Bit error rate

What is bit error rate?
The bit error rate (BER) of a transmission is the percentage of bits in the transmission that have errors due to noise, interference, or other problems. The bit error rate can be used to determine the quality of a signal and the relative success of packet delivery. It can be an integral part of researching different types of systems for quality and effectiveness.

Many IT professionals speak of problems with a low error rate because the 'integrity of the data transmitted over a network is compromised'. Those skilled in the art can calculate the bit error rate by calculating the number of errors over the total number of bits sent.

It is also important to note that the BER for wired systems can be different compared to wireless systems. In many wireless or radio communications, the primary cause of high bit error rates is signal noise. Crosstalk and other problems can contribute to signal degradation. In a fiber optic link or other wired structure that is more shielded from outside interference, one of the main causes of data failure is problems with the installed hardware. Engineers and others look at bit error rate to determine how well a system is sending and receiving messages and what can be done to improve its quality.

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