A method of data communication, particularly for long data messages, is disclosed. The data code words of a message are arranged in segments, each with its own header, and are assigned message and segment identification. A receiver reconstructs the data message segment by segment and, in the non-group call situation, transmits an acknowledgement after the receipt of a segment. The receiver comprises a resettable timer which is set on the receipt of an acceptable segment and runs for a pre-determined duration. If another segment is received within the duration of the timer and has the same identification as the acceptable segment, then it is treated as a retransmission. Efficiency of the data communication method can be increased by retransmitted data code words being included with new data code words in a segment rather than being transmitted in a separate segment requiring its own header. Optionally, an efficient form of bit interleaving may be used.
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1. In a data communication system wherein messages comprising data code words are to be transmitted from a data transmitter to one or more of a plurality of data receivers, a method of transmission of such messages comprising the steps of:
- segmenting the data code words of each message into a sequence of successive segments each of a predetermined length;
- assigning an identification number to each message and assigning sequential identification numbers to the successive segments thereof;
- including in the first segment of each message a code word which contains the message identification number and including in the last segment of each message a code word identifying it as the last segment, whereby segments having segment identification numbers between those of the first and last segments of a message are identified as being segments of such message; and
- including in each segment of a message a code word which includes the segment identification number and also indicates whether such segment includes retransmissions of code words which were included in a previously transmitted segment of the same message.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
- including within a transmitted segment retransmitted data code words and new data code words.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
- at least one segment of each message comprises a header including an address code word and a first data code word containing the message identification number and segment identification number.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
- transmitting a message by interleaving the bits of the data words thereof; and
- indicating in such message that the data words therein have been bit interleaved.
5. The method as claimed in claim 4, further comprising:
- correlating the degree of bit interleaving with the length of the segments of such message.
6. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
- encrypting the data words of a message; and
- indicating in the message that the data words thereof have been encrypted.
7. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reception of such messages comprises:
- treating a segment which is received within a predetermined time period following reception of a prior segment having the same segment identification as a repeat transmission of the prior segment; and
- treating as a segment of a new message a received segment having the same identification number as a prior received segment if the subsequent segment is received after the expiration of said predetermined time period.
8. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein said predetermined time period is related to the length of a received segment.
9. The method as claimed in claim 8, wherein said predetermined time period is further related to a maximum number of times any message segment may be retransmitted.
10. The method as claimed in claim 1 or 7, further comprising transmission by each data receiver of an acknowledgement signal after it receives a message segment; such acknowledgement signal indicating whether the received segment has been decoded successfully, whether retransmission of such segment is needed, and whether retransmission of only specified code words in such segment is needed.