Introduction to Telecommunications


The aim is to provide the students with knowledge on the classic modulations, namely PCM, AM, FM, and digital modulations, and also knowledge on basic multiplexing techniques (in time and frequency). It is intended that the students become familiarized with the time and frequency descriptions of signals and systems, as well as the concepts of signal bandwidth, sampling, and spectral density of signals. To achieve these goals the students must understand the functionally of electronic devices as filters, multipliers, sample-and-hold, etc. The laboratorial component will provide the students with a direct contact with systems that execute the subjects studied in the theoretical part.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo da Costa Luís da Fonseca Pinto, Rui Miguel Henriques Dias Morgado Dinis


Weekly - 5

Total - 65

Teaching language



Available soon


Paulo da Fonseca Pinto, notes from lectures, 2004/2005

Simon Haykin, Michael Moher, “An Introduction to Analog and Digital Communications”, John Wiley, 2006

Ian Glover e Peter Grant, “Digital Communications”, Prentice-Hall, 1998

Andrew Tanenbaum, “Computer Networks”, 4th Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2003

Teaching method

The course consists on two weekly sessions of theoretical-pratical seminars with the duration of one hour and half each (with 3 mini-tests during the semester). There is also a laboratory part with one weekly session of two hours. In the laboratory the students must perform 8 group projects (two students per group).

Evaluation method

1. General Rule

The assessment includes a theoretical part and a laboratorial part.      

* The student must have a minimum of 9.5 point in each part

*  The final grade is weighted as follows:

75% for the theoretical part and 25% for the laboratorial part. 

2. Theoretical Part

The assessment of the theoretical part can be distributed or centralized:     

* Distributed assessment – consists on the execution of three (3) mid-term tests and 3 quizzes.

On the date of the final exam it is possible to repeat the 2nd or the 3rd mid-term test upon professors'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' invitation. The theoretical grade is calculated using the following formula:            

theor_grade = (15% 1st test + 30% 2nd test + 30% 3rd test)*100/75   

If the average quizz grade is 2 or more values above theor_grade this is increased by one value.


* Centralized assessment – consists on the execution of a final exam. In this case the theoretical grade is the grade of the exam. Students that opted by the distributed assessment can change to the centralized assessment any time during the semester.  

2.1. Number of mid-term tests, quizzes and exams       

3 mid-term tests 

3 quizzes     

1 Final Exam      

2.2. Syllabus for each mid-term test       

1st test – Introduction and Fourier series    

2nd test – Fourier analisys

3rd test – PCM, AM, DSB, PM, FM, Digital Modulations

3. Laboratorial Part 

The laboratorial part consists on 8 works for assessment. The final grade of the laboratorial part includes the continuous evaluation of the student performance throughout the laboratorial sessions. The continuous performance assessment includes the advanced preparation of the each project and the distribution of the effort between the members of the group. 

4. Control of the attendance to the laboratory

The attendance of the students to the laboratory is controlled. The following rules will apply:                   

1st miss – tolerated                  

2nd miss – the grade for the laboratorial part cannot be over 14                  

3rd miss – the grade for the laboratorial part cannot be over 12

 4th miss – the students fails  

5. Save of the final grade

If the student succeeds in the laboratorial part but fails in the theoretical part, the laboratorial grade can be used in the future for two scholar years. If the students does not succeed within this time frame (s)he will have to perform the laboratorial part again. 

6. Admission to a Special Date of examination

The exam called “special date exam” can only be performed by those students who have a valid laboratorial grade.  

7. Types of grades    

* Ausente (Absent)     A       A student that did not subscribe the laboratory if (s)he has not a valid grade yet. Or the student that has a valid laboratorial grade but did not attend any exam.     

* Excluído (Excluded) – E      A student that stopped attending the laboratory (4 misses or over)       *

 Faltou (Missing)       F       A student that missed the sequence of mid-term tests, or miss the exam      

* Reprovado (Fail)     R      A student that performed both theoretical and laboratorial parts but did not succeed to have the minimum grades that were demanded (in one of them or both).      

* Aprovado (Approved)      from 10 to 20      A student that succeeded in the course (both parts)

Subject matter


Discipline general overview

Signals and systems

Fourier analysis

Filtering and signal distortion

Spectral density and correlation

Pulse modulation






Delta modulation

Modulation techiques

Amplitude Modulation

Phase and Frequency modulations

Digital modulations




Programs where the course is taught: