Back to all courses

Digital communication

Individual course

This course focuses on the core digital information transmission and signal processing techniques utilised in all widely-used communications systems and networks, like 2G/3G/4G/5G mobile communication networks, wireless LANs, digital TV broadcasting, and DSL. These techniques include error control coding, digital modulation, filtering, channel equalisation and detection.

Course contents

Information theoretic foundation of electrical communication:

  • Information, entropy, and mutual information;
  • Maximal mutual information and channel capacity;
  • Source coding vs. channel coding;
  • Capacity of frequency-selective and fading channels

Baseband and bandpass digital communication:

  • Bits, symbols, and waveforms;
  • Baseband pulse amplitude modulation (PAM), Nyquist pulse-shaping, line coding;
  • Linear I/Q modulation, real and complex symbol alphabets;
  • Digital frequency modulation techniques.

Performance of digital communication chains:

  • Effects of additive noise, symbol & bit errors and their probability, Gray mapping;
  • Spectral efficiency and related concepts, connections to channel capacity theorem.
  • Effects of fading on the symbol and bit errors

Detection theory and intersymbol interference (ISI) mitigation:

  • Basics of statistical decision making and detection, maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum a posteriori (MAP) principles;
  • Signal space concepts and connection to practical waveforms, sufficient statistics;
  • Detection of single symbols, matched filtering (MF);
  • Detection of symbol sequences;
  • Optimal receiver front-end, signal space arguments, intersymbol interference (ISI);
  • Zero-forcing (ZF), mean-squared error (MSE) and other optimisation principles;
  • ML sequence detection and Viterbi algorithm;
  • Channel equalisation, linear vs. nonlinear equalizers, adaptive techniques.

Error control coding in digital communication systems:

  • Error detection vs. correction vs. prevention, redundancy;
  • Hard and soft decoding, coding gain;
  • Block codes and convolutional codes,
  • Viterbi decoding;
  • Coded modulation and trellis codes;
  • Interleaving, puncturing.
  • Basic ideas and application of Turbo codes, LDPC codes and Polar codes.

Synchronisation basics:

  • Concepts of time, phase and frequency synchronization in digital communications receivers
  • Some basic algorithms to acquire synch

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student

  • Can explain the information theoretic foundations of digital communications.
  • Can recognise and explain the main elements of digital communication systems and the common digital modulation methods in waveform domain.
  • Is able to analyse the transmission link level performance of digital communication systems.
  • Recognises and is able to explain the main functions of digital communications transmitters and receivers.
  • Can explain the significance and principles of error control coding in digital communication systems.

Course material

Lecture notes, slides and other complementary materials.

Completion methods

Project work and exam. For FITech students, flexible mechanisms are pursued.

More information in the Tampere University study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

5G, 6G, tietoliikennetekniikka, tietoliikenneverkot, tiedonsiirtotekniikka, langaton teknologia, langattomat verkot, mobiiliverkot, Internet, esineiden Internet, teollinen Internet, digitaalinen modulaatio, informaatioteoria, koodausteoria, Matlab

Responsible teacher

University of Tampere
Simona Lohan, Professor

Further information about the course and studying

University of Tampere
Mikko Valkama, 5G-coordinator

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
Start here
Start here
ICT Studies
5G technology,
Industrial internet
Course code:
0 €
Teaching period:
Application deadline:
Application period has ended
Host university:
Tampere University
Study is open for:
Adult learner,
Degree student
Teaching methods:
General prerequisites:
Very basics of communications engineering
Study suitable for:
For all those who want to understand how digital modulation methods and error control codes work, and what are the corresponding fundamental transmitter and receiver signal processing stages.
Interested in this course? Subscribe and get updates about the course directly to your email. You can cancel subscription any time you want.