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Wireless Glossary

System Gain

Radio system gain is the sum of transmitter gain plus its corresponding receiver gain. For example, a transmitter having a power output of 20 dBm combined with a receiver having a threshold sensitivity of – 80 dBm results in a radio system gain of 100 dB. Antenna System Gain: Antenna system gain is the net (combined) gain of a transmitting antenna plus the gain of a receiving antenna, minus the loss of the cables that connect the transmitter and receiver to their respective antennas. For example, at 5.8 GHz, a two-foot dish antenna has a nominal gain of 28 dBi, and low loss cable has a loss of 6 dB/100 feet. Therefore the antenna system gain for a pair of two-foot dishes and 100 feet of low-loss cable would be 50 dB (28 + 28 – 6). Total System Gain: Total system gain is the sum of antenna system gain plus radio system gain. Net System Gain: Net system gain is the amount of system gain left after the effect of free-space and all other propagation losses have been subtracted from the total system gain. The net system gain (if a positive number) is also referred to as Fade Margin.