbo-Coded, Turbo-Equalised and Space-Time Coded TDMA, CDMA andOFDM systems. 

L. Hanzo, M. Muenster, B.J. Choi and T. Keller (2003). OFDM and MC-CDMA for Broadband Multi-user Communications, WLANs and Broadcasting. 

T. S. Rappaport (2002). Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 15%
Final Assessment  85%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: ELEC2220 and (ELEC2211 or ELEC2212 or ELEC2219).

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