||The Federation has devised a method for
such a transfer of data: subspace radio.
Subspace radio works using the same technology as the Warp drive,
even though the drive was developped over a century earlier. Subspace
radio is a signal, similar to conventional 20th-century Terran
radio or television. The sound waves are emmited in a subspace
field, and because these particles weigh much less than a starship,
they can travel at nearly sixty times faster than any ship
(Warp Speed 9.9997). The signals can carry audio, visual, and
he problem with subspace radio is that, unlike a starship, there
is no constant source of energy. Without energy, the subspace
field will degrade and the radio transmission will fall back to
below-light speed. To solve this, Starfleet established a network
of subspace relay stations that amplify, reroute, and rebroadcast
On-board Starfleet vessels, personnel use combadges to communicate.
Combadges, descendant of the original Enterprise's communicator,
are integrated into Starfleet insignia and allow audio communication.
They also include subspace beacons, which can be used to locate
personnel and allow for off-board communication back to the ship.
Combadges also have integrated universal translators. These allow
for real-time, two-way communication by reading and comparing
brain-waves, then translating that concept. Translation software
was installed on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D's and Voyager's computers.
Smaller versions of the translators can fit in the outer ear,
but these devices are known to be less reliable.