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Book Reviews: An Expert Discussion of Wireless Technologies

Beran , Havering College of Further Higher Education

Wireless Communications

Andrea Goldsmith

672 pages


Cambridge University Press, 2005

ISBN: 0-52183-716-2

Everywhere you turn, you can see clear evidence of wireless communication. Students are carrying wireless notebook computers around universities; salespeople are receiving instant, up-to-date inventory figures on their digital telephone displays. But at the same time, wireless communications are probably the least understood new technology, and it's difficult to decide which of the vast range of available publications and resources are worth reading. Wireless Communications stands out above the rest.

Andrea Goldsmith covers in detail both technical and theoretical concepts of wireless communications and its requirements. She provides up-to-date knowledge of the techniques used in modern communication systems and the principles underlying their design.

The book begins with an interesting history and analysis of the development of wireless systems and standards. This sets up the framework for the rest of the book. Goldsmith then moves into more technical topics, discussing empirical path loss models, narrowband and wideband fading models, and frequency modulation.

She covers receiver and transmitter diversity and the coding needs for wireless channels. She also offers an excellent discussion of MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output communications), multicarrier modulation, DSSS (direct-sequence spread spectrum) and FHSS (frequency-hopping spread spectrum) signals and transmission technology, multiuser channels, and the fundamentals of cellular systems. She emphasizes the importance of increasing the capacity, throughput, and robustness of signals within current spectrum constraints, because spread spectrum transmission is more resistant to outside interference.

The book finishes with a chapter that examines in fine detail ad hoc wireless networks' benefits and disadvantages. Goldsmith also discusses how ad hoc wireless networks are useful for simple setup of a wireless network, where a network infrastructure isn't already laid out and might not be required on a permanent basis.

Each chapter presents questions (problems that you might face when considering wireless communications, such as security issues), which help reinforce your knowledge while preparing you to use and support wireless technology. End-of-chapter bibliographies support further reading.


Although this book covers the building blocks of wireless communication and has a clear, concise layout with easy-to-read concepts, it's best suited for people who already have a fair level of wireless knowledge. Having read many books in this area before my PhD research in wireless communication, I can say that this one is comprehensive. I'll use it regularly to refer to any areas of wireless topics and extend my knowledge.

Wireless Communication is one of the most impressively written books that I've come across recently. It covers almost everything you'll ever need to know about wireless technology and its potential. Goldsmith demonstrates her extensive knowledge with a fluent, smooth style. The book is useful for serious wireless developers; it's imperative to keep up-to-date in this rapidly evolving field. I encourage you to read it even if you're already well acquainted with wireless technology. It will help you stay at the forefront of your field and contribute to making the wireless world a reality. It's well worth the price. Overall, I would give it an 8 out of 10.

Related Links

  • DS Online's Mobile and Pervasive Community, cms:/dsonline/topics/mobile/index.xml
  • "Where Wired and Wireless Networks Converge," IEEE DS Online,
  • "Municipal Wi-Fi: Big Wave or Wipeout?" IEEE Internet Computing,

Cite this article: Beran Necat, "An Expert Discussion of Wireless Technologies," review of Wireless Communications by Andrea Goldsmith, IEEE Distributed Systems Online, vol. 7, no. 9, 2006, art. no. 0609-o9005.

About the Authors

Beran Necat is a lecturer in ICT at the Havering College of Further and Higher Education and an academic officer at Breyer State University, where he teaches information systems. Contact him at
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