Public University of Navarre

Castellano | Academic year: 2023/2024
Double Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunication Technology Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 247313 Subject title: DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
Credits: 6 Type of subject: Mandatory Year: 3 Period: 2º S
Department: Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y de Comunicación

Partes de este texto:


Module/Subject matter

Module: Common training

Materia: Fundamentals of communication systems


General proficiencies

G2. Teamwork

G3. Self-directed learning

G4 - Efficiency in oral and written communication

G5 - Efficiency in the management of information resources

G7. Ability to conceive, design, implement and operate systems and services in the field of TIC

CB1 - That students have demonstrated knowledge in an area of study that starts from the basis of general secondary education, and is usually found at a level that, although supported by advanced textbooks, also includes some aspects that involve knowledge from the forefront of their field of study.

CB2 - That students know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and possess the skills that are usually demonstrated by developing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of study.

CB3 - That students have the ability to gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their study area) to make judgments that include reflection on important issues of social, scientific or ethical nature.

CB4 - That students are capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

CB5 - That students have developed the learning skills required to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.


Specific proficiencies

Las competencias específicas que un alumno debería adquirir en esta asignatura son:

  • 2.1 - Ability to autonomously learn new knowledge and techniques suitable for the design, development or operation of telecommunication systems and services.

  • 2.3 - Ability to use computer tools to search for bibliographic resources or information related to telecommunications and electronics.

  • 2.4 - Ability to analyze and specify the fundamental parameters of a communications system.

  • 2.5. Ability to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different technological alternatives for the deployment or implementation of communications systems, from the point of view of signal space, disturbances and noise and analog and digital modulation systems.

  • 2.8. Ability to understand the mechanisms of propagation and transmission of electromagnetic and acoustic waves, and their corresponding transmitting and receiving devices.


Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the end-to-end evolution of information transmission in a communication system.
  2. Calculate the main parameters of a communications system.
  3. Know the concepts of modulation and coding.
  4. Differentiate an analog system from a digital one and its advantages/disadvantages.
  5. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of baseband transmission.
  6. Know and apply analog and digital modulations.
  7. Compare different modulation systems based on parameters of bandwidth and robustness against noise and interference.
  8. Know the different methods of multiplexing.
  9. Identify the source and channel coding techniques most appropriate to a specific communication system.
  10. Apply the basic principles of communications systems to the resolution of engineering problems.
  11. Understand manuals and specifications of equipment and products in English. Search for information in books and online resources in English.
  12. Plan the tasks entrusted so that they are carried out in accordance with the guidelines set by the teacher and in the foreseen time. Evaluate the degree of compliance with the learning objectives and detect problems in the training progress itself.
  13. Identify and raise problems from open situations. Apply alternatives for their resolution. Manage approximations and identify their limitations.
  14. Autonomously use the tools, instruments and software applications available in the laboratories of basic and advanced subjects. Know how they works and their limitations.




Methodology - Activity Contact hours Non-contact hours
A-1 Lecture / participatory classes 45 20
A-2 Lab sessions 15 10
A-3 Debates, team work, group tutoring 5  
A-4 Work preparation   5
A-5 Material readings    
A-6 Independent study   42
A-7 Exams, assessment tests 3  
A-8 Individual Tutorials 5  
Total 73 77





Weight (%) It allows
test resit
required grade
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 Individual written examination about the theoretical contents of the subject 50 Recoverable by a new written exam 5,0
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 Continuous evaluation. 3 exams after chapters 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6. 25 Recoverable by a new written exam Not required
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 Evaluation by individual written exam after each practical session 25 Recoverable by a new written exam Not required


It will be necessary to obtain 5 points out of 10 in the total mark of the subject in order to pass it. If the mark for the theoretical exam is below 5, the final mark will be the theoretical exam mark.

The mark of the extraordinary exam will have recovery character of the whole subject.






1 Introduction to digital communication systems

- Communication system model
- Distortion. Equalization
- Signal to Noise ratio.
- Digital versus analog communications
- Digital modulations


2 Digital baseband transmission

- A / D conversion. Sampling, quantization and coding
- Types of sampling: natural, chopper and flat-top. Reconstruction filtering
- Quantization. Quantization noise
- Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM)
- Binary signaling schemes and their spectra
- Multilevel (M-ary) signaling
- Non-uniform quantization. Mu law and A Law
- Delta modulation and predictive coding
- Inter-symbol interference. Eye diagram
- Pulse shaping. Nyquist criteria
- Optimum threshold detection. Matched filter.


3 Digital pass-band transmission

- Geometric representation of signals
- Coherent and non-coherent detection
- Correlation receivers
- Single carrier digital bandpass modulations
- Synchronization techniques

4 Multiplexing and Spread Spectrum Techniques

- Introduction
- Multiplexing and multiple access techniques
- Pseudo-random sequences
- Direct sequence spread spectrum
- Frequency hopping spread spectrum
- Application examples: UMTS


5 Multi-carrier modulations

- Introduction
- Discrete multitone
- Application examples: ADSL / WLAN / DTT

6 Coding techniques

- Introduction
- Channel coding. Block codes. Convolutional coding. Reed-Solomon coding.



Experimental practice program

The practice program is composed by 4 practical sessions with 5 different practices:

Session 1:

  • Practice 1: PCM
  • Practice 2: Delta Modulation

session 2:

  • Practice 3: Line Coding

session 3:

  • Practice 4: Intersymbol Interference (ISI)

session 4:

  • Practice 5: ASK-PSK-QPSK-FSK

session 5:

  • Practice 6: Multicarrier modulation



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.

Basic bibliography:

  • Communication systems (5 a Ed.). S. Haykin and M. Moher. John Wiley & Sons 2010.
  • Fundamentals of communication systems. JG Proakis and M. Salehi. Prentice Hall 2004.

Further reading:

  • Digital Communications (5 a Ed.). JG Proakis. Mc Graw Hill 2001
  • Communication Systems (5 a Ed.). AB Carlson and PB Crilly. McGraw Hill 2009.
  • Digital and analog communication systems (7 a Ed.). L. Couch. Prentice Hall 2006.






Classroom and Laboratorio de Diseño e Instrumentación (Edificio Los Tejos, 1st Floor)