Course syllabus


A detailed Course-PM is available in the Files tab in the left-hand menu.


Available in TimeEdit:

Contact details


Guest Lecturers

Teaching Assistant

Please respect office hours for physical meetings: Thursdays 15:15-17:00.

E2 Student Administration Office 

Course literature

Main text book

B. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2013, ISBN 978-981-4577-51-9. The book is available at Cremona. Appendices, errata, and other extra material can be found at

Additional texts

We will use parts of the following books

J. R. Barry, E. A. Lee, and D. G. Messerschmidt, Digital Communications, Third edition, ISBN: 978-1-4613-4975-4 (Print) 978-1-4615-0227-2. Available as an e-book at

U. Madhow, Fundamentals of Digital Communication, Cambridge, 2008, eISBN-13: 9780511573804, eISBN-10: 0511573804. Available as an e-book at

If you have problems accessing the e-books with the links above, try connecting to Chalmers via VPN or go to and search for the book.


Course purpose

There are two main aims with this course.

The first is to provide a broad introduction to communication systems as the enabler of information and communication technology (ICT) applications, e.g., E-health, smart grid, automation, process control, cooperative active traffic safety, to mention a few. A modern engineer, in any field, will interact with ICT systems. When specifying the requirements on a communication system to support a certain ICT application, the non-communication engineer would benefit tremendously to know the terminology, possibilities, and limitations of communication systems.

The second aim is to provide a solid introduction to communication systems for the student that plans for a career as a communication engineer. We will treat, in some detail, the lower layers of the communication stack. This is to mean that we are particularly concerned with the basic task of transmitting packets of bits from point A to point B over a physical medium (e.g., a piece of fiber optical cable or a wireless channel). Once we master this task, the communication links will be used to form complex networks, such as the Internet, that are so important in today’s society.

Course design

Please see written Course-PM for details about lectures, exercises, projects, quizzes, examination, and grading rules.

Changes made since the last occasion

No significant areas of improvement were identified in last year's course evaluation meeting. Nevertheless, constant polishing of the course material and procedures are done. In particular, we have added some guidelines on how to use MATLAB when solving the project tasks. 

Learning outcomes

After the course, the students should be able to

  • describe how sustainable development is facilitated by communication
  • describe the purpose of the layers in the OSI model for communication, with emphasis on the network, data link, and physical layers
  • describe the purpose of the main components in the TCP/IP protocol suite
  • analyze the requirements for an ICT application, e.g., E-health, smart grid, automation, process control, or vehicular traffic safety, poses on the communication system
  • explain the blocks in Shannon's model for digital communication
  • define and compute performance metrics for communication
    • error probability (bit, symbol, packet)
    • spectral efficiency
    • power efficiency
    • latency
    • throughput
  • explain the concepts of symmetric cryptography, asymmetric cryptography, and hash-functions and how these can be used to provide confidentiality, integrity, and authentication

Syllabus on Studieportalen.

Examination form

Please see written Course-PM for details about examination and grading rules.

Course summary:

Date Details Due