What Does Baseband Mean?

The word baseband has slightly different meanings or usage depending on the context, but traditionally, it is a signal at a very narrow frequency range on which data or information is superimposed and then transmitted. It is also called a lowpass signal since it can include near-zero frequencies. In this sense, a sound waveform is considered as a baseband while radio signals often rated in the megahertz levels are not considered baseband.


Techopedia Explains Baseband

Baseband has various uses in the technology industry. Depending on the context, it takes on slightly different meanings, with the commonality of it being a signal.

  • Baseband channel – is a communications channel that is able to transfer or transmit frequencies that are near zero. For example, Ethernet LANs and serial cables.
  • Digital baseband transmission – this pertains to using the baseband channel, described above, to transfer a stream of bits over an unfiltered wire.
  • Baseband bandwidth – equal to the highest frequency of a system, it is the upper bound frequency limit such as that of a lowpass filter.
  • Baseband signal – includes near-zero frequencies where other information containing higher frequencies are superimposed and then sent to smaller subbands.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.