communication channel



We explain what they are and what the communication channels are. Also, how they are classified, what they are for and when they are efficient.

The communication channel can be something as simple as a paper.

What are communication channels?

A communication channel is the physical medium through which a communicative act is carried out, that is, it serves for the exchange of information between an emitter and one or more receivers.

The presence and availability of this specific medium is only one of the essential elements for the communication circuit to be fulfilled in a manner effective. It is extremely important, since every act of communication It requires the transmission of information through a physical, concrete element.

For example, at this very moment, the information contained in this text is reaching its readers after being broadcast in a computer network, using satellite signals (microwaves), power cables, optical fiber or radio broadcasts (WiFi). These are examples of communication channels.

However, a frequent use of this term, in the corporate world, refers to the avenues available to customers of a business in your communication with those who drive it: email, phone numbers, message boxes, etc.

Besides the channel, other essential elements for the communicative act they are the code, the sender, the receiver and the message.

Types of communication channels

The news media use various mass channels.

Communication channels can be, broadly speaking, of two types:

  • Personal. Those in which communication occurs directly with a receiver, generally one-to-one, although it could well be one-to-many. For example, when speak with someone face to face, our receiver listens to us directly, but it could well be two receivers in the same situation.
  • Massive. Those that allow the same transmitter to reach a multitude of receivers at the same time, either directly or delayed, such as media massive: radio, TV, newspapers, etc.

Another classification of communication channels distinguishes between unidirectional channels and bidirectional channels, that is, if the sender is always the sender and does not give the receiver or receivers the turn (such as radio, for example), or if it is a channel reciprocal communicative, which allows recipients to be transmitters also alternately (such as the telephone).

What are communication channels for?

When the channel does not work, communication is not possible.

As said before, communication channels are the physical support of the communicative act, its material part. Without them, the transmission of information would be impossible. This becomes evident when a communication channel is unwell, for example, as it happens when the telephone line is broken and our call is heard badly.

Efficiency of communication channels

A communication channel is more or less efficient, depending on its ability to transmit the information reliably, that is, without it being lost or adulterated along the way. A simple way to understand this is to remember that play in which the participants are placed in a wheel, and at some point in it a message is started, saying it into someone's ear.

That person will whisper it to the next ear and so on, until they go all the way around, without being allowed to repeat or clarify what was said. Once the message has reached the last of the wheel, it must be said aloud, and it will be verified how much of the original message has been lost. That will be an indicator of the channel's efficiency.

What are the communication channels?

Microwaves are the channel for telephone conversations.

There are many possible channels of communication. Here are some examples:

  • The waves sound transmitted by the air, allowing the voice to reach our speech apparatus, to the ears of our interlocutor in a conversation.
  • The telephone pulses, with which the telephones of yesteryear operated, or the microwaves with which our cell phones operate, allowing the sound of our voice is transported from our terminal to that of the receiver and vice versa.
  • Radio waves, emitted by a radio station somewhere in our country, and received by a receiving device capable of decoding them and converting them into sound waves that, through the air, reach our ears.
  • The optical fiber, where our computers connected to Internet they send and receive computer signals in the form of electrical pulses, traveling long distances back and forth.
  • The role, in the case of written messages, be it a love letter, a News in the newspaper or a public message that warns that a device is faulty and we should not use it.
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