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In computer networks and telecommunications multiplexing is a method by which multiple analog message signals or digital data streams are

combined into one signal over a shared medium. The goal is to share an expensive resource. Multiplexing was started in a technology called telegraphy in the 1870s, and is now widely applied in communications. A device that performs the multiplexing is called a multiplexer, and a device that performs the reverse process is called a demultiplexer. Multiplexing is within the Physical Layer of the OSI Modelwhile multiple access also involves a media access protocol which is part of the Data Link Layer of the OSI Model. In wireless communication multiplexing can also be accomplished through alternating polarization on each adjacent channel and satellite or through phased multi-antenna array combined with a multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) communications scheme. In wireless communications space-division multiplexing is achieved by multiple antenna elements forming a phased array antenna. In some optical fiber networks multiple signals are carried together as separate wavelengths of light in a multiplexed signal using dense wavelength division multiplexing.