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The receiver in information theory is the receiving end of a communication channel. It receives decoded messages/information from the sender, who first encoded them. Sometimes the receiver is modeled so as to include the decoder. Real-world receivers like radio receivers or telephones can not be expected to receive as much information as predicted by the noisy channel coding theorem.

In telecommunications, a receiver is also known as "The handset". On a telephone, the handset is a device the user holds to the ear to hear audio. For example, A cordless phone uses a radio transceiver for the handset, and a radio transceiver for the base station. On a mobile telephone, the entire unit is a radio transceiver that communicates through a remote base station.

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