Calculating the bit error rate involves dividing the number of bit errors by the total number of transferred bits during a fixed time interval. Bit error rate, or bit error ratio, is a unitless measure expressed as a percentage.

Bit error rate is one of the best ways to measure the quality of a digital transmission. It is affected by the following factors:

  • Noise
  • Interference
  • Distortion
  • Attenuation
  • Bit synchronization problems
  • Wireless multipath fading
A strong signal strength can improve a transmission's bit error rate. It can also be improved by opting for a slow and robust modulation scheme and by using channel coding schemes as forward error correction codes.