Definition of Simplex in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Simplex (in communications)?

Simplex is a form of communication in which signals are sent in only one direction. This is different from duplex transmission, in which signals can simultaneously be sent and received by a station, and from half-duplex transmission, in which signals can be sent or received but not both at the same time.

Simplex communication
Simplex communication

Simplex transmission occurs in many common communication applications, the most obvious being broadcast and cable television. It is not used in true network communication because stations on a network generally need to communicate both ways.

Some forms of network communication might seem to be simplex in nature, such as streaming audio or video, but the communication actually takes place using bidirectional network traffic, usually Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) traffic. Simplex communication is not included in the V series recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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