Difference Between a Law and u Law

Since the day digitization has taken over the world, different types of supporting technologies are being used all across the world to make digitization easier to accept and rely upon.

A Law and u Law are two such techniques that are widely used to optimize and handle signal transmission in telephonic networks. These systems aid in digitization but are very different from one another. 

a Law vs u Law 

The main difference between a Law and u Law is that in terms of dynamic range, the latter carries a wider range as compared to the former one. Apart from this difference, a significant distinction between these two can be easily marked after looking at the areas in which these two systems operate. It can be said that while these two are interrelated to one another very closely, there still exists a wider scope for differentiation. 

a Law vs u Law

The system of a Law is mostly seen to be used in countries like Europe etc. The major reason behind putting this particular system to use is that it is the most feasible one when it comes to companding international signals.

However, this system comes with certain downsides as well that cannot be overlooked while modifying signals on a very large scale. 

In countries like the United States and Japan, u Law is used as a compounding system that aids in bringing drastic change in the digitization of signals over the internet.

The most important function of this particular system is to decrease the dynamic range of any given signal so that the expected quality levels can be achieved without distorting the actual signal. 

Comparison Table Between a Law and u Law 

Parameters of Comparison a Law u Law 
Meaning  This is a way of optimizing digitized signals so that the particular detrimental effects could be reduced this system is a way of compounding digitized signals so that the operation could go on on a larger scale 
Other names  No other name Mu law 
Areas of operation  it is mostly used in European countries it is mostly used in countries like the United States and Japan 
Scale of range this system has a dynamic range comparatively lower as compared to other counterparts the system has a very higher dynamic range as compared to its other counterparts 
Benefits  This particular system proves to be beneficial when it comes to international calls this particular system proves to be beneficial when a larger range of dynamics needs to be modified 

What is a Law? 

Whenever digitized signals are transmitted from one place to another, the major issue that arises is that these signals can collide with each other and cause detrimental effects on the channels of transmission.

In such cases, the need arises for a particular system that can be used to optimize these digitized signals. 

A Law is one such system that is used in countries of the European continent. The major reason behind putting this particular system to use is that it can easily cover the channels of transmission in international areas.

In other words, by using this particular channel, international calls can easily be optimized so that the detrimental effects that can be there could be avoided. 

However, one issue that arises with this particular system is that it cannot be the most suitable system for areas that have signals with a higher dynamic range. This system is most suitable for only those places that have a comparatively lower dynamic range. 

What is u Law? 

Similar to the previously discussed system, u Law is another type of system that is used to manage the signals that are transmitted digitally.

This particular system ensures that while the transmission of calls takes place, the channels that are transmitting these calls face no negative experiences during the process. 

Although the system is popular across the world, still there are some areas that use this system mostly.

For example, in countries like the United States and Japan, this particular system is relatively popular, and people there believe in this system so much. But to the dissatisfaction of customers, a particular disadvantage is also attached to this system.

When signals of a smaller scale are transmitted through this system, there is a possibility of distortion of sound. 

Another reason behind the popularity of this particular system is that it can not only cover regular calls but those calls as well that have a wider range of dynamics.

In other words, certain signals having a higher dynamic range can also be optimized using this particular system, and this very feature makes the system of u Law unique in itself. 

Main Differences Between a Law and u Law 

  1. A Law is a system used for compounding digital signals worldwide, while on the other hand u Law is a similar system used for expanding and minimizing digitized signals in certain areas 
  2. A Law has no other name while, on the other hand, u Law is also known as mu Law. 
  3. A Law is used mostly in European countries, while on the other hand, u Law is mostly used in America and Japan. 
  4. A Law Is used when the dynamic range of the system is comparatively lower, while on the other hand, u Law is used when the dynamic range of the system is comparatively higher 
  5. A Law is a pioneer system in the field of international calls while, on the other hand, u Law is mostly used on a national level. 


When a topic upon digitization comes up, it is not just about the main system only but about the supporting systems as well that make the whole process of digitization a smooth and hassle-free process.

Two of such systems are a Law algorithm and u Law algorithm. While both of these seem very similar and interconnected to one another, there is a very thick line of difference that exists between these two particular algorithms.  

It can be said that the area of operation or the industry of these two systems is similar, but the actual scale of operation for both of these systems is very different from one another.

It can be really confusing for some people to differentiate between these two terms. Therefore, it is very crucial to know that where and how these two systems should be used in order to bring the most efficiency. 


  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/uflr66&section=31 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0021999176901108  
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