Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X
Table of contents
What is unguided transmission media?
Types of Unguided Media
Radio Transmission
Advantages of Radio Transmission 
Uses of Radio Transmission 
Examples of Radio Transmission 
Microwave Transmission
Terrestrial Transmission  
Characteristics of Terrestrial Microwave 
Advantages Of Terrestrial Microwave 
Disadvantages Of Terrestrial Microwave 
Satellite Transmission
How Does Satellite work?
Advantages Of Satellite Transmission 
Disadvantages Of Satellite Transmission 
Infrared Transmission
Characteristics Of Infrared 
Advantages Of Infrared 
Uses Of Infrared 
Disadvantages Of Infrared 
Characteristics of Unguided Media
Frequently Asked Questions
What are bounded and unbounded media?
What are the types of unguided media?
What are examples of unguided transmission?
Where is unguided media used?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

UnGuided Transmission Media

Author Alisha Chhabra
Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
Ashwin Goyal
Product Manager @

Unguided Media


Unguided media is wireless communication that uses signals such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared and satellite communication. It provides flexible and mobile communication but can suffer from interference and limited bandwidth.

As we all know, a communication channel that transports information from the sender to the receiver is referred to as transmission media. Moreover, electromagnetic signals are used to transmit data. 

This transmission media is further classified into two types:

unguided media
  1. Guided Media - It is the physical medium through which signals are transmitted
  2. Unguided Media - An unguided transmission sends electromagnetic waves without the use of a physical medium

In this article, we’ll be looking at Unguided Transmission media

So, let’s get started:

What is unguided transmission media?

UnGuided/Wireless Transmission Media transfer electromagnetic waves without using a physical medium or conductor. It is also referred to as Wireless or Unbounded transmission media. 

Unguided transmission media, also called wireless media, are used to transmit data over the air without the use of physical cables. They offer mobility and flexibility but are also prone to interference, attenuation, and security risks. The efficiency of wireless communication can be improved by using techniques such as modulation, coding, multiple access, and smart antenna systems. Wireless communication has become increasingly important in modern society due to the growing popularity of mobile devices, IoT, and cloud computing.

Next, we’ll discuss the types of UnGuided Media: 

Get the tech career you deserve, faster!
Connect with our expert counsellors to understand how to hack your way to success
User rating 4.7/5
1:1 doubt support
95% placement record
Akash Pal
Senior Software Engineer
326% Hike After Job Bootcamp
Himanshu Gusain
Programmer Analyst
32 LPA After Job Bootcamp
After Job

Types of Unguided Media

Types of Unguided Media 

Radio Transmission

  • Radio waves are electromagnetic waves that travel through free space in all directions
  • Radio waves are omnidirectional, which means that the signals are propagated in all directions. Because radio waves are omnidirectional, they are susceptible to interference if another transmitting antenna transmits a signal with the same frequency or bandwidth
  • Radio waves have a frequency range of 3 kHz to 1 GHz
  • The sending and receiving antennas are not aligned in the case of radio waves, so the wave sent by the sending antenna can be received by any receiving antenna

Advantages of Radio Transmission

  • Radio waves travel in all directions (propagated in all directions)
  • It is capable of penetrating walls

Uses of Radio Transmission

  • Wide area networks and mobile cellular phones are the most common applications
  • Multicasting is done using radio waves (one to many)

Examples of Radio Transmission

  • Television 
  • FM radio

Microwave Transmission

  • Microwave transmission consists of an electromagnetic wave with a frequency range of about (1-300GHz)
  • Electromagnetic waves propagate in one direction with respect to sight, preventing any intrusion
  • When the transmission medium is aligned with each other, communication between the two endpoints and the line of sight becomes much easier to establish

Microwave Transmission is further divided into two categories:

Microwave Transmission


Terrestrial Transmission 

  • Terrestrial microwave transmission is a method of transmitting a radio signal's focused beam from one ground-based microwave transmission antenna to another
  • Antennas are mounted on the towers, in this case, to send a beam to another antenna located km away
  • It uses line-of-sight transmission, which means that the antennas on the towers are in direct line of sight of each other

Characteristics of Terrestrial Microwave

  • Uses high-frequency radio waves for transmission
  • Requires a clear line of sight between the transmitting and receiving antennas
  • It can transmit data over long distances, up to 30 miles or more
  • Has a high bandwidth, allowing for fast data transfer rates

Advantages Of Terrestrial Microwave

  • Provides high-speed communication over long distances
  • Has a high bandwidth, allowing for fast data transfer rates
  • Offers a reliable alternative to wired communication in remote or difficult-to-access areas
  • It can be quickly deployed and installed, reducing the need for expensive infrastructure
  • Does not require expensive rights-of-way, as it can be installed on existing structures such as towers or buildings

Disadvantages Of Terrestrial Microwave

  • Requires a clear line of sight between the transmitting and receiving antennas, which can be obstructed by physical obstacles such as buildings or mountains
  • It can be affected by weather conditions such as rain, snow, and fog, which can weaken the signal
  • Requires regular maintenance to ensure the proper functioning of equipment and signal quality
  • Vulnerable to interference from other microwave systems or radio devices operating on the same frequency
  • Has a limited coverage area compared to satellite communication and can only transmit data up to a certain distance, typically up to 30 miles or less

Satellite Transmission

  • A satellite is a physical object that travels around the Earth at a set altitude
  • Satellite communication is now more dependable than cable and fibre optic technologies because it is more adaptable
  • We can communicate with any location on the planet using satellite communication

How Does Satellite work?

Satellites work by receiving signals from ground-based antennas and retransmitting those signals back to Earth. They orbit the Earth at a specific altitude and speed, allowing them to remain in a fixed position relative to the ground. The signals are sent to the satellite from one ground station, then relayed to another ground station to reach the desired destination. Satellites can be used for communication, weather monitoring, GPS navigation, and other applications.

Advantages Of Satellite Transmission

  • Offers a wide coverage area, making it suitable for global communication and remote areas without access to other communication infrastructure
  • Provides high-speed data transfer rates, which are useful for applications such as video streaming and high-resolution imaging
  • It can operate independently of existing communication infrastructure, reducing the need for expensive installations and maintenance
  • It is not affected by physical obstacles, such as buildings or mountains, that can obstruct other types of communication

Disadvantages Of Satellite Transmission

  • It can be affected by atmospheric conditions, such as rain, clouds, and solar storms, which can weaken or disrupt the signal
  • It can be susceptible to interference from other satellite or ground-based systems operating on the same frequency
  • It can have higher latency or delay in signal transmission due to the distance between the satellite and ground stations, which can affect some applications such as real-time gaming or voice communication
  • It is generally more expensive than other types of communication infrastructure, such as terrestrial or underwater cables, especially for high-bandwidth applications

Infrared Transmission

  • Infrared transmission is a short-range wireless communication technique
  • Infrared wave transmission has a frequency range of 300 GHz to 400 THz
  • It's used for short-range communication like data transmission between two cell phones, TV remote control operation, and data transfer between a computer and a mobile phone in the same confined area
  • Infrared waves are regarded as a far safer form of unguided transmission medium
  • Infrared waves are powerful because there is no risk of sniffing, spoofing, or other unwanted activities, as well as a low risk of vulnerable attacks

Characteristics Of Infrared

  • Infrared is an electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves
  • Infrared radiation can be emitted, reflected or absorbed by an object, depending on the object's temperature and physical properties
  • Infrared transmission requires a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, as it cannot penetrate solid objects

Advantages Of Infrared

  • Infrared waves are used for high-frequency short-range communication
  • It cannot penetrate walls

Uses Of Infrared

  • Infrared Data Association (IrDA) is a standard for communicating between devices like computers, keyboards, mice, and printers
  • Wireless keywords can communicate with a computer via the IrDA port

Disadvantages Of Infrared

  • Infrared signals require a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, as they cannot penetrate solid objects, which limits their range and coverage area
  • Infrared communication can be affected by interference from other infrared sources or bright light sources, such as the sun or fluorescent lamps
  • Infrared communication has limited bandwidth, which restricts its usefulness for applications requiring high data transfer rates
  • Infrared communication is affected by weather conditions such as fog, rain, and snow, which can scatter or attenuate the signal

Also see,  Personal Area Network

Characteristics of Unguided Media

  • Air is the medium through which electromagnetic energy can easily flow without any hindrance or intrusion
  • Unguided signals can travel in three ways: sky propagation, ground propagation,  and line-of-sight propagation
  • The electromagnetic spectrum used for wireless communication ranges from 3 kHz to 900 THz
  • The unguided media makes use of an antenna first for transmitting and receiving the electromagnetic wave

Frequently Asked Questions

What are bounded and unbounded media?

Bounded transmission media use physical cables or fibers to guide communications, whereas unbounded transmission media use wireless technologies to convey messages across air or open space. Each type has its own characteristics and concerns, and the choice between them is determined by variables and the specific needs of the communication system.

What are the types of unguided media?

There are several types of unguided media, including radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, and visible light. Each type of unguided media has different frequencies, bandwidths, and transmission ranges and is used for different purposes, such as long-distance or short-range communication.

What are examples of unguided transmission?

Examples of unguided transmission include wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular networks, satellite communication, infrared communication, and RFID. These technologies use various types of unguided media to transmit data signals without the need for physical conductors.

Where is unguided media used?

Unguided media is used in a variety of applications, such as wireless networking, mobile communication, satellite communication, remote sensing, and RFID technology. It is also used for short-range communication between devices, such as infrared communication between remote controls and TVs.


To wrap up the article, we’ve discussed UnGuided Media in detail. Because of its major use when a radio or any other form of transmission is required, an unguided transmission medium is a recommended and most commonly used form of transmission medium. Furthermore, unlike guided media, unguided media is useful and in demand due to its ease of implementation in a remote location with minimal intrusion.

Recommended Readings: 


Also check out some of the Guided Paths on topics such as Data Structure and AlgorithmsCompetitive ProgrammingOperating SystemsComputer Networks, Basics of JavaScript, System Design, etc. as well as some Contests, Test SeriesInterview Bundles, and some Interview Experiences curated by top Industry Experts only on Coding Ninjas Studio.

Please upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow.

Happy Learning!

Previous article
Digital Subscriber Line
Next article
GSM Architecture
Live masterclass